Write or Die – My ‘Ikigai’

I quit my corporate job after 8 years of being in the same company. I’d like to think that I was loyal and resilient enough to withstand all the bullshit that came with it, dedicating the youthful energy of my 20s – which I thought would be the best years of my life. Now, I’m excited to see what my 30s hold. I may write about my quitting in more detail and open up a little more one day, but today is not that day.

I am writing because I finally figured out what I REALLY want to do in life – write.

Leaving my job just before my epic Dirty 30 birthday trip was the best decision I’ve ever made. It started with the desire to re-do a similar trip that my life friend Anna and I did back in 2009 when she lived in New York. I visited her and we went to LA together. This time, I added Vegas for a wild birthday celebration, Honolulu to see my family and she added Chicago to the trip just because. People started hearing about our plans and we’d meet with various friends at different parts of our journey.

On the day I handed in my resignation, I immediately extended the last leg, Hawaii, for another 4 weeks. Fuck yeah! Yolo! And not many people know this as of yet, but I just booked a random trip to Japan for 3 weeks after, with a potential week in between in either Seoul, Taipei or Hong Kong. I haven’t decided yet.

I am yet to write about the crazy shit we got up to, but it’s hard when the weather is so damn good and you’re surrounded by so much outdoor fun. Even now the weather is amazing and I’m dying to go outside. Here’s what it looks like from my place:

20151006_115256

I only have a few more days left here (where the heck did those 5 weeks in Hawaii go?) then I’ll stopover in Sydney for a few days before continuing my Dirty 30 trip in Japan!

It’s funny how that was my next destination on this trip for several reasons; I made a trip out there in 2009, which was the same year I did the LA/NY trip. It’s like my life is sort of repeating itself 6 years later but it’s even more epic, and a way that I can analyse my personal growth since then.

I’ve shifted my purpose and really found my calling; my ‘Ikigai’ as the Japanese (apparently more specifically, the Okinawans) call it.

ikigai definition

For the month leading up to my resignation, I would wake up and lie in bed for over an hour, thinking about how much I hated my situation at work and a few people who had too much control over me. Then becoming jobless, I can wake up and do whatever the fuck I want. But now, after 2 solid months of hardcore partying and playing, with thoughts of nothing but how much fun I can have in one day, I can finally say that I wake up to experience as much as life has to offer, and share my stories.

I don’t know what to call myself, or if I’m worthy of it: storyteller, writer, blogger, adventurer, etc. But it doesn’t matter what label I apply to myself, as long as I feel it.

I love this quote, it’s my new motto. I’ve been doing the latter for a little while now that it’s time to do the writing part of it. I strive to do both on a daily basis, but the next hurdle to overcome is sharing what I produce.

I posted this just yesterday and it’s been the most liked and shared on my Instagram and Linked In (24 likes and 24 shares, plus over 150+ likes on one of those shares) profiles. I didn’t realise how much people would relate to it, or how people would be anticipating my next blog post. The support is very encouraging. I’m glad I could inspire a whole bunch of strangers with a simple action.

After hiking up mountains, wading in the ocean, nighttime cruising to catch some shooting stars and general lazing about in the sun and watching the clouds, I’ve been able to clear my thoughts and realise what I want to do each day.

I’ve found my ‘Ikigai’.

Ikigai diagram

I’ve seen similar diagrams to the above, but none as clear as this one. I don’t have a plan. I’m not sure what my next move is, except to write, and to keep writing. Maybe that’s enough.

ernest hemingway typerwriter bleed

And so my new journey begins.

3 Comments

  1. mike cbay

    8 October 2015 at 9:36 am

    It’s funny how getting to 30 starts the cogs of purpose grinding once again. Where the heck did the last 10 years go? Ikigai is also a term I’ve come across recently, and it’s the searching for what makes me want to get the best out of life for all that I’m still trying to get a grasp of. This piece really hits home for me, thanks for sharing!

    1. Trina

      8 October 2015 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Cbay. I hope you find what you’re looking for soon.

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