I quit my job for a pipe dream: Lemon Canary
By Jasmin Kechel.
As I sat in the office of my almost former employer, there was a sense of nudity as she took my scrunched up uniforms and ID away from me.
“Sign here”, she said with a slight smile that revealed lipstick on her front tooth. I looked down at the page next to where her long pink nail was pointing, for a moment I thought it would read“Sign here for the loss of all your income for eternity, you will never have another opportunity to be paid what you are now to do the job you do now”, and I signed.
I walked out through the door, leaving the familiar smell of ‘airport lounge’ behind me as the heavy security door slammed. A strange sensation overcame me, the only way I can describe it is feeling completely exposed, for 13 years I had lived a life that people dream of, airports, big cities, cash being squeezed into my hand at fancy hotel desks, planes, celebrities, great friends… you get the picture.
So, why was I leaving? As all these images flashed through my mind I have never felt so sure about anything in my life, I felt completely naked, completely exposed and completely wonderful. The part I haven’t told you is the part I hid from myself for many years. I hated the job, being squeezed into a metal tube with 400 other people, never getting a decent nights sleep, constantly feeling like I was getting over the last virus, shoving antibiotics down my throat so as not to disrupt my roster: staying on course was important, at any cost!
Looking back, I find it sad that I was so disconnected from my own body and spirit that I allowed myself to sign up for this life and never questioned anything about it. I can tell you why I did it. It was easy money. I put on my uniform, I showed up, I did my job, I went home, I got paid. The flying part was easy, I had been doing it so long now, but most of the time I felt so tired I could have vomited, the breakfast services were the most difficult, the smell of the bakery items made me feel like I was in the first trimester of a pregnancy. Just before landing I was always the most fatigued and had to paste on a smile and grin till my face hurt. I hated it.
Something came and visited me in my hotel room when I was alone and whispered into my ear. It dared me to dream about a life beyond what I knew, it teased me with the idea of a normal life, a simpler life, one where I got to go to bed at night and wake up with the laughter of my children each day. This life didn’t include dark circles under my eyes, illness and antibiotics, but this life seemed out of reach. If I walked away I would never get this job again. Anxiety set in, and I was teetering on the edge of depression.
Then, my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Overnight he had been checked into hospital and started aggressive chemotherapy. While my family and I worried and fussed and tried to make sense of things, he promptly put his house on the market and used his entire life’s savings to buy his dream boat. The boat was in Malaysia and he announced one morning a month into his treatment that he would be sailing it back to Australia soon.
Now, let me paint the picture for you. A 60-year old man, told he may never get out of hospital, has just bought a boat with his entire life’s savings and is making a plan of when he will leave to sail it across the Pacific. I remember sitting there, in the midst of my unrest with work and thinking, “What the heck am I afraid of here? I’m healthy, alive and well and am consciously making a choice to stay in a job that I’m just OK with to make ends meet? I’m out! I’m done! I don’t have an eternity to get this right”.
I made a choice there and then to resign. I knew in that moment that I would rather give up everything I had financially than spend one more minute not living the life I wanted. What I really lost that day was fear. It fell away into a million pieces, and I felt like I could breathe again.
The universe opens her heart to us when we do this. I had begun dabbling in candle making and was playing around with some other products in my garage, I loved it, I felt alive and free, when I gifted these things to friends and family the joy was intense. I was listening, finally listening to my inner wisdom. When my employer offered a voluntary redundancy, I signed up. I didn’t think twice.
Running my own business has not been a five-year fairytale. Business has been tricky for me. I have had to teach myself everything I know. I read, I go to seminars and I talk to mentors. But I can say this, even in the darkest hours of my business I have joy in my heart, I have gratitude that it will make me a stronger and better businesswoman and that I am learning more and more each day. I know the only reason I feel this way is because I love what I do. I have created a job that fits into what my soul needs, using my soul's unique gifts, a good night’s sleep every night, being there for my boys when they need me, never missing birthdays and Christmases and all the little things that go with a normal, simple life.
The life of your dreams may be different to mine, but your soul knows what it is. Make time to quieten your mind, listen to its whisperings, and tell fear to take a hike. Your dream life awaits.
All my love
Jasmin Kechel is the Founder of Lemon Canary, a small bespoke aromatherapy studio on the Gold Coast. Jasmin’s background includes aromatherapy, beauty therapy, yoga, reiki & counselling. She spent 13 years as a longhaul flight attendant before leaving this job to find her true calling.
Established in 2010, Lemon Canary strives to provide the finest handcrafted candles, oils, organic perfumes and other beautiful selected finds. Jasmin’s wish is that her beautiful products will enrich the lives of the people they touch and strengthen relationships through intentional, thoughtful giving. When she’s not in the studio you will find her spending time with her boys and her two Burmese cats, playing the guitar or cooking. She is passionate about simple, minimal living and finding joy in small things.