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I am ready to reinvent myself, and I need to make it official

Creative Retirement

RETIREMENT@2x

The Context

When creative people switch careers, there is a noticeable grieving process. Which makes sense, since grief is the human response to the death of something we've formed a bond with. And if you ask anyone who's ever owned a business before, that bond is like none other.

The Tool

two color

Creative Retirement

CREATIVE RETIREMENT — Writing a letter of resignation to yourself to bookend an important stage in your artistic life

For most entrepreneurs, it's hard to tell where they end and the enterprise begins. So in a way, a career transition is like a death. The death of a job, the death of a lifestyle and the death of a mindset. It's a substantial period of introspection. We listen to our relentless inner voice, but we also listen to the unexpected opportunities that are blossoming around us. Giving real thought about who we are, who we aren’t, where we want to go next, and how we want to be when we get there. Why not write a letter to yourself to anoint the transition?

When transitioning careers from entrepreneur to employee, I remember all of the stages of grieving manifesting themselves. First I tried to deny it, holding onto beliefs that were too convenient to be killed. Then I became angry, beating myself up and harboring resentment for others. Next came bargaining, in which I scrambled around with a hammer, trying to turn everything into a nail. Then came depression, where getting out of bed was a legitimate challenge. And eventually came acceptance, when I wrote a letter of resignation to myself and experienced a euphoric lightness of being.

The Rest

Nobody has to see the letter but you. You can burn it when you're done. But who you are on the inside will never been the same again. What do you need to retire from creatively?

The Benefits

Cathartically grieve the loss of an old identity
Signal to your body that it’s time to live your creative life in a new way
Release outdated labels, stories and thoughts that no longer represent the person you want to become.
Experience the euphoric lightness of feeling complete with this chapter of your artist’s journey

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