LIFE + LOCAL,  Will Run for Pasta

Life Lately – Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost


(image via IG: @thatpnwlife)

“Not all those who wander are lost”

We’ve all heard that line before (which is apparently from the poem All That is Gold Does Not Glitter written by J. R. R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings), but it was running through my head a while ago and it dawned on me that it could also be flipped:


(Punctuation Sidebar: should there be a comma between lost and wander? Feels like it needs a pause? Thoughts?)

For example, sometimes the lost will stay in the same place for a while, and even though they want something different they have no idea what that something different might be so instead of wandering they stay… and stay… and stay… until it becomes harder to stay than to get up and wander.

Welcome to my life.

I quit my job in December and have no idea what’s next.  I’m scared sh*tless but it had finally become harder to stay than to go.  It was a good job for nine years and I worked with people who had become like family, but the last four years or so have been a struggle.  It’s a company in the HVAC field and my position was to support the salesman in quoting projects and ordering equipment and all the paperwork and file management and customer service that comes with it.  It paid the bills but I can tell you absolutely that I am NOT passionate about boilers.  Couldn’t care less.  At all.  Seriously.

The feeling of wanting something different had become harder to ignore, but I didn’t know what else I wanted to do or what I was passionate about so the hunt for something new wasn’t easy.  For a while I thought the doula thing was my answer but after receiving what I thought was a clear ‘YES’ to pursue that, it became a clear ‘NO’ a few months later and I’m still a little upset about that, but thankful that I tried it and now I know.

Stress over the work (and life fulfillment) situation started manifesting physically more and more over the last few years, and especially this past year with major neck/shoulder tension, TMJ issues, and headaches (and general b*tchiness if we’re being honest).  All of that compounded my up and down struggles with depression; I hadn’t been my usual happy self in a long time and Mr. Won’t Run had been noticing.  I tried to motivate myself with a post-it on the bathroom mirror – “your job is cake. suck it up. it could be worse”.  Inspiring, right?

Then an unexpected gift arrived.

I feel a little funny sharing about it, but we received a very surprising financial gift from some family for our anniversary.  After lots of discussion with Mr. Won’t Run, lots of prayer, and lots of thinking it through to make sure I wasn’t being rash, I gave my notice at work.  We agreed that I should just quit and take some time to figure out what’s next.  I can’t be a stay-at-home-wife forever, I’ll need to bring home some bacon eventually, but thanks to that gift we have a cushion that’s making the one income thing easier to manage for a little while.  I am still in awe of this situation and feel incredibly undeserving.  I’m sure a ton of people are out there like me who are hating their current jobs and feeling like they don’t have a way out and then this falls into our lap.  I promise to make the most of it!

I feel like good things are coming in February and I’ve given myself a blog-every-day challenge for the month.  Hopefully you don’t get sick of me.  I feel like I’m on a journey and it’s equal parts exciting and terrifying.  I’m trying to focus on the exciting.

So, I am now unemployed and free to wander to my heart’s content!

If only I knew where I wanted to wander to.

Hi, I'm Sarah, a 30-something wife, doggy-mama, beginner runner (still), wannabe cook, and 9-5 cubicle farm worker, just trying to enjoy life in beautiful Portland, OR!


  • Kelley

    Geez, that’s a scary but wonderful thing! I was in a stultifying job for a long time; being there was like a pain I was numb to. Now I’m self-employed and take care of our toddler, and it can be really hard, but I feel like I’m really living my life. Good luck!

    • Sarah

      YES! A pain I was numb to, that’s the perfect description, and I feel like it spread numbness to every other area of my life as well. Here’s to living life!

  • Erin @ Platings and Pairings

    I think that your decision to quit is really inspiring. I think that we all have this feeling at times (I know I do!) and I think it’s great that you have the opportunity to really find out what is going to make YOU happy. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your journey!

  • Rebekah

    Yeaaahhhhhh welcome to the club 🙂 I also had a great job with great people but the time was right to do something different in September and THAT IS OK. Good luck finding a new adventure. I am sure it will be along soon.

  • Leah

    Yeah!!! Good for you to taking the leap of faith and the time needed to find your true passion! I can’t wait to see where it takes you!

  • Jen

    I’m so happy you were able to quit the job that was causing you such grief. My partner and I did that three years ago (after saving and prepping for a long time). It was such a relief and I never want to go back to cubeland!

    As far as what’s next… do what you love, love what you do. Life’s waaaay too short to do anything else. What’s your passion?

    • Sarah

      Thanks Jen, I love that you did that with your partner, that’s so fun! I wish there was an obvious thing that was my passion, that’s part of what I’m hoping to figure out, what’s going to feed my soul in the long term. Is there a test I can take somewhere that will tell me that? Hahaha!

  • Holly

    Oh I can relate to this SO much! I felt exactly the same about my job in Insurance and just couldn’t stay there anymore. I’m so glad you were able to do the same thing. Everything will fall into place. Some how. Some way.

    • Sarah

      Thanks Holly, I’m so happy you were able to quit and take your blog full-time. I think that’s going to become my new mantra “everything will fall into place – some how – some way” <3

  • Erin

    Congratulations!! I’m sure it is a scary move but it will be a positive one in the long-term to help you find what you’re passionate about! Good for you for taking the leap and best of luck!! Excited to hear the adventures you choose to pursue!

  • Becky

    Ooo….a blog-every-day challenge! I’m so excited!! Now if only I could get your post e-mails to my inbox! Can’t wait to read what you have to write this month, and I am just so so so excited that you are FREEE! Next steps and direction will come. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind. 🙂

  • Rose

    Hey Sarah,
    This was an intense read. It kind of suddenly jolted me to the reality that I’m not the only one out there who’s having battles to fight. Depression is something that is so difficult for anyone else who’s not been in the same position to understand. And in my case, my depression is not even triggered by financial issues…for now I can say I’m stable. To be honest, I really don’t know what triggers my depression. I like my job, or atleast most times I tell myself so, my family is supportive but I feel like I still lack. My heart is not at peace. I hope you are doing well. I want to be with you on your journer, maybe it will lift me up. xoxo

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