After 15 months of not working I flew to NYC and started back at The New York Times on 5 August 2019. I originally planned to take one year off but because I love the summer so much (and not working was really great) I extended that time by three months.
The decision to go back to work wasn’t originally one that I thought I’d make. When I began my year off I really had no idea what I was going to do at the end, but I didn’t think I’d be going back to a full time job. I considered getting into consulting so that I could pick up work on my own schedule, but that also seemed like a lot of effort that didn’t align with my longer term goals. Going back to a full time job was the best balance of earning some money while keeping my goals in sight.
My year off was a supremely positive experience. I went back to work with my stress level at zero. It has risen some in the last six months but my new perspective on life allows me to maintain a calmer state of mind than I would have otherwise. I never got tired of not working. It was a wonderful feeling to be in complete control of my days. I gave myself plenty of time to rest and relax, but I also got to experiment in a number of ways. Experimentation is so undervalued and I cherish my seasons of experimenting.
I would absolutely do this again and I would definitely recommend taking an extended amount of time off if you’re able. I wish it were something more available and acceptable for people who would really benefit from taking a step back.