Andrea’s story: Soul Sabbatical


On January 1, 2019 I was 35,000 feet in the air and you could say I was metaphorically flying into the unknown. I had just finished up at my job of almost four years, and I was flying to Alberta to spend time with family before figuring out what would be next for me. Now, before you go speculating about why I would leave my job with nothing else lined up, let me just say that there was no crazy drama. I loved my job, I loved my team, and I am still connected there in many ways. However, I had been feeling unsettled for some time. After loads of prayer and consideration, I had finally come to the conclusion that a) I was exhausted and needed a breather, and b) I was craving a more structured environment. On top of that, my soul was restless.


It felt icky to leave such an incredible work family and I wish I could tell you that I had some huge adventure or amazing job lined up, but the truth is…I had no idea where I was heading. Ok, I’m probably starting to sound very fiscally irresponsible right about now. But look, when your body is telling you that you need a break, my best advice is to listen. I listened, and I took a soul sabbatical.


I spent January with family; hiking through mountains, trying ice climbing for the first time, and building forts with my energetic nephew. I’d love to say that when I returned, everything got ironed out, but that would be a big, fat lie. In the months that followed, I brainstormed a list of my skills and passions, ripped apart my backyard, discovered the joy of yoga and stretching, took intentional time away from my community, accidentally started freelancing, took apart my understanding of my faith (work in progress), and gave myself permission to slow down. I forced myself to sit in a lot of uncomfortable thoughts, and I learned some deep things about myself; the kinds of things you just can’t learn until you remove all distractions.


This whole endeavour has been a huge leap of faith and to say that it’s been a bumpy ride would be an understatement. I have just recently started looking for full-time work again. In this interim time, I often feel incredibly guilty for sitting in the yard and enjoying the sun while everyone else is at work. I feel guilty for resting on the weekend, because I haven’t earned it. I feel guilty for not contributing to my community in the same caliber that I used to.


This would be the right spot for me to tell you that my soul sabbatical has come full circle, and that I’m settled in what’s next; but it hasn’t, and I am not. Instead, I am writing this eight days before my 31st birthday, and six hours after my first job rejection email. I want to share this with you now, in the midst of the unfamiliar, when everything feels raw, because this is the most powerful time to say that everything will be ok. So, this is me, trying to be true to where I am right now and showing up to life not knowing where things are headed. And I want to say to you that whatever you’re going through right now I hope you know that it will be ok even before it is.


Article written by Andrea Bankova. Follow her on Instagram by clicking here

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  • Love this. When your body and soul are tired, your heart & brain need to listen: you need a break. The break can come in multiple forms but it’s important to honor it!

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