Today was my last day of over 7 years as an art director at Sinnerschrader.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my main motivations was a unshakeable desire to return to Australia after over 10 years. I’ll be stepping off the plane in Sydney on October 3rd.

But more than that, I’ve been motivated by something I think of as “growing up.”

Working for a big company is in so many ways so very easy. Someone else decides what you’ll do. Someone else tells you how to do it and when. And someone else shoulders the stress and worry if and when things go wrong. No matter what you do, as long as you’re at work every day, do your best to be useful, and don’t do something completely stupid, you get your paycheck. And no matter how excellent your work is, every month’s paycheck looks the same. This state is akin to childhood–your parents shield you from most of life’s worries and feed you regularly.

Many people work this way all their lives, but it’s been getting under my skin for a year or two. It’s pretty cosy to have so little worry, so it took that long for the itch to outweigh the comfort.

Growing up is about deciding things for yourself. Saying “yes” to risks, and living with the triumphs and disasters of your own decisions. Earning more when you work harder and less when you slack off. Being able to run with exciting new ideas, and reject the duds. Knowing that there’s no one else to blame, no matter how good or bad things are.

I believe living and working this way is what it is to truly be alive. I certainly hope I’m right, since I am, as of today, a freelance designer.

It feels pretty good so far.