I Am a Quitter (And That’s Okay)

(Written the day I turned in my two weeks notice, but only publishing this now as today was my last day).

I did it. I officially turned in my two weeks notice at my job. It was terrifying and I am scared. I don’t know what I’m doing next, beyond moving home to live with my folks. I don’t have a plan because this was supposed to be my plan. Not for forever, but at least for a couple years. This was supposed to be my fun, just out of college why not do something crazy and don a tiara and work at Disney?

Now I don’t know what I’m doing. And not knowing is scary and hard. What if I can’t find a job? What if people are disappointed in me for failing? Or for not staying longer? What if people don’t think I tried hard enough?

But I am a quitter. Why? Because no matter how terrified I am about my now very open future, I am more scared of where I’d be if I stayed where I am. And where am I? I am unhappy.

When I leave my job I will have just passed my four month anniversary at my job. That is a third of a year of my life. I have learned so much, had so many unforgettable experiences, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to work here. But my life here has turned into that relationship where we really need to break up but I keep holding on because I am worried about finding something new. Because it started so well. Because this has been my dream for so long and the fact that the reality didn’t match that dream killed me and I had hoped if I stayed long enough I could change it.

There is a stigma that you should never back down, but I don’t agree with that. Certainly there are things that are tough, but that you should push through. I know how to do that. I’ve done it every November for the past nine years when I have attempted and won National Novel Writing Month. I did it when I pushed myself to complete my 40 page honors thesis. I did it when I had to push myself to keep getting help when my mental health took a nosedive. I am proud for pushing through those and many other difficult endeavors and experiences. But there is a difference between quitting out of laziness and quitting because your gut tells you that its the right thing to do.

This is the right thing to do. My gut has been telling me it every day for a while now. I was willing to ignore that nagging voice when I was still settling into the job (you’re new, you just need more time), and when I had gotten into the rhythm of things but still didn’t feel like things fit right (you’re overworked right now, but things should calm down once the summer rush ends). I wasn’t willing to ignore that nagging voice when I became physically injured. That’s what it took for me to finally take that nagging voice seriously. I won’t go into the specifics here, but I am currently physically injured, and while I’m on modified duty so I can recover, the moment I return to my job the injuries are going to reappear because I will have to do the exact same things that led to my injury in the first place as part of my job. And this freaks me out. It took getting physically injured to take my gut seriously and also to take my suffering mental health seriously.

This is not the right position for me. It is for so many people, but it isn’t for me. I am glad that I gave the job a fair shot, but I also should have recognized the signs sooner. I should have seen the tired but proud looks on the girls’ faces around me and realized that I didn’t share that pride and joy, just the exhaustion. By staying here, I would close myself off to the opportunity to find something that was a better fit for me. By leaving I can go out and try other things (and maybe quit other things), but find somewhere that I can be challenged in ways that encouraged me and made me work harder, but be happy and proud to work harder. Somewhere where I can be passionate about what I’m doing.

I am a quitter. This was my dream for a long time, but it isn’t anymore. But if there’s one thing I learned from Rapunzel, it’s that sometimes dreams don’t turn out the way we hoped and that it’s okay to pursue new dreams. Thank you so much Blondie, and here’s to finding my new dream.

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