The Defiance of Quitting

Today, I quit my job.

Before anybody freaks out, this was a well-planned, laboriously-discussed, much-anticipated move. As much as I’d like to say my bad ass self walked in, had an epiphany, handed in my metaphorical badge, and walked out, I’m WAY too much of a chicken shit for that. Instead, I met with my boss, submitted a craftily worded resignation letter that did not say “I’m outta here bitches!” (my preferred verbiage), and agreed to a plan that will allow me to quietly fade in to the ethers over the next three weeks.

But…I QUIT MY JOB!!!!

That is a serious “holy shit” moment for me. I always have a job. In fact, I usually have 2 or 3. Even when the other jobs are less secure, more frivolous, and wholly unpredictable, my big girl job is always there as the fall back fail safe. Except…I JUST QUIT MY BIG GIRL JOB!!!!

To avoid the onset of full-fledged panic, I’m reminding myself of all the other things I quit in the process of walking away from this job.

  1. Two to three days a week of 6+ hours in the car. My butt literally cannot sit on itself that long anymore. My brain automatically sings “Move over that ass too fat” every time I even think about getting in the car.
  2. Morning traffic on I-65 coming in to Nashville. What! The! Fuck! is all I have to say.
  3. 90 minute conference calls at 8:30am on Friday mornings that rarely start on time and almost always make me want to reverse my drinking schedule (cocktails then coffee).
  4. Feeling useless.
  5. Having a title that means nothing, to anyone, not even me.
  6. Starting my day at 6am angry because I’m stupid enough to read emails while using the loo (side bar — please Google “proper ways to say taking a poop”…WOW)
  7. Lacking passion, inspiration, challenge, and fun.

There is much I have learned in the past year and for that I am grateful. There are legitimate reasons why it makes sense to leave this job…now. I use those reasons to justify the decision to myself. At the end of the day, though, I just don’t want to do it anymore. That reason is good enough for my sweet husband, to whom I feel fiscally if not morally responsible, and I’m working on it being enough for me too.

Over the summer, I read an excellent book by Chris Guillebeau. You should read it too. Or not. Anyways. “Born for This” suggests that winning the “career lottery” lies at the center of a Venn diagram of joy (what you like to do), money (cold hard cash), and flow (what you’re good at). As a woman with deep appreciation for Venn diagrams, let’s just say this job was heavy on the money, light on the flow, and wholly absent of joy.

I know what you’re thinking…”well, Jess, you quit your job, so now you got no money, no flow, and very temporary joy.” And you’d be right, if I wasn’t a super secret career ninja. Ha! Over the past six months, I’ve been quietly and strategically building up a consulting business that brings in decent money (all I care about) with exponential potential for joy. And while I’m far from Flow-Rida status (sorry, bad joke), I’m pleased with the work I’m turning out. It suits me, and pushes me, and that’s a nice combination.

I’m good through June. We’ll see what happens thereafter. (Killer foreshadowing for a summer showing of Epic Meltdown coming to a Medium near you).

In the meantime, I’m going to work on finding joy again. I’m going to focus on projects that challenge me and give me purpose. I’m going to try not to worry about money. I’m going to do the right thing and trust that will lead my feet where they need to go. I’m going to get back in shape, play with our new puppy, enjoy whatever time my husband has to give. I’m going to live first and work second.

It’s gonna be weird. And uncomfortable. And probably (definitely) irresponsible. But I’ve been a big girl for a really long time. Maybe it’s my turn to be a kid again.

With a 401K and health insurance, of course. ;)