At the end of each year, I would tell myself, "This is it. This is the year I'm quitting. I'm not going into the next year with this job." And each year, for the last six years, I stayed.
There was that one time, three years ago, where I called myself trying to quit. I was fed up with the stressors of a job that was draining me to all hell and, quite frankly, wasn't paying me enough for what I had to endure. I was unfulfilled, overworked, bored, and lacked purpose.
I had resigned to drinking wine every night just to have the strength to crawl into bed and deal with the next day. I knew at that point, this job was affecting not only my mental state, but my physical health, so I needed to go.
I typed up my resignation letter, courtesy of a template I found on Google, and confidently printed and signed it. But I couldn't work up the nerve to hand deliver it to my boss. I wasn't ready. I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone and making a drastic change.
I allowed my fear to override my wellbeing and, like a bad relationship, I convinced myself my situation would improve.
And to further endorse my illusion that it would get better, I would receive the occasional promotion and the "good-job-pat-on-my-back" speech from my employer. So, I stayed. And the longer I did, the more I allowed my job to determine my value, build my validation, then squander any vision I had of a life of true fulfillment and happiness.
Before this year, I lived in a risk-averse universe where I subscribed to a model of comfort, structure, and meticulous planning – perfect for the office cubicle career as an Accountant. On paper, the job was ideal. I had a decent salary along with a small bonus to cushion it, and annually, I received superb acclamations regarding my job performance. But internally, I was a wreck.
My life was all about work, which I may have been okay with if I loved my job, but I didn't. I wanted nothing more than to be the person I always dreamed of – the intelligent, thought-provoking witty writer with a passion for travel. However, as a risk-phobic individual, I was afraid of stepping out of the ever-turning hamster wheel known as the corporate workforce. I refused to give myself permission to explore and pursue my authentic dreams because of the fear of failure and, for almost seven years, I suffered in silence due to my lack of courage to change my circumstances.
Then in January 2018, I embarked on a trip to LA. Somewhere between Beach Yoga with Brad (not Pitt, unfortunately) and writing affirmations by the ocean at sunrise, it became clear to me that I needed a change in my life. So, I forced myself to confront my fears and contemplate my next steps. Yes, starting over was going to be scary, but I knew I didn't want to live out my 30's the same way I lived my 20's. It was time for me to live a life of purpose and passion.
Two weeks later, Google template in hand, I quit my job.
Leaving behind my career was the most difficult but freeing decision I've ever made in my adult life. Making the decision has elevated me from a person who fears risk, to someone who is willing to face any battle head-on. My self-esteem has slowly grown, and every day I discover new things about myself as I push the bar in my life and enter a new decade. I no longer make choices based on fear and the need to survive; I live my life for the need to thrive. I know the road ahead won't be easy, but I'm committed to the journey, and if I need a change, I know I have the strength and the wherewithal to start over at any time.
Because life doesn't begin or end at a certain age, there aren't any rules about how it should be done. The power to be who I want to be lies within what I'm willing to accept and when I'm willing to change.
Featured image by Getty Images
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