“Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy.”
– Heath Ledger
As I sit in a silent and dark cubicle, I, yet again, type out a resignation letter…yes, my second one in less than a year.
As I get ready to hit send guilt and anxiety take over, just like it has every time I thought about making this decision, again.
The past four or even five years of my life have happened so quickly and with that speed came the wind that I must say knocked me down to the ground.
I come from a very Eastern European family which means strict parents, high expectations and always following the rules. It was the type of household where you never had to be told what to do, you just knew you had to do it and you did it. I knew I had to go to school, get good grades, graduate, move on to college, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, get married, buy property and have babies. Mind you, all of that was to be achieved at a fairly early age.
I always knew that I wanted to please my parents and that mentality became even more concentrated when my whole family uprooted and left for the United States. Something about my parents completely sacrificing everything they loved including their home, family and friends made me realize how much they cared and how much they wanted my sister and I to succeed. This in turn made me think well maybe they know better than me on what I want and need so from there on out my dreams revolved around finishing school and getting a “real job”.
For a very long time I saw no problems with following the rules and the path set up by my parents because I didn’t know any better. I graduated early, I nailed a job immediately, I was in love with who I thought was the man of my dreams, I had moved out…it really seemed like everything was moving in the direction of success.
That, I must say, didn’t last very long and I ended up running into a brick wall face first. After my break up, I started analyzing my life from all aspects. I was no longer in a loving relationship. Fail. I moved back in with my parents at the age of 23 because I couldn’t afford to live on my own based on my salary. Fail. I had anxiety every morning when I woke up because I did not love what I do. Fail. I stared at a computer most of the day without any outside communication. Fail. I was not improving anyone’s lives. Fail. I was draining my soul. Fail. I stopped evolving. Fail. I had no room to actually get promoted. Fail.
When I actually considered most of these things I realized that following this path was no longer for me. I felt relief to have officially come to that conclusion, but I also felt so much fear. What will I do now? How will I move on? Will I actually have the guts to do something about this?
After months of going back and forth in my own head and slipping further into a slump I put in my resignation. As I hit send my anxiety quickly turned into relief. It’s really unbelievable how much happier and lighter I instantly felt.
I shortly left for Asia and spent about two months there. I needed to find myself. Through all of the trials and tribulations I lost myself. I lost the spunk, I lost the spark and the lust for life. The mundane beat of my days drowned me and I had no idea who I was or what I wanted out of life. I was single, jobless and dreamless. I needed desperately to be pushed to evolve and that is exactly what I got. I laughed, I cried, I struggled, I thrived, I discovered and I recovered.
I don’t want to say I felt reborn because that is beyond cliche but I came back alive.
After coming back to the states my happiness carried me for months and I continued to thrive. I was full of creativity and drive but I noticed myself slipping back into the old normalcy. The same people, the same mistakes, the same type of job. It has been a never ending cycle for almost 5 years now and it has taken me this long to realize that it will never end, unless I do something about it.
This is where my second resignation comes into play, which I submitted just minutes ago. I have been working at another dead end job with no room for growth and no push to evolve.
I am the type of human that values intelligence and I thrive off of continuous growth. In the past 6 months I have worked at a job that required absolutely no brain power. Which on one hand isn’t the worst but it also did not pay enough money which means I was forced to pick up side jobs which equals out to working 60-80 hour weeks with no extra time to evolve and broaden my horizons on my own. Drained, beaten down, tired, frazzled…nope none of those words explain my situation in this moment in time.
I refuse to let myself be another robot in this vicious cycle that has become the norm. I have worked way too hard my whole life to end up just like so many individuals living a meaningless life.
Now I am in no way shape or form saying that an office job will always be meaningless. It doesn’t have to be. Many people find their desk jobs to be satisfactory and enlightening on a daily basis but I have yet to see that with my own two eyes. I am not sure if that is because I require so much brain stimulation or because I thrive off of passion.
Moral of this long and wordy post is this….
This life is too short to feel like you are suffocated. This life is too beautiful to be wasted doing something that brings you no joy. I have learned that on two separate occasions. That will suck your soul dry.
Really for the first time in my life I am completely unattached and I plan on using that to my advantage. I don’t have a job, a boyfriend or toxic friends holding me back. I can go where I want to and be who I want to.
I can start over.
The difference between now and the last time I quit my job is the fear factor. I left and came back when I felt like I had it in me to keep doing the same ole bullshit and now I know that this is not within me.
This time around I know I need to break the cycle, not just put it on hold. I know I need to leave this black hole for my own sanity.
I deserve more and I will reach for more.
With every step towards this direction I am feeling more alive, more free, more hopeful and like there is so much more out there for me.
Reaching a final destination will take time, commitment and setbacks (many setbacks) but just knowing that I am on my way and I will not give up until I find my happy place within this madness we call life is a huge deal, especially because I have never strayed from “the path”.
What I hope is for everyone who is struggling to know that its normal to be lost, to be unhappy, to be beaten down. It’s normal to give up. It’s normal to quit. It’s normal to reinvent yourself. The important part of this whole journey is to look past the bullshit and to take all of those pieces laying around with no meaning and to start rearranging them.
May you heal, may you move on, may you find your place and your true happiness.