I was nervous almost to the point of tears as I dialed my team lead’s number to give her my two weeks notice. I wasn’t sad or unsure- I worked from home, only had a couple friends, and kind of hated the work- but I was still scared.
There was no doubt in my mind I needed to leave my job. Does the cancerous tumor need to be removed? Yes. But it was scary because of what may come next. I almost felt like staying to avoid facing the fear, and understood how less courageous people may stay for that exact reason.
“I know we’re not supposed to ask, but why???” Heather inquired on the other end of the phone in her sweetest southern accent.
I didn’t tell her I was quitting because I was so tired of having to ask people if it was okay for me to ask them questions when they called Customer Service for help. Or that I was tired of reciting a 10-second disclaimer before simply telling the customer their deductible was not met. Nor did I mention how exhausting it was not having definitive answers but being expected to give definitive answers.
I also skipped over the part that, for some reason, only being able to take 40 minutes for lunch at 1:55 pm felt like bondage and being penalized for calling someone back was crazymaking. I was tired of eating dinner late and missing almost every weekday event because of getting off at 7 pm and being too drained to go anywhere.
I chose not to mention that helping people understand the difference in copay and deductible over and over again in the same conversation didn’t feel like my highest purpose in this season of my life. And telling people to have their HR update their address or activate their coverage then having them tell me that’s my job, and me tell them it’s not my job, didn’t seem like a calling. Or explaining why a plan being terminated because the premium hadn’t been paid in three months was fair.
I certainly didn’t mention that no positive of the job seemed worth it and no progression of a role on a phone could excite me. I couldn’t buy in to a performance review of a job I saw no reward in being good at, and I couldn’t be moved by a bonus I wouldn’t spend.
Instead I told her that looking for childcare for my newborn put everything into perspective for me: I was paying someone to watch my child, which I would like to do, so that I could go do work I did not want to do. From there I began to seek other options and I got this crazy idea that instead of just finding an alternative to my current method of employment I could pursue the work I had dreamed about.
On my quest I started seeing every business or service as the outcome of pursuing an idea because everything started somewhere. I listened to stories of entrepreneurs, very regular people, making a choice to go after something more…and achieving it.
I gave up the idea that living a dream life is about opportunity and predestination and I decided I certainly could be one of those people who felt successful.
I explained that some of the goals I had weren’t going anywhere because work was draining so much of my energy. I knew I wasn’t going to move forward as long as I was working. I told her that Oprah told me to focus on the next right move and I knew quitting my job had to be it.
She told me she had tears in her eyes and that my reason was beautiful. She cheered me on and admitted she had some things to think about herself.
Two weeks later I logged out for the last time. I felt like crying but not relaxed enough to do so, even after a Hurricane flavored Smirnoff with a shot of Malibu. My body didn’t know it was over.
I couldn’t sleep that night from the anxiety that comes with eliminating all excuses. Ideas flitted through my mind and the pressure of having to flesh them out stirred me.
Once I turned in my equipment the next day I knew the chapter was closed. I slept like a baby. I held my baby and loved on him because I would never have to leave him. I spent an inordinate amount of time baking macarons for a friend. I fixed my husband’s lunch.
I hadn’t realized how happy I wasn’t until feeling how happy I am. I wondered how much of my life would be shaded if I hadn’t left behind the racket of worthless employment; like thinking gray is white because of never seeing freshly fallen snow.
I share my story to educate my followers on this next season of my life, but also for those who are wondering if there is more. There is more! Money is not the last factor. I know that’s easy for me to say with husband and a savings account, but if we have a dream we can find a way.
I haven’t actually achieved anything yet, but I am convinced it’s a matter of persistence and ingenuity, NOT being special and having a crazy talent or parents that taught you how to…whatever it is. It’s about genuine intentions and clarity. Everyone isn’t meant to be an entrepreneur or a pedigreed professional, but everyone is meant to be satisfied.