“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
I stood in the doorway of my boss’s office, my heart racing and head pounding. The last time I approached my boss like this, I’d asked to cut back my hours; today I was going to eliminate my hours entirely.
That was three weeks ago. Today, I’m settling into my first day of being officially unemployed.
I’d wanted to quit my former job for months, but the decision never felt as easy as it actually should have been. I went back and forth so many times asking myself if the job was really that bad, and I tried so hard to focus only on the positive aspects of the position.
In spite of my best efforts to reframe my thoughts and stick with it, my body literally couldn’t handle it. I developed chronic headaches, which a doctor’s visit revealed were due to stress and resulted in being prescribed a mild anti-anxiety medication.
I should’ve walked into work the next day and quit after that doctor’s visit. No matter what anyone says, no job is worth staying at if it requires you to be medicated to manage it.
It took being put on anti-anxiety meds and struggling through adverse side effects to finally make me reach my breaking point. With my family and fiancé on board, the decision to quit my job was made.
I had no alternative job lined up. I had no interviews pending. I had no other stream of income established. All I knew was my brain needed a break to recover.
I quit my job for a lot of reasons. The reason I gave my boss was to focus on my creative pursuits full time. This is partially true, but certainly not the full story. There’s also the part where my former boss made one too many rude jokes about my age cohort. There’s the part where I couldn’t escape the heated political conversations my coworkers liked to have on a daily basis. And let’s not forget the part about how I flat out didn’t enjoy the job.
People have a tendency to over-complicate situations that are, in reality, very simple. This can be especially true when it comes to sucky jobs. Sometimes you get a job that ends up not working out, but obligation, shame, pressure, fear, and anxiety all join together like a sticky spider web to make you feel stuck.
The truth? It’s just a job. People quit them every day, and the earth is going to continue spinning just fine if you choose to walk away.
I continue to live my life based around this principle: I’m the only person who’s ever going to live my life, and the only life I’m ever going to live is mine. So, I decided to quit my job. No looking back for me.