I may have just done the most reckless and stupid thing I’ve ever done. Which, admittedly, being the fairly reserved and un-wild 23-year-old Grandma that I am, isn’t the most reckless and stupid thing anyone’s ever done, not by a long shot. But for me it’s a Big Thing. I’ve quit my job.
Technically, I did this last week because y’know, notice periods and all that, but today was my last day. Today I handed in my keys and archived all my emails and drove away in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be going back on Monday morning, and the knowledge that I don’t have anything new waiting for me. Right now I don’t even know what I’m feeling. Obviously I have my reasons for leaving (the details of which I won’t be going into on a public platform!) so I’m not exactly devastated, and I do feel liberated, but I am also sad in some ways. Sad to have left behind a group of truly lovely colleagues, and if I’m honest sad to be losing a steady income. On a certain level, I’m terrified to be unemployed and living on my not-substantial savings and my parents’ generosity, terrified that it’s going to take me ages to find another job and it won’t be something I love, terrified that I’m not even sure I know what I want to do. On another level, I’m excited to have some time to figure these things out. Excited to reassess my situation without any other responsibilities, excited to throw myself into finding a job that I’ll really love.
I’m nervous about going back to the job-hunting life because I think I know what I want to do, but if I admit to myself or anyone else that it’s what I really, really want, it’ll be all the harder to take rejection. It’ll be that little bit more disheartening every time a company just never replies, knowing that I’d pinned so many hopes on that job. Surely it’s better not to let myself get too invested in anything, and then it won’t hurt when it’s a no.
This is, of course, a pretty bad view to take, because passion is important in a job and if I want something I’m going to love, I have to start by caring about it and showing that I care about it. Few people will hire a candidate who thinks they ‘might give it a go, not sure, see what it’s like’ over a candidate who’s invested and committed and enthusiastic from the get-go. I’ll just have to find the balance between admitting how important a job is to me, and seeming too indifferent. Tricky.
When I wrote recently about switching to decaff coffee in an attempt to lower my anxiety (I think it’s working, by the way, so yay for that), my friend Alba told me she was impressed by how proactive I was. So I’ve taken it to the extreme, and proactively quit my job with no prospects and no clue. Well done Lang, super good adulting.
I don’t quite think I’ve ruined my own life yet. That’ll only come if it takes months on end to find another job and I end up in another place I don’t love because realistically I’m human and money is a large motivating factor in my life. Keep your fingers crossed for me that that won’t happen, hm?
I think sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m only 23, and actually I don’t have to have my whole life together now. I’m allowed to make mistakes, I’m allowed to take some time to figure my life out, I’m allowed to take risks. And so are you. They say you should do something every day that scares you, so here I am, scaring the living daylights out of myself by having absolutely no plan whatsoever. I like plans, I like organisation, I like control. Having none of those things frightens me, but it’s a good kind of fear, a sort of feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway adrenaline-y nervousness that’ll kick me into doing something about it.
I could choose to see it as quitting, as giving up, as not being able to hack it. Or I could choose to see it as closing the door on an admittedly short, but mostly sweet and useful chapter of my life, allowing me to start the next. Who knows where it’ll lead? It could be to something incredible, if I let it. For once in my anxious, pessimistic life, I’m feeling optimistic.
Until next time, K.