A few weeks ago, in a moment of complete peace and clarity, I quit my job.
A much needed disclaimer: this is not a post about how you should drop everything (a.k.a. quite your job), buy a ticket somewhere exotic and set-up camp to go ‘find yourself”. Stay with me for a little…
I’m now well into ‘my notice’ period and I have no regrets about finishing up at the end of the month. This is highly uncharacteristic for a self-confessed
planned and calculated person control freak.
I have some loose plans around what I’d like to do next but nothing rigid. And this surprises me the most. Traditionally I’m never without a clear set of next steps, I’m always
aware self-conscious of what I ‘should’ be doing and rarely will I commit to any decision until I’ve researched, pondered or given it the once over with a pro-versus-cons list. I’m that friend who is annoying to shop with because she never just buys the pair of shoes. She has to check every other store for the slight possibility that she might make the ‘wrong’ choice and miss a much better style or sale. I’m the girl who fears regret, error and waste.
So why hasn’t this all kicked in to gear after I’ve completed disregarded all of the logical reasons for staying at a good paying, semi-career developing, work-life-balance-orientated and generally all-round great job?
My conclusion? I don’t think I’ve actually quit. I’ve let go.
And as a budding wordsmith I had to get deeper into what that meant – literally. And the dictionaries set me straight. As a round up…
To QUIT brings about words like:
stop, cease, discontinue, give-up, force and (as per my classic example) to resign.
To LET GO has connotations of:
permission, being released from, dismissing or escaping to be free.
It was the perfectionist mindset that I’d applied to all facets of my life that got me in the ‘quit’ space a few years ago. ‘If you can’t do it
right perfectly why do it at all?’ was a re-occurirng story in my head. So I attempted the resignation. Thanks to an incredibly wise, empathetic manager, mentor and friend – it wasn’t accepted. It’s crazy to think that sometimes people in our lives can see our lives so much clearer than us. What was said as ‘I can’t’, ‘You need someone better’ by me was heard as ‘she needs time to see the good’ and ‘here’s an opportunity to help someone’ by her. Incredibly, incredibly grateful.
So I worked on it. I continued with adjustments. I was in a financial and fateful position that saw me go part-time (and have a baby – yikes!). I accepted that my managers ‘great’ needed to be my ‘enough’ and not ‘you need to do more’. My husband gave every inch of his being to help me without request. I got a nice, professional lady to to ‘talk’ to me once a month. And with this help I found ways to enjoy what I was doing again, actually see good work being done and set time aside to answer an overwhelming call to explore what it really is I want to be pursuing.
This opened my eyes. My grey-glasses had been lifted and the world wasn’t so bad after all. I saw options I could never see in a down-an-out, this-is-my-lot-in-life-so-I-should-just-accept-it funk I’d got myself into. I saw possibility, I realised that a career change wasn’t something to fear or get right the first something. I accepted that the judgement of family, friends, ex-colleagues or people in my network impacted me as much as I choose to let it. I had a stupidly-simply revelation that no one, but you, actually makes rules about how you explore your life or structure it. The adjustment got me back into a space where I became.. content.
So I let go. I gave myself permission and am completely at peace that I no longer need this part of my life.
And here I am verging of being the stay-at-home-mum/studier/start-up-blogger/happiness seeker and what I have to offer is that maybe we get quitting and letting-go mixed up and misused. They each have a purpose in our life. The most important factor is that the definition sits ok with you.
To divorce or stay together? To keep studying or start working? To sell or stay? What do you need to quit and what are you ready to let go? The lesson I’m taking with me is to ask the question first. Don’t berate yourself on the answer, neither is right or wrong. Just make sure you know the difference before you do it.