Knitting

Quitting My Job

Now, I said in my last post that I’d tell you more about quitting my job and getting engaged. The story of our proposal is adorable, if I do say so myself, but quitting my job is more involved, so we’re going to start there.

I’ve always tried to be very careful about how I talk about my jobs online, and the same is going to be true in this case. Of course I was unhappy at the job that I quit – I wouldn’t have quit if I wasn’t. But I won’t be so unprofessional as to go on whining about every little thing about it.

I’m beating around the bush here, let’s get to it.

I quit my job because there were simply too many aspects of my work that triggered my anxiety. By the time I finally decided to quit, I was having at least one, maybe even two or three anxiety attacks a week. If you’ve never had an anxiety attack – well, first of all, congratulations. But if you haven’t, they’re exhausting. Not just mentally draining, but physically as well. And despite being a mental disease, anxiety doesn’t just affect your brain. It can affect your physical well-being as well.

There was simply a level of unpredictability to my job that I couldn’t handle. I was never really formally given a set of duties that I could expect to be able to do every day. One day I might be expected to answer phones (one of my least favorite tasks), the next I would be sent over to another department because they were short-staffed, and the day after that I’d have nothing at all to do!

Unpredictability really isn’t very good for anxiety.

It was actually my fiance – and also my therapist and Taylor – who encouraged me to leave my job. Even with all of their support, it took me some time to make the decision to quit. I struggled, because I felt like I was betraying everything I’d sworn I’d be when I was a kid. Self-sufficient, independent. I’d wanted to be the top earner in my household! But then again, I never imagined I’d be working in an office with a tiny little cubicle and the glare of florescent lights beating down on me everyday.

But to go from making a decent salary to making no money at all was frightening. My fiance was more than willing to support the both of us, and he can afford to do so, but I was still used to a certain level of financial independence and stability. It took me quite some time before I was willing to give that up.

I haven’t even mentioned what I quit my job for! I didn’t simply quit with no plan or intention of working. I want to be a writer! Not just a blog writer, an author. A novelist.

When I was still working at my old job, I wrote a novel. An entire novel. It was terrible, but I did it! It was 90,000 words long, it had a (somewhat meandering) plot, and my biggest achievement – a real ending!

It wasn’t until I wrote that novel – and in less than two months! – that I decided that maybe I could make a go of being a writer. It was several months after that that I actually made the decision to quit, but it was certainly the first step.

So, on December 3rd I put in my two weeks notice, and on December 14th I very quietly and uneventfully left my job.

I’m still adjusting to being unemployed. Quitting around Christmas was smart, because the holiday would have been next to impossible to get through while working, but it did make for an unusual first couple weeks off. The rest of the year, until we get back to the holiday, is not going to be anything like those first couple weeks. We don’t have any family to go see, no events to attend, no presents to wrap, no extra baking or cooking to do.

So, with the transition official now, I’ll admit I’m still struggling to settle into a schedule. It’s all well and good to say I’m going to be awake by 8am and be up and breakfasted and have 1000 words written by 10am, but it’s something else entirely to achieve that.

And I know that I’m in an extremely privileged position to be able to give this a go. I know that not everyone can still be on their parents health insurance, or be engaged to a man who is willing and able to support the both of us. Trust me, I am so grateful for this opportunity.

Regardless of how well my intended schedule is working out, I know that I’m happier. I don’t drag through the mornings, I don’t dread the afternoons, I don’t live for the weekends. I actually get to enjoy my life again!

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