Recently I got hired and quit a job both in the same day.
When I tell people this they have a tendency to look at me like I’ve lost my mind. They probably think I’m high maintenance, spoiled, stuck-up, and a quitter.
The thing is, when I try to explain why I quit, my story does come out to make me seem a bit lazy. There’s really no way around it. I spent one full day doing incredible hard work. I was sweaty, exhausted, and it wasn’t the most pleasant work you could ever do in a lifetime. When I sum it all up with the fact that I said “adios”, I don’t exactly leave the tale in the prettiest light. Hence the confused and often condescending looks.
However, amazingly enough, this goody-two-shoes/people-pleaser is undeterred by the general disappointed looks that follow the telling of my story. The “what if’s”, explanations, and shocked expressions don’t make me regret my decision. I am absolutely over the moon knowing that I quit. I did a full on happy-dance. Because, while the job was incredibly demanding, it wasn’t the physical labor that convinced me to quit.
The entire day I was working I had this instinctive gut feeling that I was not supposed to be there.
I tried to shake it.
I called for some parental advise during my break.
I had a little pow-wow session with myself on why I was so hesitant to take the job.
I did the math of how much money I would make in a summer to try and motivate me.
I even told myself to suck it up and stop being a baby.
But nothing worked.
At the end of the day, I was still miserable with this gut feeling that I was not supposed to take the job. All I could think about was the fact that my last summer before college was going to be spent living 45 minutes away from my home being absolutely miserable. I had really wanted to work at this place, the money to create a bit more financial security, and to get some more real world experience before heading off into the big bad world.
But in reality, I wanted to spend my last few months with my family and friends more.
I wanted the family game nights more than the work
I wanted Starbucks dates with my best friend more than “financial security” (But let’s be honest: with a minimum wage job, that wasn’t going to happen anyway).
I wanted the comfort of having my life for 3 more months more than the preview of the real world.
So at the end of the day, when that gut feeling hadn’t been shaken, I listened to it. Even though I was terrified of letting this stranger down, felt a bit like a loser and a quitter, and even though I had tears in my eyes, I took what little courage I had and I explained to a very understanding man that I couldn’t take the job. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t right
If there’s anything to be learned from this complicated and unpleasant yet okay-outcome of a situation, I believe that it’s this:
- Trust your gut. That thing knows what’s up
Even when I didn’t completely understand why things just felt wrong, instinctively I knew deep down that I wanted to spend these last few months at home with the people I love (even if my pride wasn’t ready to admit it).
2. Sometimes you need to act in the interest of self-preservation.
Don’t go crazy and selfish, but sometimes it is necessary to think about your needs as a human being. If I had listened to the terrified voice inside me who didn’t want to slightly inconvenience anyone, I never would have walked into that office. I never would have said no. I never would get that time with my family I needed and I wouldn’t have eventually gotten the opportunity of work much closer to home. It’s okay to stand up for yourself if it’s important.
So, yeah, I’ll say it loud an proud:
I am a quitter.
I quit trying to please people at the expense of my happiness.
I quit putting money above all else.
I quit trying to ignore the fact that I will miss my parents when I go off to college.
I quit being afraid to stand up for what I want.
I am a quitter,
but I’m okay with that.
There you go. Now you know what I know.
Do with it what you will.