Friday was April Fool’s day. It was also my last day of work. I haven’t figured out if there is some sort of karmic irony in that yet… I worked at the company for almost 21 years, which seems impossible because I’m always no older than 35 in my head, which means I started this job at the age of 14. I didn’t have to leave – I didn’t get fired or laid off. I’m still a long way from ‘real’ retirement. I resigned because I realized it wasn’t a good fit any longer.
It seems like a simple decision, right? Well it took me about 10 years to figure it out. I mean, I was paid well and enjoyed a lot of amenities – there was a Starbucks downstairs, for goodness’ sake! Surveys say this is a top TOP company to work for. It’s crazy to think of leaving that, right? Just work a few extra hours to come up with something innovative to really ‘wow’ management (yes, I was told to WOW people. Wow.) Create and deliver better presentations (“too many awkward pauses, and this didn’t flow well…”)
It finally occurred to me that it wasn’t that I was a bad fit for the company, the company wasn’t a good fit for ME. And I got tired of trying to please people, doing something I was only moderately interested in (at times hated), feeling like a failure because of my inability to live up to their expectations. Well, they were no longer living up to MY expectations.
When I told people I was leaving, I was surprised at the reactions. They were overwhelmingly positive! Oh I know there was some bitterness behind the smiles of some ex-coworkers, but even they seemed genuinely supportive. Oddly enough, the hardest person to tell about my plan to resign was my financial adviser, because 3 months ago we were planning out our early retirement (surprise!) My amazing, wonderful, incredible husband (is he reading this?) finally got tired of hearing me say each day, “I’m going to quit today”, and then me crying on the way home after not quitting that day. He agreed to make the sacrifices that come with only half of a family income, and laughs nervously when people ask if I’m retiring permanently (“NO!”) . My 8 year old immediately suggested possible next careers – Firefighter, Doctor, and Pet store owner. All of which I’m highly qualified for.
The thing about this support is that people also say things like, “I know you’re going to find something you love!” and, “I’m so jealous that you get to do something different with your life!” and, “you inspire me!” These make me feel like I did the right thing by leaving – something that so many aren’t able to do. But there is now this burden to do something really amazing – a beacon of hope in the dreary sea of corporate life.
So. Here we are. Today’s awesomeness agenda (hold onto your seat):
- Buy groceries.
- Wash dishes.
- Chip away at that laundry pile in our bedroom.
Amazed yet? Just wait until I clean the bathrooms!