The Truth

Just before 4:30 on Friday, I left my afternoon meeting and got into my car. I drove a few blocks and then pulled over to an empty parking spot on the side of the road, pulled out my BlackBerry, and wrote my resignation.

And hit send.

As of November 19, I will no longer be employed at the organization I have worked at for almost six years. I will no longer be employed at all, in fact.

The truth is this causes me a slightly-larger-than-small amount of anxiety.

The truth is it’s more freeing than scary.

When we started talking about making this move I presumed I’d get a job and then move. I applied for some, interviewed, and then sat there waiting for the phone to ring. And one afternoon I realized I was waiting for the phone to ring but hoping it didn’t.

That realization was freeing too.

By all normal logic, I should have a job. My husband is a stay-at-home dad and I have a preschooler who’s growing so fast I’m starting to hope capris become a hot style for three-year-old boys.

We intend to buy a house in Calgary, but with the equity in our current house we’ll be able to do that. We sold that house on Friday – the papers have been signed, the for-sale sign has been flipped, and less than a month from now we’re going to hit the road.

I’ve busted out of the golden handcuffs before and it’s not easy. (One of these days I’ll have to tell you the story about how spending a weekend at an alternative treatment centre with my mom when she had cancer ultimately led me to leave a totally secure job and take a pay cut to do the kind of work I wanted to do.) It hasn’t been easy this time around either. But I have never once doubted it’s the right thing to do, and after all that’s happened over the last few months I’m not prepared to take the wrong job just so I have a job. Sometimes I think you have to just GO. The right job will find me.

“Aren’t you scared?” a good friend of mine asked a few weeks ago. “Shitless,” I answered truthfully. But I’d rather be full of fear for a short time than full of regret forever. (And then last week, for similar reasons, that friend quit his job too. The truth is out there, people. It’s spreading, and it’s AWESOME.)

The truth is we spend too much time being scared. We think “scary” equals “wrong” so we stay scared and we do nothing. We stay the course.

The truth is I think I’d die if I stayed the course. Physically, I already came as close as I care to. I’m not letting what I “should” do steal my soul.

truth or consequences road sign

Image credit: kxlly on Flickr

There’s a whole other layer to what’s happening in my work environment right now and, while I decided to move on before that begun, it’s been, frankly, awful. There are things I want to pour on this page, but I can’t. That’s one truth I can’t tell. So I don’t have this outlet and my emotion and frustration and grief over a difficult situation have overflowed elsewhere.

Truth: It’s affecting people I care about, and that’s hard.

Truth: It’s damaged a relationship, possibly irreparably, and I regret that while at the same time feel like I can’t do anything about it.

Truth: It feels like I’m leaving part of me behind in this process. Not just the part I have intentionally ditched, but a good part. A stable part. A rational part.

It’s the truth. But it has consequences.

 

 


 

Comments

  1. I can only imagine how scary (and freeing) this decision and action was for you. If anyone can start over, it is you. You are strong on the inside and out, and I cannot wait to see where the newfound freedom takes you!

  2. It’s perfect. Because it is the truth. And there are consequences. To everything we do.

  3. I love the honesty in this post. Though I know you can’t share the specifics, I like that you didn’t gloss over the fear and consequences that are rippling out from this decision. I am so proud of you for following your heart with this move; your future is amazingly bright, and the “wrong” job would just have been the wrong path for you right now.

  4. Doing the right thing is not always the safest. I applaud you for having the courage to do the right thing for you and for your family. I know you’ll find what you need and want when the time comes.

  5. Love this, and I have no doubts at all that this will all work out for the best for you guys.

    And one day in the distant future you will be thankful that you were ballsy enough to chase your dream.

  6. I’m so pleased you have finally taken this final step…it will be good for you to see what the next chapter is for you and your family. Blessings.

  7. This is inspiring. I’m not sure to what path yet but I’m looking forward to finding it and watching you find yours.

  8. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy or safe. I know it will work out for you and your family. Keep chasing your dreams. You absolutely deserve it!

  9. Another heartfelt piece that I can definitely relate to. We’ll have to swap leaving it all behind stories sometime. A level of fear is okay. It’s sometimes what motivates us to take the next steps. But it’s great that you have the confidence – likely from experience (having done this before tells you that you can handle this) – to know that there is something there for you, when you are ready for it.

  10. You will find the way on your new path. These moments are scary but they make up a part of who you are and your life. It will be okay.

  11. Good luck!! I’ve quit and left things behind before, and I know the anxiety and yet the freeing that comes along with it. I wish you the best, and I love what you said, “Sometimes I think you have to just GO.” These are exciting times for you!

    Jen :)

  12. Your strength and courage will get you through it. I am in awe of you and hope that when faced with choices I can be as brave.

    I hope you can find an outlet for the unspeakable truths, or those that would hurt others…

    Best of luck with your new adventure!

  13. More power to you, my love. Hugs from PDX.

  14. I totally agree with you. Taking a job just to have a job can definitely cause a lot of regret and stress. I had the perfect job. Well, perfect for the first 6 years. As the work environment changed, though I wanted to leave, my family had grown and my husband was also the stay-at-home-dad at the time. I spent the last two years holding on to a job I didn’t want and being miserable while secure. Thank goodness “something” (insert God, faith,destiny,mother nature, whatever here) stepped in and I lost my job. it was the biggest relief ever! Now I’m moving forward to grow something of my own. It’s scary, but I know it’s the right path.
    Good look to your dear! I’m so glad I came across your blog and will be keeping up with your journey.

  15. I totally agree with you. Taking a job just to have a job can definitely cause a lot of regret and stress. I had the perfect job. Well, perfect for the first 6 years. As the work environment changed, though I wanted to leave, my family had grown and my husband was also the stay-at-home-dad at the time. I spent the last two years holding on to a job I didn’t want and being miserable while secure. Thank goodness “something” (insert God, faith,destiny,mother nature, whatever here) stepped in and I lost my job. it was the biggest relief ever! Now I’m moving forward to grow something of my own. It’s scary, but I know it’s the right path.
    Good look to your dear! I’m so glad I came across your blog and will be keeping up with your journey…

  16. I’m wishing you all the best on this journey. Xoxo

  17. Brave…so very brave. Congrats to you for having the cahones, self-respect, and confidence to do what you feel is right. Most of us glide through life taking the easiest route possible, but that road does not usually bring fulfillment. Good luck to you on your journey.

  18. This? Was some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen from you in a while (which of course means it’s some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen, period). The rawness of this, the Truth with a capital T, makes me feel afraid for you. Of course you’re scared. Of course you’re grieving. Of course it’s the right thing to do. I never stop being amazed by you.

  19. proud of you for making that decision no matter how scary it was. You will be fine. Just keep that head held high

  20. Liberation! Congratulations!

    I once left a position with golden handcuffs. The colleagues that I left behind were stunned that I couldn’t keep my eye on the prize and ignore everything else. But I knew that the prize waiting for me was my happiness and no amount of wealth written on a piece of paper could hold me back.

    Once I had made the leap, I remember feeling that it wasn’t scary at all. In fact, it was much less of a leap and more of a single bold step.

    By the way, for the record, soon after I had left the company, the stock market tanked and the golden handcuffs turned out to be plastic after all!

  21. oh my… if only I could… if only.
    i keep hoping things will change and it will get better.
    i keep hoping that something else will open up and I can run away to another place from 9-5 everyday.
    i’m so proud of you… and a wee bit jealous.

  22. Chibi Jeebs says:

    Oh, how this resonates with me (as you well know)! I’m so excited for you guys!

  23. Good for you for not living a life of “shoulds.” I feel like that’s a box that people have been trying to build around me and I know realize it’s about their insecurities and that I don’t have to live that way. And I admire you for going out there and doing what you need to do for YOU. I know you’ll succeed.

  24. Wow! This is so inspiring. I don’t even know you, and I’m proud of you. Best of luck!

  25. I’m new to your blog (stopping over from JBE), but I’m having a moment of serendipity right now. Seeing your words and your truth written down absolutely speaks to me. I’m going through a similar situation, and it’s encouraging to know others feel what you feel. That as scary as it might feel, it’s for the best. Good luck to you in your new life chapter!

  26. Good for you for knowing what you need and what you want.

    I know what my heart wants. It doesn’t want a job, that’s for sure. But I have to keep working because we would go bankrupt if I didn’t.

    Oh, how I wish I could take some time off from working. Sometimes I think my brain will get sicker and sicker as I continue to push on.

    I wish you luck in whatever you decided to do and wherever you decide to go. It sounds scary but in a very exciting way! It’s your new adventure!

  27. “But I’d rather be full of fear for a short time than full of regret forever’

    SO brave and wise. You’re inspiring. Thank you.

  28. “But I’d rather be full of fear for a short time than full of regret forever’

    SO brave and wise. You’re inspiring. Thank you.

  29. Sometimes taking a chance IS the best thing you can do. I’m guessing this will all work out fabulously. And Kudos to you!! xo

  30. You are meant for great things Robin and if you stayed at that job the wonderful things wouldn’t be able to reach you.
    Now your windows are open and you can receive the gifts your about to be given.
    In abundance.
    You are here to help people who need it.
    Who don’t have a voice.
    You are here for a purpose.
    And now it’s your time to begin!

  31. Congratulations! I think that everything will work out for you & your family.

    I think that you’re such a brave person and I wish that I had half the courage that you have. Fear is what is keeping me from quitting my job and moving on to something bigger, better, and that makes me happy.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  32. Hats off to you for taking the plunge! Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I left a secure government job this summer to work for a blogging company from home. My pay went down, the private insurance is a bitch and a half. But? I get to drop off and pick up my kids, go on school field trips and spend time with my man. Quality over quantity, I say!

  33. I know sending that e-mail was absolutely terrifying, but also so gratifying! Wishing you all the luck in the world, Robin in whatever it is you do next. :)

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