The Experienced Quitter


Today I woke up unemployed. I kept my eyes closed a little longer, eager to feel the butterflies set in, but they didn’t. I opened them to find the sun filtering through the cracks in my blinds as I stretched my waking muscles. Today is the first day I have woken up unemployed in seven years. I lay in my bed for a while waiting for the panic to set in. What have I done?

After a horrendous, eight-day stint in a new job, I made the decision that I just couldn’t do it. It was not an easy decision: I had just quit two jobs to take on this new one, I recently bought a new car I was still paying off and, most importantly, what sort of pathetic loser quits a job after just eight days?

My mother tried to reassure me, “Yes, it is pathetic,” She said (She’s not a sugar-coater), “But it’s also brave; when you know, you know” (Ten points to Gryffindor!). Up until two weeks ago, I had never quit a job before. Now I have quit three. I’m quite the experienced quitter, you could say - A new skill for the resume.

I think I’m in a state of shock. I should be freaking out right now. I am not a creature of change or spontaneity; I am a planner. I own a diary (which I take everywhere), a yearly wall planner and a monthly desk planner, and I take them very seriously. I constantly check my finances (I have six weeks to get a job before I can’t afford my car anymore). I have a reserve fund that is not to be touched unless there is a dire emergency — for example, the end of the world.

I don’t just walk around quitting jobs here and there. My mantra is not “everything will work out in the end”. Everything will only work out if it is well-funded, -informed and -planned. You may have surmised by now that I am not a spontaneous person. You would be correct.

Whilst I currently have no major financial commitments (except the car), it is just not normal for me to be so…free. That’s what this tastes like right now: freedom with a hint of both boredom and excitement.

Maybe I can finally finish writing that novel I’ve been working on or reading those books I bought a year ago. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to, oh I don’t know, network and intern in a field I actually want to end up in. Possibly, somewhere deep down, the reason I’m not freaking out as much as I expected is that I knew that this was the right decision. In not working, I can actually get a lot of work done.

Maybe I needed this. Maybe, I’m going to close my eyes for a little longer and enjoy this.