The Pleasure of Quitting my Job at 27
When your passion turns into your purpose and you decide to follow both, you often find yourself asking:
“Why does this specific thing make me feel fulfilled?”
“Why?” has been a huge start to most of my recent thoughts. I think back to when I was around 9 years old, my oldest sister was 15 and experiencing her versions of love and heartbreak at the time. She would spend hours writing poetry in her notebook. Poetry that she would sometimes willingly let me read or that I would wait until she went out with her friends to read. I didn’t understand most of what I was reading but I loved the way the words flowed and rhymed and how every time I read them I heard my sister’s voice delicately reciting each syllable in her manner of speaking. Then there was my middle sister, who for a while carried around a binder with her own poetry also about love. She would let me read her poetry and when I did, I heard it in her voice this time: authoritative and defiant.
I COULD NOT WAIT TO FIND MY VOICE.
I began writing much later than they did. By the time I started, we had already moved to the U.S. One of the first things I remember writing was a letter to a boy who “broke my heart” (You are much pickier with who you give the flattery of saying has “broken your heart” when you experience real heartbreak). I wrote a letter that never made it anywhere because I later tore it into tiny pieces. I really loved the feeling of pouring my feelings onto a piece of paper, feeling better and not having to share the emotions unless I wanted to.
This became habit for me. I would write things, fold the paper and keep them in a shoe box. I learned that from my sisters too. I can’t even attempt to guess the amount of letters that I wrote, but I know that the impact those had in some of my healing processes were immense. After years of writing some letters that I didn’t send and some that I did, I began writing poetry and personal essays. Most of these were only read by myself and a few select people that are close to me.
There’s something about watching the expressions of someone reading something that I wrote that I really enjoy, whether they look pleased or not I know that I am causing some sort of emotion within them. With time I became more comfortable letting more people experience my writing and because of the power of social media in just a few clicks I can now share what I have to say with just about anyone. This is my passion.
My passion turned into my purpose after a negative experience the last time I attempted to find a different purpose. I made peace with the fact that there is no amount of money that will keep me anywhere that isn’t fulfilling what I love to do.
I found myself standing on the 1 train heading uptown after I quit my job. I had just cried for about two hours but at this exact moment I found myself seeing the humor in the situation. It was the first day I decided to take my dog to work with me, not knowing I’d be heading back a couple of hours later while holding a lot more bags than I had started the day with. I leaned against the sticky train doors, purse hanging off my right shoulder, a bag that carried my most precious desk belongings hanging from my left forearm, my dog in his carrier being held by both my hands close to my chest and wearing what earlier that morning I had described as “a badass 70s inspired outfit.”
I didn’t feel the way someone who had just quit their job should’ve felt. I was more interested in giggling at the fact of how ridiculous I looked while I tried to keep my balance as the train swayed me from side to side. It was the perfect representation of my life at the moment: trying to keep my balance while everything around me shook. I didn’t fall on the train. I didn’t fall in real life. Before I knew, the train doors opened and I stepped outside. I put all of my bags down, re-adjusted, picked them back up and continued on my way home.
At 27 years old, I found myself unemployed again. I felt scared and a bit anxious at first but what I felt the most was hopeful. I never thought that at this age I would make such a decision. I was working the job that I thought would lead me to the rest of my life but I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t because it wasn’t aligned with my passion; I discovered my true passion a long time ago; anything I have done in between then and now has just been avoidance.
I’m done running.
This doesn’t mean that I am not open to trying new things or that I will give up working all together, it just means that I am focusing as much energy as I can pursuing what makes me feel fulfilled and less time trying to force things that don’t.
It’s a scary situation to put myself in because I won’t know the outcome. What I do know is that I would regret not trying and so here I am, giving it my all and encouraging you to do the same always.
Until the Next Late Night,