I have a confession. I started writing this post before I had actually handed in my resignation. I was really nervous and unsure of my decision. I had been waiting for what felt like an eternity to get my British Citizenship and then suddenly it was here and my plans could become a reality. Very quickly. My travel companion had left on the previous Monday for Belfast with plans to get us an apartment for the following month. Suddenly I was alone in Toronto confused, stressed and somewhat shell shocked. I was facing a huge decision. Was I actually going to quit my job? With nothing concrete lined up? It all felt so very, very unreal. My response was to face my apprehensions one at a time and come to terms with them. I wanted this to be a decision I made myself, for myself so I could go without (too much) regret.
The things is, when I think about my all the reasons not to go, they aren’t very good reasons. They aren’t enough to make me happy or fulfilled. My real reason was fear of the unknown and I don’t want to live my life in fear.
1. I will deeply miss having my own bathroom. – That is ridiculous! I know it. But I complained about sharing a bathroom the entire time I lived with my current roommate in a 1 bathroom apartment and now that we are in a 2 bath condo, I appreciate it pretty much every day. I don’t even really know why. It is just so luxurious and I love it. But the reality is that the luxury of a private, en suite bathroom does not outweigh the restlessness caused by a haunted city.
2. Quitting a well-paid, full-time, permanent job with benefits during a recession is madness. – This is true. Going through with this decision seems crazy and in all honesty it may end up being a mistake, but I continue to ask myself what benefit is there in having a job you hate? I don’t mean sort of dislike, or don’t feel very challenged at, or don’t feel super inspired by, I mean hate. Hate so much it takes you 2 hours to get up and get ready in the morning. Hate like you have stomach pains and headaches the whole time you are there but you miraculously recover when you leave. Hate like some days you have to leave early so you can cry, yell, or binge drink in private. Hate that sometimes you physically want to scream in people’s faces. That kind of unhappiness can not outweigh the benefit of having benefits. I will probably be pretty broke, I will probably have to work a menial job and I will probably have to pay for my own prescriptions, but I have to believe that this change is for the best.
3. I will be quitting something before I have finished. – I had such big hopes when I took this job. I thought I could make a huge difference and save the world. I really haven’t accomplished very much and I will be walking away half way through my projects. I am scared that the work I did do will be erased. I am annoyed that I won’t see to completion the things I started. I feel guilty that I am leaving my co-workers in a time when my help is needed. But what I am trying to realize is that this isn’t really my fault. I have tried very hard to do a good job. But I never really felt supported, I never felt valued, I was never given any meaningful acknowledgement of my accomplishments and I don’t honestly know if they respected me. Don’t get me wrong there were moments of hope, of encouragement, of progress, but mostly it felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall and I just can’t spend more years of my life that way.
4. I will desperately miss my friends and family. – There is no denying this or talking myself out of believing it. I will simply miss them. I will regret not seeing them every day, week, month. I will miss the important moments both large and small. I will lose touch with some people. I won’t have a built in social network. I won’t have them to cry with, laugh with, reminisce with, plan with and just be with. But I hope that I will create new relationships that will open me to different perspectives and experiences. I hope I will become more independent, confident and adventurous. I hope I will learn to keep in touch through all the modern communication methods available. I hope I will appreciate the time I do have with them even more. I hope they will know that I will think of them everyday and love them with all my heart.
So what to do? Continue to live my routine, the one where I lie in bed in the morning dreading my day, the one where I am haunted by memories, the one where I have lost touch with what used to make me feel alive? Or do I take a huge risk, throw caution to the wind and step forward into the unknown? This time, I chose to take the risk. I handed in my resignation and announced my departure to all my friends and family. I freely admit that this might be a mistake, but it is one I chose myself, for myself and that’s a decision I can live with.
Today I say yes to life altering change. To mistakes and the unknown. To never forgetting those you love and have loved simply because they aren’t beside you.
Know that you are forever in my thoughts,
Maybe mistakes are what make our fate… without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart… and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.