Earlier this week I publicly announced something I’ve been so excited to share. I’m quitting my job in May, and going to Costa Rica. I find myself to be an open minded person- someone who is able to think outside of the box, question things rather than accept them at face value, and go through the trouble of seeking my own answers. It’s my inquisitive nature that has lead me to make this major, major change in my life.
How did I arrive at this decision?
I have spent much of my adult life in conflict with myself. I feel like I have an explorer’s spirit who is being stifled by an extremely practical logic (Is that partially my parents influence? Very likely). I have long wanted to pack up a bag or two, and take off to another country with the goal of experiencing the language, the people, and the journey of being on my own in an unfamiliar place. I have a very tight knit family While I’m grateful for their guidance, I think I owe it to myself to get in touch with my adventurous side before marriage and kids come into the picture. Those major milestones are on the horizon, and I wanted to experience more travel and adventure before I settled into the domestic life I have always dreamed of with William. I want no regrets.
I’ve spent a lot of time watching other people do what they felt called to do. I sat around thinking, “I can’t do that. I have a job and bills I have to pay.” But when everyone else is having the experience of the life time, and you are standing by green with envy, something in you snaps and says, “Why NOT me?!”
Work life became something I hadn’t experienced before. It was to the point where I didn’t want to get out of my bed in the morning, and I would be angry and aggressive on Sundays, knowing I had to spend the next 5 days at a place where I wasn’t learning anything or playing well with others. I felt depressed. Here I am, trying to be the best adult I can be, and I just can’t cut it. This couldn’t be all there is to adulthood, right? Graduate school provided some relief, but I also felt that my job left me so stressed at the end of the day, I couldn’t even concentrate on my schoolwork. 16 hours a day in front of a computer left me aching for change. Everything, including my health, began to suffer- anxiety, a HUGE weight gain, and constant tension headaches were some of the the things building up, adding to my unhappiness. I know there are always personality challenges and bad days at work, but this was beyond my realm of experience.
All the while I kept looking at other jobs, study abroad programs, travel programs and other escape routes. I’d plan them to the tee, then never hit the purchase button, of course. I could hear my parents echoing the same thing they had always said, “you can’t quit your job Crystal. You need to work. Sorry.” The assumption that I didn’t want to work was frustrating. Of course I want to work! I just want my work to be fulfilling and challenging. My parents would say, “if you get a federal position, you need to just take it.” Sorry, no. I don’t think so. I didn’t pursue a Master’s degree in Design to have no job growth for the next 40 years.
I reached my breaking point a few months ago when a coworker who I have always had tense interactions with stood over me, in my face, yelling. I called William frustrated and crying and said something I’ve blurted many times before. “I’m Done.” This time, however, I really meant it. A coworker violating my personal space was something I am NOT putting up with. No one should. What I also realized is that while she may have someone “talk to her” about her behavior, she would never really be apprehended.
That day, I made the decision that I was ready to move on. There are certainly people I love dearly where I work. Many of them are like family members I fight with and then we have a great, while other experiences are completely unacceptable in any work place. I just felt that after having worked there on and off since I was 19 years old, it was certainly time for me to move on. It was changing who I am. I’m a happy person, who has a lot to be grateful for in life, and I was no longer reflecting that part of myself. I was becoming too sensitive, too on edge, and too unhappy. When I walked out of there knowing I was ready to leave and put my notice in soon, I felt lighter and happier than I had in years. I was finally free of it. Why had I waited so long?
I realized that every time I have ever been unhappy in my life, it it has been because I have pursued SOMEONE ELSE’S version of what my life should be like. I have to stop feeling like I need other people’s approval to be happy and pursue what I want to do. I’m excited to be doing something I’ve dreamed about for so long! What makes this adventure even better is that when I told my family about my plans, they were actually being supportive, and William couldn’t have been a better cheerleader (add that to the reasons why I love him).
While I am heading into some scary and unfamiliar territory, I couldn’t be more excited!!! There are so many amazing things coming up. I can’t wait to share it here on my blog with everyone, and I hope you all stay tuned 🙂