Moving towards Happiness

“It’s better to ask forgiveness than to live a lifetime on your knees.” Emiliano Zapata

I quit my job last Thursday. Very few people knew and of those that did, from them I got one of two reactions: 1 - Why would you do that?!? Or 2-What happened? I also got one question of "Aren't you scared?"

I'll try to answer those in order and then you can roll it all together in your mind to come up with the whole picture. The' why' is the most straight forward: mandatory seven day weeks, 10-hr days plus, not to mention working Thanksgiving, the following Friday, and possibly Christmas. In addition there's been a freeze put on wages and promotions-no one is getting squat until the economy looks up, whenever that may be, not even cost of living increases. I felt I had a promotion coming; I'd been doing the workload of the next ranking designer for some time. Had there not been a freeze, I think I could've asked and gotten it. Oh yeah, and I was a salaried employee (read 70 hrs for the same money as 40) and they wouldn't convert me to hourly like they did for some of the others. I was stuck. And yeah, apparently they can demand all that without compensation of any kind.

As to 'what happened?' Nothing really, not one big thing anywyay. It was more of a slow deterioration of everything else in my life. I was a zombie when I got home, my relationship with Honey was suffering as was our sex life, and all I could think about, talk about, and dream about was work. Honey and I made a pact when I started this gig: if it starts coming between us, quit. That goes for any gig, dream job and career-makers included. When I say 'family comes first' I mean it. As part of that, Thanksgiving was a big issue. Since I left home for college in the fall of '99, my folks have ruined the holidays with irritating consistency. Last year for the first time, we took possession of a holiday (Turkey Day), made our own traditions, chose our own recipes, and cooked everything ourselves. I managed to get over a huge hurdle, without therapy, and had no intentions of giving it up, especially not for 'we have to open this hotel no matter what'.

And the last part...about being scared - yes and no. Originally, I was almost phobicly scared. OMG, what about the bills, credit cards...this is insane in our current economy, what if I can't get another job? Maybe I should just suck it up...and then the fog lifted with a simple question, posed of course by my black-and-white thinking Honey: what's the worst that could happen? Well, I said, in 6 months or so they'll come to pick up the car and boat, the credit cards will collect interest until they're turned over to a collection agency, where they'll sit until they find me or I acknowledge them, my credit score will fall, I'll collect unemployment until I find another job...and his answer - so what. So we ride the bus - the bus system is very good now - or ride a bike. It'll shrink our carbon footprint and be just like college (the first time) before we owned a car and walked everywhere. So we pay cash for everything; people forget the value of simple cash. It will be fine. Credit scores can always recover; debts will wait until you can pay them. It will be just fine. Ultimately, happiness won out. I felt myself becoming someone I'm not, someone who never smiled and grumbled constantly, who felt trapped and was beginning to hate. It wasn't worth it. It isn't worth it, in any circumstance. Two days before I quit, I decided I would. The next two days I floated through work, smiling and joking. People noticed. The pressure lifted, skies looked bluer, and the sun was warm on my face. It had been those things anyway, but I noticed again. More than I needed to be a hot-shot designer with a 5-star hotel on my resume, I needed to remember who I am and what's true to my heart. The hippie lives!

So if you see me hoofing it down the street, laughing and grinning like an idiot, don't feel sorry for me. Remember I'm free of stress and possibly of car and insurance payments. Feel sorry for you...that fear has stopped you from so many things. Consider two questions: what's the worst that could happen? And what could I achieve if I was not afraid? Think about it.

In the spirit of moving towards happiness like I had as a child, I went through an old family photo CD...don't hate, I know I'm adorable - even when my Mom attacked me with curlers!

1 comment:

TLNeasley said...

OMG,that is you! You can see it in the eyes!

This sounds kind of like my New Beginnings post that I did not long ago. I must say I was in utter admiration when you told me about this. I'm glad for you. And I don't think you have any reason to fear a damn thing. You've got a good man next to you.

Terrell