When you make a life change many people don’t know what to say. After dropping off my little son at school yesterday a fellow parent started a conversation with me.
“So are you enjoying all of your free time?” – Parent
“Um. I’m not sure I know what you mean?” – Me
“Well, now that you’re not working you have a lot more time to yourself, right?” – Parent
“Yes, for now. I start school next week so I won’t have as much time then.” – Me
“Yeah, but it’s not the same as working now is it?” – Parent
“No, I guess not.” – Me
Instead of carrying on with the conversation I told the fellow parent I needed to go. I wished her a good day and left her standing the school parking lot.
When I reached my car I took a deep breath. I wondered if I would always feel the need to defend my choice to leave my job. I didn’t explain myself to the fellow parent, but I sure felt like it. The urge to explain every last detail is overwhelming sometimes. I made the mistake a few weeks ago explaining what I was doing with my life, to someone I didn’t know and have regretted it ever since. I ended up spilling out my life story in less than and hour to someone I hardly knew. After that experience I vowed to stay quiet.
Sometimes we don’t realize how unhappy we are in a situation until we leave. This was definitely the case with me. I didn’t hate the job or the work environment I was at, but I realize now it wasn’t the right fit. I kept trying to make it fit though. I thought something was wrong with me because everyone else seemed happy and I wasn’t. I tried to change who I was so I could fit the job better, but in the end it made me more unhappy. I realize now if something doesn’t fit it’s better to find something that does.
I’ve come to learn a few things about myself over the course of the last six weeks. Things I needed to learn and accept, so I won’t make the same mistakes in the future.
Family is my top priority.
The family I was born into, the family I created and the family I married into are the most important people in my life. The more time I spend with my family and happier I become. I realized my choice for a career must allow me as much time as possible with them.
I’m not a type A personality.
I’ve said this many times before, but it’s really true. Although I can do many things at the same time (school, volunteer, work, and family), I don’t like it. I’m more comfortable to reduce the load and do a few things successfully, then try to be Wonder Woman feeling stressed out.
When you sell yourself short everyone loses.
I under bid my salary at my last job. I thought I was doing the job a favor, but in the end I felt resentment for not being paid what I deserved. I should have never sold my value for such a low price. If the work you do matters, then ask for the salary it deserves.
You can be replaced.
The work environment adjusts quicker to change, than the person who leaves it. I thought leaving would have more of an impact, but humans adjust by filling in the gap. The work goes on just as life does. I’m reminded that I’m replaceable…we all are.
I’m discouraged at the prospect of starting over…yet again. However, by reflecting back I’ve taken the first step.
My plan is ready. I’m ready to move on.