I heard a story today about a man who turned into work and, out of nowhere, walked up to his boss and told him that he was quitting, with immediate effect. It made me smile. My first thought was that he was brave and knew what he wanted and was ‘going for it’. My next thought was that he was having some sort of a break down, couldn’t take it any more, and just gave up, quit.
Either way it was a bold move and one I can relate to. It reminded me of when I was 19 years old. I was engaged and working in a job, that was really a dead end job, good money but little prospects or even challenging. I was also living in a country that I was not born in and missed my ‘home’. It was a sunny day and I was in the canteen and said to my work colleague how I missed my hometown. (I had left it 5 years previous to move to Ireland with my parents). ‘I’m sick of hearing you saying that, why don’t you just go back’ she said to me abruptly, but in a friendly, inquisitive way. She was probably the age I am now – a 50 something. I starred at her for a moment, my life flashed in front of me, and I said ‘You are right, why don’t I?’ I smiled and realised, apart from my family, there was nothing keeping me here. I had just turned 19, I had my whole life ahead of me. ‘I’m going to hand my notice in’ I laughed and quickly exited the canteen to the managers office and duly handed in 2 weeks notice. It felt magical, wonderful, exhilarating.
I told my mum that I would leave in a month’s time, so that I could finish my notice and and 2 weeks at home with her and the family before I sailed to my new life – the unknown.
The thing is, yes it was scary as well as exciting but the alternative of staying, was even scarier. I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t tell anyone. I felt too ashamed. I felt weak. It did not suit me to be weak, I didn’t like how it made me feel. To stop feeling that way, I had to do something. I had to make the change. Staring into the unknown, heading over to no job, no home no family was better than staying where all those things were.
This was the place, this unknown future, of where I would grow, of where I would learn, where I would fall and where I would climb back up again, to where I knew it ‘felt’ right.
I had never really known what I wanted to’be’ but I knew what I did not want to ‘be’ and in that knowing, it made me strong, it made me cope, it made me resilient and made me keep moving on and moving up out of where I did not want to be.
It wasn’t all easy and it certainly wasn’t all plain sailing, but it was real, it was honest and it was my driving force and it was my peace of mind. Quitting can be a great thing, in that you just quit one life to get the life you really want, need or deserve.
Since that time, at age 19, I have quit many situations, because it was the right thing to do, even though they were difficult.
I say fair play to that man, and I wish him the best in all that he does and I hope he finds the new life that he is seeking. In his quitting there will be a new beginning.