I Quit My Job Today
I quit my job this week. The idea is still sinking in, it’s not like I packed up the whole office and left right away on that nausea-filled Monday. It’s not like I ceased to be paid that day and now I’m forced to eat just carb-packed ramen noodles to survive. No, but I quit. I turned in a notice and walked away knowing that sometime in the very near future I’ll be training a new breed of ambitious over-achiever to do the things I’ve loved for so long, the things that this OCD poster girl knows so well…
Maybe I should introduce myself. If you continue to read, and I hope you will, you’ll find Tara Leigh is not your standard politics obsessed, knowledge hungry, template feminist. Far from conventional and never viewed as traditional, I’ve spent my 27 years going against the grain, seeming like a 55 year old woman trapped in a 12 year-olds body. Enter comedian Tara, the sarcasm-laced version of myself that believes humor is the ultimate gateway out of anything potentially serious or emotion-provoking. She enters and suddenly people realize, ok, this girl might JUST have a fun side after all.
I’ve believed women could rule the world since I was, oh I don’t know, about 3, and I did in fact rule the world. Well, my little piece of it anyway filled with uncles, an older brother, and a mom who thought the world revolved around me. Fast-forward two years later after God granted me a minion in the form of a younger brother and I really understood the feminine power in my hands. I could get these boys to stand tall, sit down, shut up, and even play dress up on a good day. It didn’t help that on into adolescence my mother never taught me any different, women could rule the world, and I could be one of the women that does.
I was going straight to DC to take over Capitol Hill, whip the majority into shape (no pun intended…ok, maybe there was), and set the US straight again, one poor, misguided man at a time. That is until some silly little boy looking convincingly patriotic in his Army uniform diverted my attention. At 19, I said I do to I don’t know what, or I didn’t know then anyway. The Army made sure I was quickly informed after they took him away for a year when we were just nestling into a promising honeymoon phase filled with home-cooked dinners, college papers, and frequent trips to the local Blockbuster.
When he left, Rosie the Riveter and I were reacquainted and our relationship changed, or as the adult Tara would say, it matured. I had a new focus, a new passion, and a new hope for the women like me that have dreams, goals, silly little flutters in our heart about things that matter despite the lifestyle we chose with a man we can only admire.
I followed this military journey as an any “good” spouse would, but I chose to work and to somehow be me while I knew I had to be so much a part of him. At 21, I landed my “dream” job working for a growing little southern city in Enterprise, Alabama. I thought, man, I’ve arrived. I walked around with pride that only a fresh college graduate can exude when they realize they’re employed and have a retirement plan. There, I felt awesome, accomplished, living on top of the Boll Weevil Monument….Oh to be THAT young again….
But this week, I realized I am NOT that young again. In fact, I never will be. I also realized that somewhere along the way, I packed up all those hopes and dreams and silly flutters and threw them in a closet because in the real world, dreams were for the unemployed and they don’t come with a retirement plan. But 3 years ago, when a little girl and I met after 9 long, hyperemesis-filled months, I started to one by one, pull those pieces out and remember that I have to keep dreaming.
And what if Miss Adelynn (or LG, little girl, as she is affectionately called) looked up at me one day and asked me about her dreams? Would I tell her how I got office rot and spent my career chasing retirement, or a measly paycheck, or worked too long and too hard and got nothing in return?
So this OCD mother, professional, degree hungry, military spouse quit. This planner walked into her boss’s office without a plan and walked out without, well, a plan.
The only plan I have is this-figure out a plan. Make a plan, be your plan. So I hope you’re curious, because so am I. I can’t guarantee that at the end of this journey I will have a plan, but I can guarantee that Comedian Tara will visit regularly promising laughs when all I, or maybe you, want to do is cry.
Image from: http://www.tawheedkader.com/2010/09/how-i-made-a-principled-decision-to-quit-my-six-figure-day-job/