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and all of a sudden, life was a blank canvas.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I quit my job today.

Okay, so technically I gave notice of my resignation for later this spring. It's not like I stormed into the office, gave a good rant and stormed right out. But in resigning, I did take a bold, unexpected step toward a whole new life ... and honestly? It was just downright terrifying. 

I'm a planner. I like things organized; life events on a schedule with a very clear itinerary. I like to know the when, where and how of every major decision far in advance so I can make choices accordingly. I like to stick to the plan. And this, this was NOT part of the 2013 plan. The plan was to work until I got pregnant, whenever that may be, and then go off on maternity leave and transition slowly into life as a stay-at-home-mommy.

Well, I'm not pregnant and there's no maternity leave in my near future. I'm not transitioning to a new position or a new work environment. I'm not leaving because my employer was mean (he wasn't) or because of unethical business practices (there weren't any) or because the salary sucked (it didn't). I'm not leaving because we're moving away to a new city. 

I'm leaving because of a stupid little sign I saw in Chapters that said -

What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

Obviously, there's MUCH more to this story than just that one sign but I think the sign sums it up quite nicely. Maybe I'll share more on my reasons for leaving another time, but for now I want to reflect on some of the reasons that leaving was so hard despite my husband's encouragement and my knowing that it was the right step.

As someone who's been working full-time hours for the past ten years, an "independent woman" with her own income and the ability to take care of herself, the decision to quit and become financially dependent on my husband was scary. There are ladies out there who will argue that it's downright irresponsible and I get that. I wrestled with that too. For me, it became a matter of trust. Do I truly trust my husband? Do I trust that he has my best interests at heart? Do I truly trust God? Do I trust that the Lord will provide for us and bless us if we are obedient to Him and His plan? It took time and a lot of prayers, but eventually the answer to all those questions was a resounding "yes!". 

Then there was also the issue of loyalty to work through. My boss has been incredible to me and I've been so fortunate to have had this job - a job that, arguably, I didn't deserve and certainly wasn't qualified for. There was a part of me that felt that leaving was a form of betrayal. Again, it took time and prayer, but eventually I reached a place where I understood that you don't always have to do what other people want/expect of you to honor the blessings they've poured into your life. 

And last, but certainly not least, there was that fear of being judged. "What are people going to think of me when they hear that I've quit a perfectly good job for no apparent reason? Am I going to be labelled a lazy housewife who got married and within months started mooching off her husband? Are people going to lose respect for me? There are certain people who are just gonna have a field day with this ... are the rest of my friends going to be supportive?"

It was that last issue that held me back the longest. I am, admittedly, way too wrapped up in what other people think of me and my life. I have often made decisions based not on my own desires and aspirations but on the reactions I expected to receive from other people. I wouldn't say that I'm a "people pleaser" but I am definitely a "praise-and-compliment-seeker". I have a tendency to thrive from the approval and admiration of others and therefore make decisions I feel will garner the most public support.  At twenty-six, I've finally come to the conclusion that this is no way to live. 

So this afternoon I informed my boss that I will be leaving. It was a difficult, awkward conversation. But when it was over, I felt soooooooooooooo good. I am so excited to see what new projects and adventures are in store for me later this year - I have a few in mind but, really, I just want to give God space to work! And can I just say how freakin' proud I am of myself??!! It's so hard to step out in faith and take a risk, to deviate from the plan ... but sometimes, when you allow the plan to get messy, an even better one comes along. 

The biggest mistake you can ever make is being too afraid to make one. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. Good for you for stepping out in faith! I'm excited to see where God takes you.

    I soooooo hear you on worrying about being "dependent" or about what others think. I had to quit my job when I got married because I was moving to Toronto, but I still struggle when people ask me my profession, like it's embarrassing to be a part-time receptionist. It's been a growing experience to realize that God values me for who I am and not my job.


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