I Quit.

139 comments

IMG 9750 thumb   I Quit.

Possibly the two most liberating (and scary) words that have ever come out of my mouth.  

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of quitting my old job.

One year ago today, I was not in a good place. I was unhappy, depressed, anxious, and fearful of what the future would hold. Despite these feelings, I knew that I wanted to be happy with my career.

One year ago today was quite possibly one of the lowest moments in my life. After quitting, I walked down the office hallway in shock, literally shaking from what just happened. I sat at my desk in shock. I called Eric on the phone and whispered, ‘You’ll never believe what I finally did’, my hands still shaking.

What was I going to do?

Despite all of this, there was a small, glowing flame inside me that started to light up. It burned a bit brighter the day that I quit my job. Each day thereafter, it burned brighter and brighter. After 7 years in university and a few unfulfilling research jobs, I was finally able to sit down, take a deep breath, and really think about what makes me happy.

All of this time, this was the one crucial thing that I had not done. Yes I had written the exams, the GRE’s, gotten letters of recommendations, and straight A’s, but the one thing I did not do is stop to think about what I wanted.

I always did what I thought was expected of me or what career I thought would pay the most money. Both of which, would never make me a happy person, but kill that glowing flame inside my heart until it is no longer burning at all.

I have grown up a lot in the past year. I have struggled with self-doubt and worries that have almost paralyzed me from moving forward with my dreams. There were several times when I almost called it off because I was scared. There have been a lot of tears over the past year, but there have also been many more smiles and exciting moments than I have had in the past 7 years combined.

The past year has really shown me that I can choose a life that I will be happy with. I can make choices every single day to create happiness in myself. I can work my ass off at something I love and feel extremely rewarded.

And most of all, I never have to settle for something that isn’t a right fit for me.

Sometimes it takes us to experience a career field before we know that it just isn’t right for us. Or, we go to law school when we really secretly have always wanted to open up a cupcake shop. Most of the time, we figure out things as we go. There aren’t really any ‘mistakes’, but experiences and the key is to make them learning experiences.

We make the best choice that we can at the time.

When we lost a family friend, Chris, to cancer just prior to our wedding in 2008, I started to question a lot of things in my life. Chris was the same age as Eric and he grew up with Eric. Losing someone so young made me question my own life, choices, happiness, and goals. I decided that I would do something to change my situation. I realized that my time on the earth was not something to take for granted any longer.

While it took me another 6 months to finally get the courage to leave my job, once I said those two words, it was instantly a new beginning for me.

I don’t want to think about what my life would be like today, had I not had the courage to take a leap of faith.

Today I celebrate stepping outside my comfort zone, challenging myself as a person, and deciding that I deserve to be happy.

IMG 9768 thumb   I Quit. 

Have you ever decided to leave a bad situation or a job/college major because it wasn’t a good fit for you?

~~

For a full recap of how I changed careers, check out my ‘A Year Can Change A Lot’ Series:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9

Angela Signature thumb24   I Quit. 

Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus.

~Susan Longacre

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{ 139 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) January 22, 2010

Congrats on your anniversary and year of growth! I too was in a horrible place with a job not quite 2 years ago so I completely feel you. I would literally sit and cry at my desk almost every morning. I HATED to even wake up each day, It took a huge toll on me and was affecting every aspect of my life. I resolved to quit and try something new. I got very lucky and landed a fabulous job right as I was quitting the other job. Things turn out somehow don’t they!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 22, 2010

What a fabulous anniversary to celebrate! Ange, you have inspired me so much to follow my own dreams, and I am hoping it is only a matter of time before I say those words, too. :)

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 22, 2010

Love that post and Happy Anniversary! I can’t imagine the world without Glo Bars :) I know that quiting your job and stepping out on faith must have been one of the hardest things you have ever done. And what determination you must have to make your business a success. I can’t believe how far you have come in one year! But you make excellent points. If we are not happy, what’s the point? We only have one life to live.. just one.. we might as well make it the best we can. And so what if doing what we love may not bring in as much money as something else? In the grand scheme of things, happiness is more important.

I can actually relate a lot to this. I was in school to get a degree in teaching early childhood up until this past November. I was a senior and was supposed to graduate this May. I went into teaching because it was “expected” of me and something that I always said I wanted to do – I never even questioned it. And then i got into the teaching program and I HATED it. Going to school and getting out there in the elementary schools was torture for me.. that sounds awful I know. I truly love kids, I work with kids every day at an afterschool program, but teaching them? Not so much. But even hating it, I never realized that I could do something else if I wanted to.. it was like I thought I was stuck with no way out. So I ignored this nagging thought that teaching wasn’t right for me and went along with it until the end of last semester, a semester that was some of the worst months of my life. Last summer and the following fall was one of the hardest times of my life and I went through a lot of things that made me realize that life is too short to be unhappy. Why did I want to get a degree in something where I would be miserable with my job for the rest of my life? I wanted to be happy. So I took a leap of faith and quit education despite people telling me I was crazy and that I only had one more semester until i would graduate. But what most everyone did not understand was that one more semester would probably kill me. So despite everything, I quit education and switched to business. My ultimate goal is to have my own business selling wedding cakes, therefore I figured that a business degree would get me a little closer to that (culinary school isn’t an option right now) and I have to say, I have never been happier. It is HARD and challenging and scary but I’m happy. Finally.

Sometimes listening to your heart and going for your dreams is the scariest thing you will ever do but it has the possibilities of making you happier than you ever thought possible.

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Tara January 22, 2010

I was in a very similar boat! I did the teaching thing, not ever `loving it`while I was in school, but finished it anyway because I didn`t really think I had another option. I taught for a couple years, going through the motions but never had the drive I should have had. Then last year I had a class from h*ll which really pushed me over the edge. I feel like I wasted a year of my life, as I was so unhappy, it took a toll on my relationships, friendships, and i was just not that happy bubbly person I knew was inside of me somewhere. I resigned my contract at the end of the year and I am just starting a post grad degree in Human Resources (something friends of mine were in and I always thought I`d be very suited for a job in that area). I am very excited for the future and HAPPY! ahhh. It feels good! congrats to you for realizing it and going with your gut. I know it`s not easy. good luck with the cake business! :)

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Laura Georgina January 22, 2010

Congrats new Angela! What a difference a year makes…. You’re a real inspiration and ray of positivity.

I’ve started doing some moonlighting work that I hope (fingers crossed) will lead to a real career 180 in a few months. I don’t think I would have felt so confident to even consider going in this direction if I hadn’t read your story. It really hit home and made me see that things DIDN’T have to be this way, that sacrifices can be made and leaps of faith taken–and that they DO work out in the end, like they have for you.

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Rebekah January 22, 2010

Congrats Angela. I am currently in a similar place you were a year ago and feel so trapped by all the old decisions I’ve made over the years that have now all added up to what I call my life. I will be 38 in 2 months and find myself thinking I am too old to really find my “dream” but I look at your story and the others who comment here and see a glimmer of hope. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us, you are changing lives one blog at a time.

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Stacy January 22, 2010

Hey Rebekah – you are not too old! I’ll be 37 next month and going through the same thing right now – I’m very scared, very broke but want to live my dream. I figure I have at least 30 years until retirement age so I even if it is not for a few more years at least I will be happy and love life! And honestly – I didn’t really know what I wanted until about a year ago. I’m not 100% sure about all the details but its a process. Find your passion and work your way into it :)

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Kalli@fitandfortysomething January 22, 2010

Happy 1 year! You truly took a scary step-one most of us would not do. Very proud of you and your accomplishments this year.

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Betherann January 22, 2010

Wow, has it only been a year since you ditched psychology? It’s amazing what has happened in your life in such a short time. Kudos and congrats! And, of course, happy birthday to Sketchie. :)

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Jenna January 22, 2010

what a beautiful story! :) You should be so proud of yourself. So many people stay because they don’t want to put the work into finding what they really want in life!

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skinnyrunner January 22, 2010

congrats on your 1 yr quitting anniversary! and what you have accomplished in the past year… you seem so much happier too!

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Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) January 22, 2010

Wow, what an inspiration!! Congrats and I cannot believe how much has changed within one year. Can you???? I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you in the coming year.

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Tara January 22, 2010

I was definitely in that position last year! I just posted above commenting on another teacher`s situation. Good for you for having the courage to listen to what your mind was telling you. I know so many people in careers they are unhappy with. Doing something you are passionate for is what it`s all about! You`re very inspiring. Enjoy your wonderful anniversary today, you have lots to celebrate. xoxo

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kate January 22, 2010

happy bday sketchie! & congrats to you on your 1 year anniversary to a better and healthier you! it definitely took a lot of courage to do what you did, & you have worked so hard to be where you are now & its an inspiration to all of us :)

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Marina January 22, 2010

Congrats on your anniversary! You are really a brave amazing woman.
And happy birthday to the cutest cat ever

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Alexi January 22, 2010

That’s a wonderful anniversary to celebrate! I completely understand how you felt and what you went through: I also left my corporate job last year (in advertising) and never looked back. It was so freeing! How amazing it feels to leave the stressed-out, grumpy, unfulfilled you behind and blaze your own path.

You truly are an inspiring woman! :)

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Meg January 22, 2010

Angela,
Every single one of your posts (even the recipes!) really inspire me, and make me realize that this the THE only life I get, and I should live it in a way which makes me the happiest. Thank you for that. Happy one year quit-a-versary ;) and Happy Birthday to Sketchie :)

Meg

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Courtney January 22, 2010

This was so encouraging and inspiring. A lot of us are stack at our unhappy day jobs – I’m a struggling student just trying to get by, I hope one day there’s a “light” for me, too. :]

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Kelly January 22, 2010

I used to teach elementary school and it’s a profession everyone admired, so it was very difficult to leave. However, I now know it was the right choice and am happy with my new life! I’m remodeling our home, taking art classes, volunteering, writing, and loving it all so much!

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ForDGRedial January 22, 2010

I left university 2 weeks away from the end of my first year. I had always been the perfect child, well behaved, strong in opinion etc. Telling my parents I was desperately unhappy and wanted to quit was the hardest thing I have *ever* done. Their disappointment in me was heart breaking. But it was from that point that they began to respect me as an equal…well after my mum had not spoken to me for 1-2 weeks hehe.

Now I take every opportunity and run with it. I am not afraid to admit my mistakes and change direction. Afterall, a river’s path isn’t straight and I have a long, exciting life ahead of me this way.

Amy x

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 22, 2010

Congrats Angela! I’ve loved watching you change and grow through all your posts in the last year and almost a half… I remember your first comment on MY blog was something like “hey i started this blog, maybe you could check it out?” Now you’re this ROCKSTAR!!!

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Paige @ Running Around Normal January 22, 2010

What an amazing anniversary to celebrate. I hope to say those words, soon, too.

“Most of the time, we figure out things as we go. There aren’t really any ‘mistakes’, but experiences and the key is to make them learning experiences.”

Love this. I sometimes beat myself up saying, “why didn’t I” or “I should have,” but we really don’t know until we experience it!

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Diana January 22, 2010

congradulations!! look at all that you’ve accomplished in just one year. Truly an inspiration. Hope you enjoyed that delicious looking breakfast and have a great rest of the day! You deserve it.

P.S- your early morning challange has inspired me to do one of my own. This marks my first week of waking up early and knocking “kickbutt workout” off my list before I even show up to work at 8:30. Never thought I could be a morning person (especially a morning workout person) but it actually isn’t so bad! We can do it!!

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Jen January 22, 2010

Great story! Really inspirational to see what a difference a year makes, especially when you take charge of your life and really decide to think about what makes you happy. Congrats!

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Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle January 22, 2010

Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for this post- it really hits home. Right now I am in grad school because I didn’t want to get a job in engineering after college because I never switched my major in college because then I wouldn’t ever find a job…etc etc. Although I’ve learned a lot and it wasn’t all horrible, I’ve been really afraid of the “what-if” of doing something completely unrelated to what I’ve been educated in for 6 years. Stories like this give me some comfort and a positive outlook! I’m still trying to figure out what it is I want to do but I hope I eventually find as happy and fulfilling path as you have made for yourself! :)

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner January 22, 2010

I’ve done pretty much the same thing my whole life and am definitely not happy in my job. I want a change but I’m not sure what I could be doing that would make me happy! Love your story, it really is inspirational :-)

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krissy January 22, 2010

Congrats Love! It’s hard to believe that SO much could happen in just 1 short year :) It’s inspiring to know that dreams can come true! I hope oneday soon I will be following in your footsteps and living out my dream as well :) I’m so happy for you, you have worked so hard to get to where you are and I know there are SO many great things to come in your future!
xoxo

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Teal January 22, 2010

Congrats! I too was in a situation a few years ago where I didn’t like what I was doing career-wise. It affects everything. Now, I love what i do, and am the happiest I have ever been :)
Would you tell me what type of cat sketchie is? so adorable!

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Karla January 22, 2010

Congratulations! You’ve really taken control of your life and your happiness!

Honestly, everyday I think about quitting my current grad program. I like the subject but honestly I don’t like being where I am and the people aren’t very nice. I’m not necessarily unhappy but I’ve been happier. I’m just sticking through it because I’ve invested so much in it (money wise) already that 3 semesters isn’t that much to just stick out. I’m hoping that when I’m done here, I’ll have a master’s degree and be able to do something I love, even if it’s not directly related to my degree. I guess I’m just telling myself that a master’s degree can’t hurt so I might as well stick it out and enjoy it as much as possible. I hope I’m not pushing and fooling myself into a miserable existence…

Great post, really got me thinking.
Happy Birthday to Sketchie!

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 22, 2010

Well Happy New Life Anniversary . . .although you scared me for a moment when I first read the title of the post . . . I thought you were quitting the bakery, I had visions of running to find my wallet and buying all the bars you had left :)

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Brittany January 22, 2010

I know that feeling well…I’m currently a senior at my university, and I have never felt “at home” here. There were a lot of people weighing on my decision to choose this school, but now I realize I should have chosen for myself! I have many regrets about where I decided to go to school, but since I am able to graduate a year early, I figured I would stick it out. I just hope I don’t make the same mistake with law school!

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Sophie @ yumventures January 22, 2010

What an inspiring post! I have also started to think about what would make me happy and where I want to go with my life and my career. Seeing someone who made the jump and ended up on top makes me feel like I can do anything. Keep up the amazing work!

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Anna January 22, 2010

After almost 3 years of struggling as an engineering major, this past fall I switched to something completely different that is a much better fit for me. I was just sinking with the workload and since I didn’t enjoy what I was doing, none of it was rewarding and there was nothing to look forward to. It was a pretty major step, but my parents were supportive because they know how depressed and frustrated I had become. I have no problem with spending my life in the library, but now I can do it and actually be interested in what I am cramming into my brain.

Congratulations on your year – you are definitely someone to look up to! I know that you are still learning and growing, but you’ve taken risks and have dealt with what life has thrown at you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

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Ameena January 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary…I’d emailed you a while back about my similar situation and I think it was the best thing I’ve ever done!

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Amy Reinink January 22, 2010

Congratulations! I celebrated my one-year anniversary of my entry into the world of freelance writing in November, and I understand the joy of being able to look back and take a deep breath. I also understand the self-doubt inherent in working for yourself, with loosely defined boundaries and no performance reviews besides the voice in your head. May your next year be just as successful as the first!

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Naomi January 22, 2010

What a poignant and touching post. Thank you – it inspires me.

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Lynne January 22, 2010

Thanks for this post, Angela. You never fail to inspire me. Like some of the others who have commented, I was someone who thought that teaching would be the career for me. I love working with children, I had the grades I needed, people told me they thought I’d be really good at it… but you know what? From day one, I hated it! I never expected that! I now do a reeeaallly dull admin job, but it doesn’t take over my whole life or stress me out, and I am free to work on finding something that will fulfill me. I will get there! :-)

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sarah (shep) January 22, 2010

thank you for being such an inspiration, angela. i mean it – you are an inspiration to me and all of these other wonderful people who read your blog daily. i recently made the decision to transfer colleges mid- sophomore year, and that coupled with my dad’s diagnosis of terminal cancer has left my emotions all over the place. i’ve been confused, but i honestly look to your story of quitting your job & finding your happiness for hope & inspiration that i don’t have to have it ALL figured out right now. i just need to be happy. :)

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Ann January 22, 2010

Adding my voice to the chorus here: thank you so much for this inspiring post, and for your whole inspiring story. I’m 3 weeks into my first “real” job in the field I majored in, and I’m already miserable. I’m already scheming up future plans, and really (REALLY) want to become an entrepreneur. I love reading about your business endeavours!

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Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 22, 2010

I’m in the process of searching for the job that is the right fit for me! I’m not scared and I’m fully confident that I will succeed.. I just need to pull the trigger. Great post! I’m glad that this year has worked out so beautifully for you. You deserve it!

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Mellissa January 22, 2010

Love all these stories! I am in week 3 of a new job that I love. I left a jerk of a boss, a company that didn’t support women and had serious employee engagement issues.

My life has changed so much in less than a month- it is amazing!

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Jess January 22, 2010

Hi Ange.
What a wonderful post. Happy Anniversary!
I went through the same shift! I use to work at a financial institution with a great paycheque but knew that I wasn’t HAPPY.
Then there was an opportunity to work at Booty Camp Fitness and I almost didn’t apply. It wasn’t as secure at the bank and frankly I didn’t know if I should leave a SAFE job. I talked to my boyfriend and he told me that he sees how HAPPY I am when I exercise and when I lead WeightWatchers. So he told me to GO FOR IT! With both feet, I jumped, got the job out of 200 plus applications and now I’m getting certified as a personal trainer (february 2010) And I lead 2 weightwatcher meetings. I love my life and I LOVE to lead people to success. Honestly, if I hadn’t done it, I don’t know where I’d be.

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