I Quit.

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 22, 2010

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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.

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

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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

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

~Susan Longacre

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{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) January 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

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 at 10:11 am

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 at 10:17 am

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 at 10:43 am

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