Last month I quit my job.Â Part of me wishes I had made a big scene, overturned my desk and stormed out.
Instead, I gave my two weeks, smiled through it all, and calmly walked out the door.
It doesnâ€™t matter how you do it, quitting is quitting—and damn, it feels good. With my rental lease coming to a close and no new opportunities lined up, the future was more unknown than ever before.
Rather than shutting down in fear, I engaged in that unknown and welcomed it with open arms. As a result, Iâ€™ve been up and down, near and far.
Iâ€™ve hiked mountains right outside my bedroom window, which until I quit my job I never seemed to have time for. I drove seven hours to experience a concert in a world-renowned venue (red-rocks amphitheater). I solo road-tripped two states North venturing through wild Wyoming and Montana. I went mountain biking through the desert in Moab. I reconnected with old friends in the middle of an elk refuge, watching nothing but the stars at night. I stayed up late, talking, connecting and outlasting a breathtaking bonfire late into the dawn.
On a Tuesday, I had nothing to do, so I slept the entire day, lounging with my dog. I broke my pinky toe galloping through the forest. I safely experimented with new libations, in turn igniting my creativity and forging lasting friendships.
I shamelessly took advantage of my month of unemployment. I used every resource I could think of and then some. I borrowed showers from friends, couches from strangers. I partied too hard too long, going on a 10-day bender.
Afterwards, I engaged my emotional baggage. I turned inside and ask myself why.
Youâ€™ve suffered through a job youâ€™ve disliked for over a year, why quit now? Why do you hold anger towards failed relationships? Why donâ€™t you spend more time and energy on the things and people you claim to love?
Although I donâ€™t have very many answers, just defining some of these questions is a great starting point. And trust me, the list of whysÂ goes on.
Because of this, there have been more than a few low points. Being unemployed and essentially homeless forced me to look at my life—re-examine from this new,Â outside angle I now had access to. I destroyed old relationships and questioned new friendships. I intentionally hurt people with an equal force to the pain I felt was valid.
I kicked and screamed and cried and smiled.
Through it all, I am grateful for the financial stability thatÂ held me through this month of unemployed exploration. I am grateful for the short-term opportunity to have absolutely no responsibilities. I am grateful for the time and space to look inward, to ask myself these tough questions.
I am grateful for the friends—and for the foes—along the way.
More than anything, I am grateful for the intimate way in which I’ve learned about myself.
I learned to trust myself. I stopped listening to what everyone else had to say and formed my own opinions.
My name is Kayla Dreisinger, and I am strong, smart and intelligent. Quitting my job does not define me.
The self-assurance Iâ€™ve acquired after making this bold move is invaluable, and by far the most important upside of quitting.
Donâ€™t be afraid to quit the job you hate, to leave a place of employment where you are undervalued. It might just surprise you how many upsides come your way when you least expect it.
Author:Â Kay Dreisinger
Assistant Editor: Brook Bentley / Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Courtesy ofÂ Author