Even though it has been only six weeks, it feels like it has been six months. When I decided to quit my job and relocate to my hometown after being away 10 years, I knew it would be a huge adjustment, but I didn’t think it would be THIS uncomfortable. Since I was 16 years old I’ve worked (except the first semester of my Freshman year of college), and not having some where to “report to” is different for me. I went from feeling a huge weight had been lifted, to feelings of regret as my bank account balance dropped.
Despite those feelings, I do not regret my decision and here is why:
I have learned so much about myself.
I have learned that I could be more self-disciplined. I usually don’t sleep past 7:30am, still don’t watch much TV and I make a daily “to do list”, however it doesn’t always get done. Six-weeks ago, work was my excuse for EVERYTHING! I didn’t have time to workout, cook healthy, and blog regularly because my 9-5 was often a 9-9 and I was exhausted mentally. The feelings of exhaustion were REAL, however looking back, I feel with better planning and preparation I could have better managed my time and energy. I have also learned that I have more confidence in myself than I thought. Living in a mid-sized southern town is vastly different from living in the Northeast. I feel out of place at times, but I love who I am and I know it is OK that I am a bit different than those around me. If I would’ve never quit and moved home, I am not sure if I would have realized my lack of self-discipline or the growth in my self-confidence.
My self-worth goes beyond what I do for a living.
For as long as I can remember, I was told “Go to college so you can get a good job.” I equated my self-worth to how I thought my family perceived me. They placed a high value on being a faithful Christian, succeeding in corporate America, settling down and having a family. Well, succeeding in corporate America was the one thing I felt I would succeed with, so I ran with it. I lived for my job, and when I didn’t do well at work I was unbelievably hard on myself. Mistakes were viewed as “Doomsday”, not a learning opportunity. I let those feelings spill over into my life and how I felt about myself. However, for the last 6-weeks I have had no job to relate my self-worth to. Around week three I began to question my recent decisions, especially when rejection emails came in. I had to remind myself that I was more than a job or a career. I had to remember what I had accomplished despite the odds I faced as a child-that had little to do with my previous or current job status. I had to remember the new goals I set for myself and the progress I have made towards them-they had nothing to do with my current job status. I had to remember that I had friends and family that loved and supported me despite my current employment status.
My aspirations have shifted.
This is the best thing I have learned, and I am grateful for it. For years I have only had to worry about myself. I have helped with family situations when I made time for a trip home or from a far with a check. My time was my time and I did with it as a pleased. Moving back to my hometown has put me at my family’s fingertips and since I am unemployed there is the perception that I have all of the time in the world or that I am available at a moments notice. At first this frustrated me. I was used to my simple life, then it hit me that if I ever have my own family this is how it could be, and married or not I will need a support system. I can’t maintain a support system city-hopping, so I need to “plant some roots” as the older people say. Racing up the corporate ladder for a company that could drop me at a moments notice, is no longer my current priority. I still want to travel and experience different places, however I don’t want to live further than a short drive from my family. (Future vacation days will be used very carefully) I still want (and need) a “good job” but I don’t want a job that will keep me so busy that I can’t dedicate time to my family, myself, and/or my community. I no longer want to be see myself as the independent woman that has it all, I want to be seen as the hardworking, happy woman that welcomes support and that supports others.
It’s been six weeks and I am still unemployed.
I miss the hell out of having my own space.
And I’ve gained 5 pounds!!
BUT……. I would do it all over again!
Are you/Have you had a rough transition period? Please share your tips or words of encouragement with me!!
Christina Lattimore|Blogger & Mental Health Advocate|www.speakawaythestigma.org
Twitter: @iamChrissie_K & @SPEAKawayStigma