Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Quit My Job

I quit my job. 

No. Not the teaching gig. I rather like that one. The truth is, you can’t (or shouldn’t) quit something that makes you a better person. And teaching does that for me. No. I quit the job I acquired a few months ago when a local realtor asked me to write a weekly blog post for her business’s web page. I have never enjoyed quitting a job as much as I did this one. 

But let me explain. First, it wasn’t as it might sound. To quit I had to reconcile a few truths. 1) It’s okay to admit you can’t do something 2) It’s okay to admit you don’t want to do something 3) It’s okay to quit the job that was the first to give you a paycheck for writing. 

I wrote six blog posts and was paid 10 cents a word. I could have continued, at least for a little while longer, but I needed to quit. “It wasn’t my thing” is the simplest way to put it. The assignment didn’t feel right and although I tried, I felt stress because I was trying to make something fit when it wasn’t designed to. But I made enough money on those posts to purchase a bright yellow chair which will remain in my bedroom as a happy reminder of achieving one of my life’s goals and my Dad’s hope that I’d “someday get paid for (my) writing”. 

To quit the job I met my employer for the first time. I had not pursued the job but my name had been passed onto her by a mutual friend. She had hired me after one phone conversation. We’d exchanged a few emails during the months I wrote for her. She gave me some tips on how to better advertise her business and we discussed a fair rate for the work I was doing. But when it came time to part ways, I needed to meet her face-to-face. 

We met at her office last Wednesday. The business of the meeting was over after just a minute, I think. In the hours before our appointment, I had mentally prepared myself to walk out of her office having quit the job. I was still questioning myself a little though. I am quitting a writing job, a writing job that is paying me to write?! I was a little afraid I’d relent, be too eager to please, and agree to work with her to craft more posts. So the second I heard myself saying to her that I’d come to tell her I did not want to write for her blog anymore, I felt relieved. And she smiled and felt relieved too, I think. She understood completely. She was complimentary of my writing but knew what I knew, that her blog is not the audience for my writing. Despite the efficiency of our agreement, we continued to talk for an hour or so. We shared stories of our families, our struggles and our joys. I told her about my Dad and of his hope for me. I showed her a picture of my happy yellow chair. It could not have been a more comfortable situation, nor a more beautiful meeting of two kindred souls. As I stood to leave, we hugged. 

Walking back to my car I felt free. I felt strong and I felt good. I’d tried something new, given it my best shot, been rewarded for trying, and had let it go. As a friend at school said to me, “You checked it off your bucket list”. I did, but I don’t think that is all that this is about. I believe that opportunities and (more importantly) people come into our lives for a reason. 

A few minutes ago, my husband Eric came upstairs to our bedroom with a basket of folded laundry. 

"I thought you were going to get out of bed to come down and have some dinner?!", he said.
"Dinner? It's that late already?", I chuckled. 
"Well, it's almost noon. Well, no. It's 10 o'clock actually", he admitted. 
“I'm writing for the first time in forever”, I said.
"Oh! Well, GOOD for you! Write on then, baby! Write on!". This is why I love him. Well, it's reason #4893202 out of infinity. 

So here I am. Writing on. It’s nice to be back. 

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