I quit my job. I’m free today.
Since I gave in my two weeks notice at work I’ve been making all kinds of plans for myself. I fantasized about all the happiness I’m going to get and all the TV shows I can catch up on. I can write all day. I can spend nights in reading books that have been sitting on my Ikea bookshelf for months. And all of those errands that I’m too tired to do at the end of the day will have to get done. I can finally apply for direct deposit. File my receipts from four years ago. Maybe I’ll volunteer at an animal shelter. Look at the stars. Learn how to cook polenta.
I decided to leave because not only am I 29 and need to move on, but I am leaving the on-and-off job I’ve had for years. It’s basic in it’s tasks but with a big impact on my life. I’ve met some of my best friends there. In that building and amongst those bookshelves, I’ve fallen in love (a few times), gotten my heart broken, laughed at endless amounts of silliness, and grown up. People there have supported me with my moves along the way, and I’ve always come back with stories, and they always have a job for me. I’ve been able to get creative, become my better self, and developed into an adult that I’m not ashamed of being.
That store was like a crutch for me. I used it. I worked for it, and up until a few weeks ago, I thought it was also working for me. I realized it wasn’t. I had a nasty encounter with someone who is my superior; but we started out as booksellers together, and I remember years ago when she was just that introverted, quirky, tall lady who shelved the French books upstairs. When the group you grow up with starts disrespecting you, and truth be told, taking life a little too seriously, it’s time to move on. It makes me a little sick, thinking I stayed in one place so long. That I refused to move on from that job, that I kept on returning all those years.
I’d be making twice the money if I was still teaching English in Korea. I’d be working towards my career.
Life advice: Never let anyone get the best of you. They did. So I quit. I should never have returned, really. I’m a traveller and every traveller knows the struggle of wanting to return to a place they once loved, a little part of the world that holds a little part of their heart. Some places we do return to, and some places we don’t.
Another issue right now is…money. It’s kind of a big thing, I know. But I’m blessed to not be paying rent right now, and I will probably never own a car. So I’m free from any big monthly payments. I can make crazy decisions like not work and pursue my dream. But things still need to be bought. I have to leave my free house from time to time for my sanity, and for the pursuit of my dreams. I don’t live in Asia right now, so living isn’t so cheap. It’s nine dollars for a pint over here, for goodness sake. A bus or subway ride is three dollars. But I think I can do it. I’m gonna have to. If anything, this will be a test of my creativity.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Bust out five-year old sweaters that are still hanging in my closet.
Stop browsing on ModCloth.com. It’s torture. And a lot of beautiful but expensive things are only a few clicks away. They really should make that place illegal.
Use hand me down hair masks and lip balms. No, that’s probably unsanitary.
Go to every yoga studio in the city just once to do a free trial session.
Always eat in.
Nothing spells date night like cheap Tuesdays at the movies.
Drink at home (unless someone else is buying at the bar).
Don’t buy any plane tickets (for now).
Steal pens from work. Oh wait I can’t, I quit my job.
Give people big hugs for their birthday. I’m a good squeezer.
Any other suggestions?
On my first day as an unemployed lady, I had leftovers for breakfast, walked to Starbucks and used a free drink coupon from a survey I took (this happens to me about every six months…too bad I end up in Starbucks about every day) and got an extra-large soy something. I downloaded the torrent of a CD I liked that was on display at the cash. I skipped lunch and spent the afternoon writing. Made myself a dinner of asparagus (on sale, $1.29), salad and pasta, all ingredients that were already in the pantry and fridge. Put on an old outfit (with different accessories). Two of my favourite bands were in town that night but I pretended I didn’t know that and took comfort in my good company and cocktails. Grand total for Day 1: $1.29. So far so good…right?