Originally posted in the Moxie Section of the Post & Courier on May 13, 2011
A while back I wrote that there are times when we should quit. I should have taken my own advice. I didn’t quit. I didn’t quit even though I knew I should. I was somewhere I did not need to be, and I knew it — just ask my friends. Well, I guess God was tired of me not stepping out on faith, and my job quit me.
I will say that I was ready to be released, as one of my friends called it. Over the past year, I had been taking personal articles out of my office one by one. Did you hear me? Over the past year. So this feeling of letting go had been in my head for a good while. And in the days just prior to my departure, I had conversations in my head about being fired, I mean released.
I remembered that Oprah had gotten fired, and she said it was one of the best things that happened to her. So, if it is good enough for Oprah, it is good enough for me. Not that I wished that on myself, or maybe I did.
As I said, I was prepared to leave. Well, as prepared as one can be not yet navigating the murky waters of COBRA, severance, unemployment, ego and trying to figure out what to tell my family and friends.
Not to make light of the situation, I thought I was doing everything that I was supposed to do in anticipation of my departure and already had drafted my letter of resignation, but God felt that I was taking much too much time. In hindsight, I am not sure how much more I could have done except quit because the best thing I could say was “it pays the bills.” Well, that is usually a good reason to stay until something else comes along. Fortunately or unfortunately, I did not have that option.
At the moment, I am going through what one of my dear sistergirlfriends calls corporate detox. I do not set my alarm clock. I take speaking engagements in the middle of the day without having to take vacation. I can have a margarita or any other drink I choose at lunch. My bike rides are not relegated to after work or on the weekends. I have no excuse not to wash the dishes, take the car to the shop, return phone calls, work diligently on my dissertation or any of the other tasks I always put off until I had the time. I have the time.
I have the time to do the one thing that I have neglected for a while. I have the time to take care of me, whatever that means at the moment. And that is constantly changing. I don’t want you to think that all is wonderful in my world. I have those days when I do not want to leave my house, the sleepless nights when I cannot turn my head off and the times when I wonder when I will start making money again.
The lesson I have learned is to detach from the outcome and let my faith guide me. More importantly, I need to enjoy this part of my journey because it is unstructured, it is scary and it is a gift. It is a gift because right now I can still pay my bills, I have enough food to eat and I still have amazing friends. It is almost like being on vacation. OK, maybe not on vacation, but you get my point.
I did not have the nerve to quit. I have no idea what happens next, but I know that when one door closes, another one opens. I am waiting for that next door. I hope it opens at a time when I do not have to take a position again that “just pays the bills.”
So if you see a woman with a huge smile on her face while lounging on the beach in a teeny bikini (working out twice a day has its merits), reading her Kindle between the hours of 9 and 5, that would probably be me. Because at this moment, this is my life.