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I was unemployed for four weeks recently. It was by choice, my own choice, and it was the best period of my life so far.
My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
For many people worried about the unknown, don’t. It is freeing and scary and highly recommended (granted, some people have different financial realities and you have to do what is best for you).
Prior to quitting, my mental health was not in a good place at all. Sunday night would make me very upset, knowing that in less than eight hours, it would be Monday. My sleep was terrible, my mood around my friends was even worse.
I was allowed to take a two-week vacation as a trade for my resignation. So, I went diving for a week and spent the remaining week catching up with my friends and on my sleep. When I got back to work, and this is going to sound super cliche and terrible of me, but I resigned that morning.
I’d like to think that I do quite ok, career wise. Up until then I’d always known what I wanted to do with my life, what my next step was going to be, or where in life I was going. So, that was pretty much the first time in my life where I’d put my future in the hands of faith.
What went through my mind that morning was simple, “what happens, happens.”
Of course I was scared, like any normal person would be, I had no plans at all. However, taking those two weeks off reminded me of how much better my life could be, even without employment.
I’ve learned to chill out a bit and not tie my self-worth to my career. I knew that I had to make sure to never get burned out by work again. I try to find time to connect with my friends or do the things that I enjoy doing like cooking or swimming.
I also learned to stop dealing with bull. You know how sometimes you put up with things that make you unhappy because we believe that it would be worth it in the end? I’m starting to think that maybe it doesn’t always have to be like that.
Yes, of course, some life lessons are good and perseverance is an endearing and enduring quality but is the mental health that you’ll ruin during the journey to get those lessons – is it worth it?
And you don’t always have to get these life lessons now. It’s not a “now or never” kind of situation. At a certain point you have to put yourself first too. Thinking this way makes me realize that I am in full control of how or where I spend my energy and time.
Things ended up working out for me and I’m back to being employed again at a job I’m much happier with – and I’m very thankful for.
Since I quit my job, I’ve made it my main mission in life that I just want to work on good projects with good people only. I also just want to sit at a table where people talk about cool, aspiring projects we are planning on doing, and not about other people. It is a privilege that I do not take for granted. Everyone has different realities to face and not everyone can afford to do what I did. All I am saying is that if you ever have a chance to bet on yourself, take that chance.