Sunday, November 24, 2013

Step 2 - Quit Job. Check. Now What?

It's been a tough year for me. On November 20th, 2013, I did something necessary for the maintaining of what small bit of sanity I have left. I pondered over the events of that day for months, prior to my final day of employment at the job that taught me more than I could ever write in this post.

I quit my job.

Over the past two years, I've gained more experiences than many people accumulate over the course of a lifetime.

I'm grateful for those life lessons, but the stresses and worries involved in the social work field of child placement, foster care, and adoption, became more than I could balance with all the other responsibilities in my life right now.

I made the decision to go back to school this year.

I took a full load of classes online, with two courses jam-packed into my first 7-weeks of back-to-college-ness.

My boss told me that my decision, though ambitious, may result in feeling overwhelmed.
I didn't heed his warning.
As my Mamaw says, I always seem to have this need to 'prove something', even though I don't have to...

What it is that I'm always trying to prove, I don't know.
I just dive head-first into projects, tasks, jobs, life... full-speed ahead.
I give all of my effort to whatever I'm involved in-
be it work,
crazy goals that wind up being what everyone warned me they'd be-

impossible, too much to handle, overwhelming, etc.

Well, I suppose everybody was right.
Not completely correct, though, in their predictions...

I made A's in those fast-track classes, while working a full-time schedule at my job.
Then, I went to a part-time, 30-hour work week.
There is no such thing as part time in social work-
not when one is so caught up in the work, relationships, and causes
for which they first signed up for a job that 'gives back'.

I gave back.
I gave all I had.
I gave too much.
I didn't give enough.
I couldn't give anymore.

When I decided to give my notice, I couldnt' help but feel a sense of relief.
Most people panic at the thought of not having a job.
Normally, I'd be one of the more sensible types who worry about such matters-
Jobs are neccessary for one's survival, after all.

The job takes over your life.
You begin dreading your work.
You lie awake at night wondering about whether or not your grades will suffer
since you haven't had more than 4 hours of sleep in the past 2 days.

If you aren't taking care of yourself,
You can't take care of anybody else.

I tried to balance all responsibilities of work, school, marriage, travel, family, friends, assignments, deadlines, home visits, appointments, etc.

One of these was bound to suffer if any of the others were successful.
I told myself that wasn't true-
After all, I'm Regina.
I can do anything.
I'm Super Woman.

Super Woman did well for the first few weeks of juggling the circus she'd signed herself up for...
She woke up at 3-4am every morning, did assignments, sent emails, made calls, planned, scheduled, confirmed, submitted, re-scheduled, re-sent, organized, and all other tasks now required for her role as multi-tasking genius...

Then, Super Woman became exhausted.
She got sick.
She never felt well.
She wasn't happy anymore.

When she made A's on projects and exams, she could not enjoy her success-
Her time spent preparing and studying for school meant that her work responsibilities had piled up.
Those responsibilities loomed over her, and she knew she must press on...

Making the trek to the office at 8AM to begin one's day-
a simple and regular event that is damn near impossible when one has already completed a full day's
work before the rest of the world decides to get started.

Ridiculous amounts of coffee were consumed.
If anyone has ever overdosed on caffeine, I may have a gene that prevents such tragedy-
My body and mind built up a tolerance for caffeine that would terrify healthcare and cardiac professionals worldwide.

our coffee-powered Super Woman flew from destination to destination, without fail.

I stopped putting forth 100% at my job.
For that, I felt guilty.

I reasoned that my contributions and efforts of the past two years' employment made up for my slackened dedication to my overwhelming responsibilities.

I am a perfectionist.

Though a trait that I'm not particularly proud of, perfectionism has promoted success in just about anything I set my mind to do.

When and if,
I can't give all I've got to something- ANYTHING...
I throw in the towel.

Some of my co-workers said I was abandoning them.
They're right.
I am.

I actually cried when I gave my notice.
I hate crying in front of people.

A tired Regina had been up all night, worrying about whether or not tomorrow should be the day she let go of the job she'd worked so hard to accomplish for years.

Saying goodbye has never been easy for me.
Even when I gave my notice, the reality of how final my decision was didn't really hit me.

I was, however, suprised by how right it felt to quit.
I instantly felt calmer than I have in months.
I felt reassured, confident, and had no doubts that I'd made the right choice.

My husband says that this year has been hard for me. He says it's all hitting me at once.
He's right.

It is.
Life this year got hectic, hard, tragic, overwhelming, challenging, sad, frightening...
but it is going to be okay.

Everyone says that- -
things will get better.

it'll all work out.

Super Woman believes those things, too...
just give her some time to process all the things she's kept to herself for 2 years, will ya?
Give her some time to feel sad, angry, frustrated, appalled, and helpless...
However she feels is okay.
Don't worry so much about her.
She's got a lot going on right now.

 No one but me knows about the things I've seen and done in the past two years-
as far as professional confidentiality plays a role in those stories...

You'd need time to think about all of those events, too-
Especially when you never got a chance to process them before the next thing sprang up.

I'm working on figuring out what I want now.
I am making a plan on where to go from here.
The changes in my life are more than they've ever been...
They are positive changes, though, and I'm sorting through them.

I found a to-do list yesterday that I'd made months ago.
In the process of moving, I have found the most random things!

The list read:

GOAL: Get a degree
Step 1: $3,000
Step 2: Quit Job
Step 3: Study like crazy

Somehow, finding this list comforted me.
When I felt lost and didn't know where to go-
I found this list to reassure me that I'm already on the right track.

So what that I may or may not have skipped Step 1.
Step 3 has been completed.

Step 2 - Quit Job.


Maybe if I repeat Step 3, it'll all work out.

Pretty sure that Step 3 is the key I need to open the door I've been ready and capable of opening for far too long.

Until next time, my friends...

Stay tuned. :)

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