The Quarter Life Crisis, Quitting Your Job, and Finding Yourself
Many of you do not know this, but I have decided to put in my notice at my job.
From the outside looking in, it was a dream job. I got to work from home, everyone was kind, the pay was nice, and they all wanted us to have a growth path. How cool right?
But for me, there was something deep inside me that didn't want to come to terms with the fact that this path wasn't for me. I didn't see a growth trajectory for myself, and I didn't enjoy the day-to-day tasks.
Without those two pieces, I felt like a hamster on a never-ending wheel who couldn't get off. The stress of letting others down if I quit & leaving my team with my workload led me to stay with the position longer than necessary.
Cultural Expectations for the Post-Grad
When we get out of college, there is the expectation that you have to have everything all planned out.
You need to know exactly what your career will be in 50 years, you better start getting married soon, and also, why haven't you saved up for a downpayment on a house already?
When you hit 22, I feel like that's the magic age where you've got to have it together or you are seen as doing something wrong. But, I am here to tell you that none of us have it all together. (Even the 51-year-olds that you look up to don't have it all together!)
Part of me thinks that I'm going through a quarter-life crisis, but another part of me sees this as a time that can be used for growth, rest, and self-discovery. How I decide to view my time is entirely up to me.
Being Unemployed: The Time to Be Selfish
For as long as I could remember, I cared entirely way too much about what everyone thought. I've noticed the same pattern in my life time and time again. I would do a hobby, sport, etc. because someone told me to. I would do it for a few years just to realize how much I dreaded it. Then, after being burnt out for far too long, I would take the courage to quit. Yes, that person would be disappointed, but staying is shouldn't be an option that's the only reason to stay.
This has been a cycle in my life for so long, and honestly, I do care too much about others' perceptions. But, I shouldn't. It's my time to be selfish and to scout out the things I enjoy and to indulge.
So how do I plan on spending this time?
How I'm Spending My Time After Quitting My 9-5
I plan on reading 26 books in 2021, and I've already finished the first book of the year titled "A Thousand Splendid Suns." (It's a great read by the way!) Instead of spending my time at work, I plan on diving into great literary works to view life from a lens other than my own.
Other Books on My 2021 Reading List:
Be sure to give those books a read too, and tell me your thoughts!
Focusing on My Health
Being in a stationary job, I have become overweight, sluggish, and constantly sleepy. I miss the days where I could run cross country and get exercise in every day! I have gotten to the point where I will go months without going to the gym. I plan on walking more and doing workout videos to get my heart rate up and to stay healthy.
Another thing I want to focus on is my back. I have unfortunately started getting what people call "text neck." Text neck is where you start to develop this hump at the top of your spine from looking down at a phone or laptop for long periods of time. From working on the computer, I now have a hunched back and my upper back is always is sore after work. I plan to take time away from the computer and stretch every day to help reverse my back issues.
Freelancing (And Odd Jobs)
Even though I have savings, I would like to make some income doing freelancing and InstaCart shopping to cover rent, utilities, and other bills. Taking on side jobs will keep me productive in the day, but it will also give me the flexible freedom I want too.
I miss learning. At school, it was easy to learn something new every day. In adulthood, you really have to seek out learning opportunities if you want to learn something new. I've started taking the free Yale course "The Science of Well-Being" to hopefully let me dive into self-discovery a bit further. I also plan to take other courses (and maybe get my real estate license!)
Lastly, I would like to travel more. I had already planned out a trip with Elliott to see his family in Milwaukee at the end of February. But, I would really like to take some more trips as well.
What I've noticed is that many are constrained to only have 10 days of PTO to do the things they want. So, I definitely want to use this time to go see other sites as well.
If You Don't Know What You Want to Do with Your Life...
I want to end this article by giving you encouragement. How we view every day is entirely up to us. You don't have to take a huge leap to find happiness in the every day. I am taking steps back from my job for a while to re-find my joy. For you, you might find joy from taking a walk every day. Or, you might find joy in creating something new every so often.
But if you don't know what you want to do with your life, know that you are never too old to learn something new. Some people decide to pick up painting at 60 and they are phenomenal. Some decide to go back to school in their late 30s. Your life is far from over, and there is always time to invest in you.
*Disclaimer: I do realize how incredibly lucky I am to have savings to quit my job. Quitting a job isn't for everyone depending on your financial situation. This is just my story that I wanted to share