Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On "Giving up"

I quit my job today. Well, gave one month’s notice, anyway. It’s hard… maybe (definitely) harder than it should be. This is maybe the second or third job that I can remember quitting just because I didn’t like it/couldn’t make it work. I’ve had plenty of jobs, but they were seasonal or contractual, or things that I left behind because I had to move across the country/planet. To not have a reason for leaving beyond my basic needs (sleep) and emotional state makes me feel like a bit of a failure.

A story: When I was a kid, I was kind of a precocious little brat. Because I tended to catch onto things pretty quickly, whenever I came up against something I didn’t “get” right away, I would give up. And maybe cry. Because I was a brat. This went on for awhile till my parents sat down and had a talk (or several) with me about how I couldn’t just quit stuff because I wasn’t good right away, and that working hard for something makes it even more rewarding when it finally does click, etc. It took awhile to sink in, but I learned perseverance eventually. Now, though, I’m terrified of being that person again, of throwing in the towel every time things get a little hairy… so I tend to stick to unfortunate circumstances WAY LONGER than I should. Taking too many classes? Suck it up, pansy! Relationship falling apart around your ears? Try harder! Job slowly sucking the life out of you and making you doubt your self worth? Deal with it; it’s not THAT hard!

The point is, I have trouble telling the difference between perseverance and stupidity, giving up and strategic retreat. I probably always will. Luckily, I also have a lot of people who are willing to help me navigate the murkier waters of life and to assure me that quitting doesn’t always make you a quitter. Overall, even though I’m sad about leaving (and still dealing with the icky emotions listed above), I’m also very relieved that an end is in sight. And I’m ready for the next adventure.


  1. Based on what you told me about your job, I cannot say I am surprised. When you work such a physically demanding job, which requires specific measurements to ensure the end product is delicious, and combine it with the oddest work schedule, it is COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDABLE that you're feeling this way. Throw on top academic responsibility, a long distance relationship, AND roommates who have no concept of your sleep schedule nor the common courtesies expected when cohabiting, it's quite amazing that you tried to juggle this as long as you did!

    I empathize with your feeling about giving up to easily. You didn't do that here! I think people get way too caught up with "what I should be able to do" along with "I'm an adult, and adults are expected to handle x-amount of things especially if I don't have x-common responsibilities (i. e. children)". I think it's apparent that we've conditioned ourselves to really expect too much of our multi-tasking abilities especially when we don't really know how our workloads (ESPECIALLY academically!) are gonna be until we are in the thick of them!

    Not to mention, no one ever truly accounts for environmental and emotional stresses that you undergo just as a normal part of living day to day.

    Need I go on about the influence of a disrupted, or in some cases a nonexistent, sleep schedule and it's impact on all of this?

    TLDR: You should never feel bad for taking the steps to care for your mental and physical health. It's understandable why you made your decisions, and you should never feel guilty for wanting to try to ensure that you perform at a reasonable level. Some jobs don't work out. You are not and will never be a failure. Chin up, tea kettle on, and get some much needed rest!!!


    1. omg grammar. Sorry I didn't proof read my answer yesterday.

    2. Firstly, I need to check comments on here, because that would've been supremely helpful to me of a week ago. It still is supremely helpful, actually, so thank you!! :D

      Also, I need to make a shirt that says "Chin up, tea kettle on"