Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jim Carrey Made Me Quit My Job

Well, not really. But the Jim Carrey commencement speech video that has been circulating on social media really got stuck in my head. It is worth the watch, it is just a minute long.



Why am I failing at what I don't love and not really even trying to do what I love? It's a thought I haven't been able to get out of my head ever since I saw the video.

I have a great job. I have a nice boss with a stable company, that has good ownership, who treats their people right. I earn a nice salary. When I get paid once a month, I put 50% of my paycheck into savings. I know what you are thinking, "What's the problem you big crybaby?"

The stress. The travel. The job. Everyone has a different definition of success. Some people want big houses and fancy cars. I want freedom and comfort. Sure, I want to pay the bills without struggle, but I'd rather drive a paid-off car and live in a small comfortable house with no debt.

My definition of success is the ability to enjoy a simple life. Sure, I want to work. Of course. I need a purpose, but not to the detriment of my sanity.

The problem is not the company. It's not the people, but the job itself wears me thin. Even though it is a great position that most anyone would be lucky to have, it is not a good match for my personality. While a challenging job can be an opportunity to grow and become a better person, it can also eat away at you when it is a daily struggle. I'm sure someone else could take this job and thrive on the pressure, but I feel like I am losing a part of myself as a person. What happened to that enthusiastic go-getter? I get a little further away from her every single day that I sit in that cubicle. I need a break. I need to reset.

It is the ultimate breakup: It's not you, it's me. 

When the stress began to manifest itself in a physical way, I knew I had to make a change. It suddenly wasn't worth it. I put in my two weeks notice, which I am still in the process of working out, so this all feels surreal.

I have been working full-time for nearly twenty years and this is the first time I have ever left a job without having another one lined up. It feels so irresponsible. I am the level-headed responsible one in the family. We both can't be care-free.

I am fortunate enough to be in a position where we have low bills, big savings, and little debt. My husband owns a small security alarm business in the DFW area (if you need help with home security, let us know!). We will have to cut back on the frivolous spending and watch our outgoing money much closer, but we can swing this for awhile. I just need a break, then I think I will be ready to tackle the next chapter in my life.

Why am I not doing what I love? What do I love? I fully realize I cannot replace my full time income writing a blog or running races, but I can use some of the skills that come naturally to me to find something that is more suited to my personality. I want need to get out of a cubicle, out of corporate America. I need to be active and pursue my dreams. But can you follow your dreams when you are not exactly sure what those dreams look like?

Now that I will have some free time on my hands, I am going to really focus on getting that personal training certification that I have been yapping about for so long. I am not even sure that this is the path that I ultimately want to follow, but it is a step in the right direction. I don't know what life has in store for me next. It is both exciting and terrifying. With my 40th birthday just three months away, one might accuse me of having a midlife crisis. Suddenly my personal happiness is more important than money. If that is my crisis, I'm OK with it.

So maybe Jim Carrey didn't make me quit my job, but his speech may have been the video that broke the camel's back.


p.s. One last thing and please know that I mean this in the nicest way possible. I am just trying to head off what I suspect could be coming next after a post like this one. Please do not read this blog post and see it as an opportunity to invite me to join your sales network. I am not interested in selling wraps or shakes. I realize that some people have success in these things and I wish you prosperity with it, but it is not for me at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Have you ever quit your job without another one lined up? Do you have any life advice or encouragement for me? Or am I crazy and irresponsible?

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Keep Running,

Lea

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34 comments :

  1. I think you are both brave and smart! I suggest that you ABSOLUTELY pursue something that your heart tells you to do! I turned 60 in February and I can't tell you how much I wish that I had gone for some type of fitness or nutrition certification YEARS ago! YOU GO GIRL!!

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  2. Good for you for being so brave and realizing you needed to change to make yourself happier.

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  3. Sometimes we just need a change and I think it's smart you realized it. I was chuckling a little when I read the last part about the people that you hope won't try to recruit you...I was in direct sales for years and that is the absolute worst way to approach things. But many people do it. Honestly, it just gives it a bad name. I wish you only the best and I hope you get the break you need and find what you are looking for! :)

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    1. I really don't have anything against direct sales people and I personally know people who have found great success with it, I really just know that it is not for me right now. Thanks for your encouragement and support! :)

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  4. What an exciting {and somewhat scary} time for you! It's awesome that you are are taking this leap!! :)

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    1. thank you Maureen! it is scary and exciting!

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  5. I left a high stress job when my oldest was 9 months old. I realized I couldn't be an awesome employee and a great mom at the same time. On paper, it was my dream job, but such a weight lifted when I left. It was the best choice I've ever made.

    Good luck with your search for what makes you happy. I'm a big believer that it's better to enjoy life and have less than to be unhappy with a big house and a new car.

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    1. thank you! It means a lot to hear you say that!

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  6. good wishes with everything! Go for your dreams :-)

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  7. I quit my last job to go sailing for 12 years... I wish you well. I know you are going to find something that is the perfect fit for you!

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    1. I love this. sailing as a career. my future looks bright!

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  8. Good luck with finding your new path. You are about the same age I was when I also made a huge career change, became a personal trainer and started a new chapter in my life. Actually I'm about ready to make yet another change (and your pos may just be the key to getting me going).

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    1. thank you! hearing your story is very encouraging to me!

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  9. I'm just amazed that you're 39. And more power to you. I've been doing what I love for years, which makes me very happy. You cannot replace happiness with something better.

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  10. I wish I could do the same and just quit my job. But without much on my savings account and being single it's just not possible. Still, I've been working towards being able to quit my job for almost a year now. It's been a long process of realizing that the corporate world is not for me and working towards what I want to do. Is it easy? Heck, no! But if it one day allows me to say that I'm happy at what I do for a living it is absolutely worth it.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure you will find something you'd like to do. And congrats on having the courage to quit a job that doesn't make you happy!

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  11. It's funny, I've been second guessing my job and career choice lately. Bills keep me from making a jump right now but I'm hoping to change that. House goes on the market soon and, once sold, I move into a mortgage free situation. Then I can reevaluate my current situation.

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  12. Yay! Congrats!! I have done that once when I didn't have a house and kids. It's not so much the house as it is the kids preventing me from doing the very same thing today. I totally get where you are coming from! I love your little disclaimer about wraps and shakes. I want to put that on my side bar!!! Best of luck Lea! I will now be living vicariously through you.

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  13. SO PROUD of you girl!! We need to talk, you know that ;) xo

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  14. You should totally do something you love and makes you happy. Best wishes!!

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  15. you are so so smart. life is too short and later you may not have this flexibility!!

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  16. It is so scary, but I promise you're going to look back and say that was the best thing I ever did!

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  17. Ok first of all you're almost 40? Jesus, you look great! I didn't see that one coming. Second of all- congrats. I love your goals, I love financial responsibility…are you familiar with Dave Ramsey? It kinda sounds like you are :) Anyways, I wish you all the best of luck. For what it's worth I've had a two jobs before I figured out that I can make all things fitness a career (granted I'm also a SAHM) but I've found, like you mentioned, the money doesn't really matter when you're doing something you love. I'll be anxiously awaiting updates!

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  18. I literally just did this in May. I had a "great" job (aka was treated well and paid well) but I was just so unhappy. So I quit. Without something else lined up. It's scary to jump without knowing where you'll end, but so far I'm much happier for it!

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  19. Love it! Did this last year - spent 10 months "funemployed" and now I am in a job that makes me happy! Totally worth it.

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  20. Awesome! Good luck in finding your calling:)

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  21. I hope this break lets you recharge, reflect, and refocus on what it is you want to be doing.

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  22. Good luck on your next chapter! I did give notice once and made plans to move with no job lined up, but I was looking for a job in the same field. And I did get a job before I moved, and it was the right job for me. But it was scary to give notice without something to go to!

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  23. You have to do what makes you happy! You have one life to live so live it doing what makes you feel whole. I quit my job of 9 years thinking I wanted more money. I lasted there 6 months but the job I am in now was around the corner and I haven't regretted the pay cut for anything. It gives me more time for the important stuff - time wth my family and my health!

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  24. I completely understand. I went back to graduate school when I knew corporate America wasn't for me. So I got my masters in student affairs to work at universities. And in those two years I realized my passion for social media and upon graduation decided to take the leap and start my own business. I figured its a good time since I don't have many expenses being single and living at home for now. Many "friends" told me it was stupid and id never end up finding a real job but I am.extremely happy with my decision. I may not be making as much as some people I know with full time jobs but I'm working at it! I am wishing you the best of luck!!!

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  25. You just did what I DREAM of one day being able to do. I am still getting settled into my first "real" job, but I am already getting the nagging feeling it isn't what I can do long term. Actually this is exactly what my post today was about (must be something in the water ;) )Best of luck with whatever you choose!

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  26. I once left a job without another job lined up and it true the universe knows fashion it actually turned into owning my own business! I ended up freelancing the same type of job I had been doing at an agency for myself and a few clients. I really learned a lot quickly and everything happens for a reason you'll figure it out.

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  27. I so relate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not going to put my life story here BUT I started my work life in Corporate America & it wore me down as a person I did not know... it was never for me & I stayed too long.. but yet never found me since. It took a toll on my mental health for a while.. trying to work my way back...

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