My parents can’t understand why I’ve quit my job. I only have a couple of weeks left and I keep getting little remarks occasionally thrown at me. Anything from telling me how I won’t be able to afford anything soon but they also tell me the upside is that if I’m on benefits I won’t have to pay for my prescription medicine from the doctor. (Although I don’t see £7 every ten months as that much of a problem.)
My Dad is a bit past 60 now and has been in his career since dropping out of school at 16. He’s moved companies but it has always been the same job (and not a very glamorous one at that). It pays pretty well and he’s saved up a lot by being careful with his money from an early start. It’s all very admirable since he has provided a family with a good home, car, plenty of food, we all had mobile phones once we started secondary school, etc etc. So I understand when he criticises me for leaving a job without any guarantee of getting another, especially at the moment when even the most basic jobs are hard to come by and welfare is being cut left, right and centre so that not having a job is even harder on your life than before despite there being few opportunities – I will leave that point there before I start ranting about politics instead of what I’m supposed to be ranting, I mean blogging, about.
My Mum is similar. She’s been in her same job for most of my life. It has no prospects for promotion or any kind of bonuses and since it’s a public sector job she is getting what little pension she has cut back (thanks Mr Cameron. No really. Great job. I hope your Mum’s proud.) So she has no choice but to stay in her job because as she gets closer to 60 there is less and less chance that she will be employed by another company.
So I do understand their scepticism. I have been in my job for 3 years and I have learnt a great deal. Last year I was given a new contract with a pension scheme, monthly salary, fairly low and flexible hours, as well as a small amount of private medical cover. All very nice but it doesn’t actually pay all that great. But it’s not the money that’s making me leave. It’s not the un-organised middle management, or the fact that the business is currently losing money, it’s not because I spend the majority of my time on my own in a windowless room, it’s not that I have to drive because I finish too late to catch a bus, it’s not even the fact that it’s such unsociable hours that I rarely get to see my friends.
It’s the fact that it’s boring. My job varies more than most peoples jobs but it’s still boring. I’ve become pretty good at it and it’s no longer challenging. And I can’t stand the idea of doing something menial.
I want something exciting.
I want it to make me happy.
I also want it to make me sad.
I want to feel like what I’m doing is worth the effort.
I want it to be worth the effort even if it’s really really hard.
I don’t want to sacrifice the exciting and the unknown for the familiar and the dull. I might be taking a big risk but I’d rather try and fail than not try at all and settle for average. And when I say these things I don’t just mean my job. I mean everything. I mean life, love, work, friends, family, home, travel, everything.
Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time.
There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.
I don’t know who wrote that but my ex told it to me. And since then I’ve tried to apply it to every aspect of my life. It’s a slow and difficult process. Removing yourself from the familiar and the safe is a lot harder than just packing up and walking away. You need to work very hard to leave certain things behind before even leaving. Which reminds me of another quote she once told me which I think will be a nice way to end this blog.
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.