Quitting does not necessarily equal failure …
I’ve quit two jobs now on the single premise that they were no longer good fits for me. I quit them without a backup plan … Now hear me out! In the wake of the great resignation, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of putting down something that no longer serves you. The idea that there are times in this life when quitting or giving up on something isn’t a failure; it’s a survival tactic.
The idea of putting something down is actually innately a difficult one for me to grasp. Typically, I’m a person who doesn’t pick up something until I’m sure I can and will complete it. Stopping in the middle feels like failure to me. I could apply this “logic” to basically anything in my life: an unfinished book, an un-ran race, or an unchecked to-do box.
Mental health seems to be the one area of my life where this “logic” doesn’t apply. You see, I do not mess around with my mental health. As someone who has struggled with this over the years, I really try not to place or keep myself in a situation that could compromise it.
The biggest way this has played out in my life is through my work. I have quit two jobs, both without a solid backup plan. And while I truly don’t want to make this a pattern, leaving these two jobs, in particular, was imperative to not only my health but the health and happiness of my family. No amount of money will make up for a burnt-out, depressed mama.
Here’s the thing. There is something about the combo of losing a parent at a young age and becoming a parent myself that has given me what my girl Lizzo would call “BDE.” There is something about navigating a grief journey while also navigating a parenting journey that leaves very little room for the mental gymnastics of a toxic situation. I will not continually give energy to a situation that takes energy from my family without giving anything in return.
Luckily I have a partner who wholeheartedly supports this! It also helps that I’m a natural busy body, so every time I’ve left a job, I spend maybe five minutes resetting, and then I jump into my next endeavor (there’s a lesson on burnout here I’ll tackle someday.) I realize the ability to leave a job without a backup plan is truly a privilege, so the lesson here isn’t to burn it down without a backup plan. The lesson is that listening to yourself and making a plan to put down a toxic job, friend, diet, or even a family member isn’t a failure. It’s choosing yourself.
These days I find myself in a season that is the perfect mix of work, family, and me-time. It’s working really well for my mental health, and I thank past Rashida for making the right calls to get me here.