A year after I graduated college, I found myself living back home at my parent’s house, working a dead-end job.
It was a “dead-end” in the sense that it was only a matter of time until my boss fired me or I quit. It was a temporary gig, and we both knew that.
She hired me as an assistant editor for her magazine and I did every single thing but edit her magazine. I picked up dog poop. I wrapped her Christmas presents. I drove to her house and climbed a ladder to take down her Halloween decorations. One time her husband asked me to do some accounting work for him and as he handed me a giant calculator and a stack of receipts, I tried to remind him that I just graduated with a degree in poetry.
He didn’t care.
On the day I gave my two weeks notice, I called my boss and told her I was moving to New York City. She said:
“Good, because I was going to fire you anyway.”
And maybe she would have. But I’m happy I was the one to say goodbye first.
I should have clocked out and never came back after day one. But I didn’t have anywhere else to go and sometimes when things are bad we stay -because staying is easier than looking ourselves in the mirror and saying, “No way, Honey Pie. You do not deserve this dog poop of a situation.”
I remember this job of my nightmares every time I come back home to south Florida. I remember the nights I’d sit in my bed applying for every single job on Indeed.com. In one month, I probably applied for 260 jobs. I didn’t hear back from any…for a really long time.
But I remembered that job the other night, after I finished teaching a class to a room full of New York City adults, and one of them stayed after to chat.
The student looked me in the eyes and said that she didn’t like her job. She wanted to get out. But she didn’t know what to do.
I took a seat. Flashed back to when I tip-toed in her shoes just a couple of years ago and realized this:
It’s very simple.
When there’s something we have in our lives that we don’t like, we get rid of it.
A shirt that doesn’t fit – we bring it back to the store. We give it away to someone else who may enjoy wearing it more than we would.
A friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, who is beginning to make us go mad. We muster up the courage to deliver a monologue letting them know why we just have to kick them to the curb.
But our own lives?
Our jobs… our living situation…our situation situation (the ones we don’t talk about – don’t post about on social media or bring to the table when we get together with friends). We sulk in them. We let them overcome us. We stay put, as if we’re saying this is different. This is something that’ll work itself out without us having to get involved and make any changes. That there’s no way we can possibly get a refund, start again, make things different.
But we’re wrong.
You don’t owe your job anything. If you don’t like it, leave. Maybe don’t leave until you have a job lined up – or a whole lot of money in your savings account. But work your butt off to leave. Get a job doing something..anything else.
If you don’t know who or what you want to be, know you’re not alone. Most of us are trying to find our balance while standing in that exact same rocky boat.
So keep trying. Try everything. Take classes. Go to post-work meet-ups. Talk to every person you make eye contact with. Sit down and write a list of all the things that excite you enough to get out of bed in the morning. Figure out a way to incorporate those things into your job. Take a gigantic leap and start your own business. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. But that’s not why you start a business.
We’re one month away from a new year. Want a refund on your life? Start planning how you’re going to kick your own butt to the curb in 2017 and start over or simply just start from scratch.
Ps. Join in on the MONDAY fun. Right here, right now.