I quit a full-time job to focus on my non-existent writing career. I woke up one cold day, decided I had enough of this shit, and I quit.
The reasons were endless as to why I eventually quit, but I stayed and endured it for those short, few months because of one reason — I needed a paycheck. Yet, with the long commute and early hours (I had to be there at 7:30 every morning), the pay wasn’t worth it. I had so many expenses because of the commute, that by the time I got my paycheck, I was basically working just to go to work. On top of all of that, I was a single mother.
My guy was deployed to Afghanistan, and it made it so much harder to deal with everything. There were times I really needed to just vent, and I felt I had no one there for me, especially since my go-to person was on the other side of the map.
The day that I quit, it was kind of impulsive. I was home, I felt okay. Not stressed or anything like that. I’ve always been one who worked better under pressure. Survival was something that I pride myself in — and in an email that I forwarded to the superintendent, my principal, and the HR personnel — I quit. Just like that.
I was going to live off my savings until the next school year started, and try to sub as income. I applied to two school districts as a substitute, they were still a drive away, but a lot closer to home. That was my plan. (Not much of a plan.)
When I finally got a hold of my guy via Skype, I told him I quit my miserable job. He was very supportive of me. He basically agreed that the commute was ridiculous for the pay. I told him I would sub until the next school year started. One of the first things he asked me was if I needed help paying my bills. I was taken aback. I’ve been in plenty of relationships, I never had anyone who wanted to help me like that before.
I’m a strong believer of fate, destiny; some supernatural, unexplained, unexplored cosmic supernova… call it whatever you want; whatever it’s called, I believe in it.
A week after I quit, the following Wednesday, I got called to sub for a high school — and actually, I was getting so many calls that I eventually started screening my calls! I got engaged that month too. We got engaged on a Skype call. I was surprised. I thought as a man, I wouldn’t want a woman who had just quit her job and basically had no steady income coming in — something especially of importance in the military jargon… I didn’t want to be a ‘dependa’.
He said I would never be a dependa even if I didn’t work. I’m too ambitious. That’s what he loved the most about me. My ambitions. That’s what I love the most about me too.
I love knowing I overcame my humble background, my by-the-bootstraps story of accomplishments; he was the all-American boy with a father who is a doctor, he went to private schools his whole life — he had the life I used to wish for at night when I was a kid.
I, am the daughter of first-generation parents from China, who had only both had an elementary education. I grew up very poor, with a public school education, and a state college degree. Cinderella stories very rarely happens in real life. Let’s be real, how many neurosurgeons fall in love with someone working a retail job at a mall, or flipping burgers somewhere? Yet, despite my humble background, I have dated lawyers, doctors (yes, an actual neurologist), even a baseball player drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers… and it is because of my ambitions.
On days that I’m not teaching, I crochet and I write. When I got my first article published on a major Millennial news/media platform, I didn’t get paid a penny, it was all just name recognition — I was so proud of myself. I sent the link to my guy, and he told me he was proud of me.
I recently had to decide whether to continue my career as a teacher or take a hiatus to have a family; it was like probably the only second real argument we ever had. I told him I wanted a career. I wanted more than just to be a wife. The college degree that I’m so proud of (summa cum laude) was so that I never had to depend on a man’s support. He said he knows.
That’s why he loves me. It’s why he wanted to marry me. He told me he brags to everyone about me, because he’s so proud of me. To him, I am the smartest, the most beautiful, the most ambitious woman ever… even if I just crochet and blog all day. It was because of this, that I decided to halt my teaching career for a while.
My guy never downplayed my blogging. He knew that most of my articles didn’t receive any payments, and those few that did was hardly enough for a Happy Meal, but he always read every linked article I sent him. I love him for always encouraging my dreams.
Writing this, I thought back to almost two years ago… I was engaged to another Army captain, and he used to tell me things like my blogging was a waste of time, it wasn’t anything that paid the bills. He never motivated me with what I was most inspired by. He loved telling people I was a history teacher because he liked the title; yet, he also wanted me to hold up my career so he could further his. We broke up, and I got an article published on Cosmo a few months later… he lost his job and his military career a few months later.
The last I heard of him was when some emotionally unstable girl stalked my social media accounts because she was insecure about me. I eventually ended up feeling sympathetic towards her, when I realized that her attempts at trying to insult or hurt my feelings were all a lack of having any self confidence in herself to be her own success. She was trying to convince me that he loved her more or better by equating our relationships; I realized she was dependent on his success for her own happiness.
Originally published at medium.com