“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” President John F. Kennedy
On reading, here on Thrive Global, about quitting your job without a plan, while listening to “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, I was inspired to share my similar experience.
Realising that it is time to make the decision to quit the work you have aimed for since leaving university, with no real plan as to where or what next, is nerve-wracking, to say the least. To qualify: I have been a teacher of English, drama, media and dance and have worked my way through the responsibilities of head of year, head of department and into senior leadership and saw my path to deputy and headteacher before me.
Then I found myself working with a regime I didn’t suit. With my personal life in upheaval as well (this is my fourth significant relationship and I have children from two different men), my work became unfulfilling. It had to go in order for me to find me and for that me to thrive.
So here I am: I am pursuing acting, writing and continuing to support education through consultancy work. And I am excited for the first time in too long!
Mentally I have been up and down but I made a decision that I was going to stick at my relationship and that I was not going to quit that. Turns out it was a good starting point; I had a long journey to travel. This was key as due to our checkered/problematic/busy pasts my lover/partner and I have made a meal out of punishing each other for previous people’s mistakes. I think we all do it but we made it all consuming and it nearly destroyed us… but we survived.
Now, we are stronger and more understanding and that is because I refused to quit. It is because I have changed how I think about me. I am putting me first. What do I actually WANT to do/think/react to? What can I have power over and what can I change? How do I let the enormous amounts of good (how we look after our children for example) be the important part of what I think about?
To achieve this, an important step was accepting that my work was not working for me and it was certainly not working for my relationship!
I have been dependent on all my partners at different times and, on reflection, for different things. Dependency leads to resentment – I know that now.
How do I change my reactions and emotional responses? I can’t. BUT I can change my thoughts and behaviours. I can thought my way to positive and love and I can behave as an independent person until I believe it.
I feel different and released. I am finally me.
Now I am enrolling on: time out; seeing my friends and grown up daughter; spending more time with my younger children AND having a great love life in which I feel more like an independent person than ever before. Working to my schedule works for me. Oh, and there’s always Gloria Gaynor to remind us!