I Quit My Job And It Feels Weirdly Like A Breakup

It feels cliche but necessary to say that I do not dream of labor. My dream is not to devote all my time to be able to survive while making someone rich even richer. But unfortunately, we do not live in a society where I get to live my actual dream of being cool all day. Also, my *real* dream job was to be an editorial assistant.

Now, to my actual point.

I’ve never quit a job before. I had to do the whole letter of resignation rigamarole. I felt so awkward and postured as I pieced together examples from Google trying to sound professional yet warm, confident but not jaded. For something I once enjoyed doing, it was strange being relieved that I was leaving.

Here’s the thing; I really loved my job. I loved going to see my patients every day, and I rarely had a bad day at work. Then I’d have a bad day once in a while, then once a week, then almost every day. For many compounding reasons, the job was just not what I thought it was going to be. I waited for it to go back to the way it was when I first started, but it never did.

Because this was my first “real job,” I didn’t know how to read my own feelings. Much like in my first relationships, I didn’t know when it was time to stay and when it was time to go. I didn’t know that my feelings might change over time. So many adults in my life would tell me they’ve been working at the same job for several years or even decades, so I just assumed that I would follow suit. I love this job, therefore I would always want this job. I’d marry the job, have kids with the job, and live a mildly resentful life with the job.

However, much like my past relationships, what I thought I wanted is not what I needed, or was even just wrong. I can change my mind about everything, including what job I want, without it undermining my past feelings. It’s weird to relearn something that I’ve already grappled with but in a different context.

So I thought this job was forever. So I thought that I would always want to do this, even if it was in a different place. So I was wrong. So what? I got a new job that will hopefully be everything I hoped this job would be. And if I’m wrong again, I’ll just get another one. There’s no reason to be caught up in any exchange that’s not making your life better, and every job gives you the opportunity to learn what you do and don’t want.

Suddenly, I’m hearing ‘thank u, next’ playing in my head.

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Astrid Perez is a 30-something madness with stardust around her eyes and a pen name. Her writing strives to give people permission to take up space in the world as their multifaceted, complex, human selves. Her soul is happiest when she is reading, or being around people who lift up her spirits.

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