A few years ago I was engaged in a frequent text message exchange with a boy who I really liked. We met through a mutual friend that we had both worked with at one time or another and after I made fun of his fully decorated Christmas tree, that was apparently put up the day after Halloween, also known as November 1st, we began a friendship. As it turns out it would lead to nothing more than a friendship, because that’s how all things in my life seem to turn out – but that is a different story. One of the topics we discussed through our frequent text messages was “Being Irresponsible” and it stemmed from me revealing that I have never, not once and I pray to keep that record strong for the remainder of my life – have run out of gasoline in the car! His response was…
“Really? You’re so responsible. What is the most irresponsible thing you’ve ever done?”
I couldn’t answer him. I was at a loss. I sat there in my bedroom thinking back over my life and I couldn’t think of one irresponsible thing I had ever done – at least one that wasn’t tied to something responsible. My answer, which didn’t impress him any was…
“I purchased a house once and then regretted it.”
The fact of the matter is that I have never been irresponsible. My entire life I’ve followed the rules and walked the line, so to speak. As I’ve grown older, yes I have zero problems saying that, my opinions may have gotten the better of me at times – but even in those moments I tried to come from a place of respect and professionalism. Since May 2000, I’ve had a job – and for those of you who know me will note that my birthday is in June. Well see as “luck” would have it my Grandmother knew someone at Warehouse Market in Okmulgee, Oklahoma who let me start work a week shy of my 16th birthday in 2000. I suppose, like many things, my need to be responsible can be traced back to my Grandmother…because I couldn’t drive myself to school once I got my driver’s license unless I went to Vo-Tech in the morning or got a job in the evening. There was a reward for hard work. With the exception of a brief time in August 2006 – December 2006, I haven’t had a job. Since December 2006, I’ve worked full-time and then some. I like working, it gives me a sense of purpose. It allows me to focus on something, when there is nothing else to focus on and sure I bitch about my job and my work like just like everyone – but I enjoyed going to work…until I didn’t.
I quit my job on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. I’ve never been in a relationship that I would consider serious, but I reckon that the emotions I was feeling up until that day could be compared to what one may feel like with a partner who they feel is under appreciating them, blaming them for things, having an affair and overall smothering them. I didn’t come to the conclusion that I should quit my job easily. After all, I was working for a company that I actually wanted to work for since 2013. Let that sink in a moment, a company that I wanted to work for. Not only that I had left a high demanding, but good job in order to take this one – in the moment of presenting my resignation letter, I felt the sudden waves of relief and failure sink over me. I didn’t know which one to embrace first, the truth is I still don’t know which one to embrace.
Feeling defeated is hard. Feeling as though you failed is harder. What I have come to realize over the course of the last two weeks is knowing when to walk away. When the statement, “We look like fools. Fools who are idiotic and do not know what they are doing. And I am no none of those things…” come out of your mouth, after reading an email that you predicted would come, but no one else thought would…to me is a sign. As individuals we have to want to better ourselves in order to move up in corporate America. But at what point, does a company find that they need to better themselves by listening to the talent they have on their “team” in order to continue to be successful in corporate America?
I’ve been on a soul searching road trip over the course of the last two weeks, since quitting my job. It turns out I only have a minor freakout during the last fourteen days. One that rendered me bedridden and speechless – but I persisted and moved forward. It’s funny as I write this, I had forgotten about my August – December 2006 state of unemployment. It’s given me hope on what may come in the aftermath…because at the end of that four months I found a little casino in Perkins, Oklahoma, where over the course of my time there met two women who at different and multiple times throughout the last ten years help shape my life for bigger and better things.
I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite television shows of all time, as I end this blog post…”Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”