Closing Doors

I sat on this post because Lauren LBC/HOTR/mom-to-be went and announced the tiny human growing inside her, and I thought it’d be rude to not give her at least a few days of Big Life News spotlight before coming in with my own. Haha just kidding, I actually just didn’t want to compete for attention. Plus my news is way less exciting. SPOILER : No gestation countdowns here.

(dear parents and in-laws, please return to normal cardiac rhythms. promise you won’t find out about any Baby Limes from the internet…)

Before I explain though, lets back up and start from the sensible place.

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The Cali Backgrounder

We came out to California three years ago because of my job. The small company I worked for was opening a satellite office and needed two reps to lay down the roots. I interviewed in January (winter in Ohio? yes, can I leave RIGHT NOW PLEASE?) and just barely a year into my first post-collegiate job, accepted a promotion and put “move to CA” on my calendar for April 1.

Brian was finishing up graduate school, so the timing was perfect. He didn’t have to leave a job, was able to take his boards in CA, and found a job pretty easily. We didn’t own a home (uhh we were 23/25) and had nothing really tying us down to Ohio. Friends and family, yes, but we knew we wouldn’t have to twist arms too hard to convince someone to come visit if we got too homesick.

Our logic was, simply, “why not?!” We were presented an opportunity to do something we’d always wanted to, essentially risk-free. Plus, HELLO, Southern California. We literally had no excuse to say no.

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Anyway, that’s all old news. We’re used to the 7-lane highways, legal U-turns, have learned how to pronounce “pho”, and find ourselves almost-sorta calling SoCal “home” now. With no regrets.

But as our time in California, and life in general progressed, I found myself gradually growing more and more restless. Life in Cali was all (and more) I imagined, yet I found myself feeling very unfulfilled. On paper I had no reason to be unhappy – a supportive and loving husband, strong family, full health, and great friends, all enveloped in palm tree paradise – but I wasn’t as happy as I felt I should be.

Does that make sense? Not being unhappy necessarily, but not being happy either?

Finding the Source

Eventually I found the root of my not-unhappy-but-not-happy predicament – it popped up every Monday-Friday from 8-5. I knew what I did wasn’t my “dream job”, but I adored the people I worked with and sought value in the potential of the company and my position within it. The tedium of the daily work was always trumped by the perks, and I told myself I was lucky to have a comfortable and stable career.

But I grew less and less interested in what I was doing, which turned into unproductivity, which eventually (once fully metastasized) turned into an almost remorse towards everything related to the job and company. A really ugly place for everyone involved.

This path, as I’ve now discovered, was sprung into motion and quickly jet-fueled by a few factors :

  1. I was FUCKING BORED
  2. I had no passion towards what I was doing
  3. The strengths that drew me in initially (people, ethics, company vision, etc) began deteriorating, creating a new, unfavorable work environment and a culture I no longer supported

I woke up every morning for MONTHS dreading going into the office. And to top it off, this disdain followed me everywhere – I was “taking my work home with me” and never completely tuned out to this business that was eating me alive.

But it was comfortable! I made good money, with great benefits, and had a mostly flexible schedule. Everything safe and “responsible” told me to gut it out, that maybe things would take a turn. People had it much harder than I did, after all…

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“But some people actually LOVE what they do…”

the other shoulder voice said.

I’d already spent so much of my life doing what I felt I SHOULD do, following the rules, staying between the lines. For what? Hum drum lackluster answers when someone asks what you’re up to lately? What you’ve done with your life? What you want to be when you grow up?

For something taking up 1/3rd of my day, five days a week, I had very little to be proud of, and even less to be excited for. How could I look forward at my career’s future when I didn’t even want to look ahead to the next morning? The next task, phone call, email?

Suddenly “comfortable and responsible” felt like a vice, strangling me and holding me back.

Closing the Door

It finally hit me one day – that I really didn’t have to be there anymore. Nothing was holding me to my job, the same way that nothing was holding us to Ohio when I originally accepted it. Any of my “excuses” had easy answers – Insurance? we could switch to Brian’s. Money? I’d find a side job if necessary until something new came up. What would everyone think? Who gives a fuck? It’s not their life.

Brian and I sat down to look at finances and what changes we’d need to make to get by while I soul job searched. Cancel cable, freeze my “fun shopping” (clothes, shoes, etc), downgrade our cell phone plan, eat out less, etc. We have a decent nest egg built up, and calculated we could float on one income for a few months before having to dip into it. And if the “dream job” search was slow going, I’d put my pride in my pocket and pony up a part-time at Starbucks or something.

We’d be fine. And if we weren’t, well, we’d just figure something else out.

So, after four years and two months, I left my first post-collegiate job. Where I learned about (and started) my 401k, guerilla’d my way through the sales ropes, made a few “omg my life is over!” mistakes amongst (luckily a few more) “cha-ching I’m the SHIT!” deals, and built a career. I packed up my desk, said goodbye to my coworkers, and on the drive home it slowly dawned on me :

‘I’m finally out. … Now what??’

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Searching for that “Window Opening” Everyone Talks About

It’s always sad closing a chapter, and quite scary when you don’t know exactly what the next one holds. That proverbial door slamming shut behind you can be a real wake-the-fuck-up call. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of quiet alone time to mull it over. Questioning whether it was the right thing to do. Wondering where to go/what to do next. Stressing over whether Brian resents me being at home all day while he’s pulling in the only paycheck (he swears he doesn’t). But the main piece that I keep rounding back to is that life is short, and singular. We’ve got one life to live, and I am refusing to make a soap opera joke out of that.

(Bear with me while I get a little philosophical here…)

We don’t know what our purpose is here, and the only thing I’ve come up with is to live the fullest life possible. Instead of beating our heads against the wall looking for an answer to a rhetorical question (“what am I SUPPOSED to be doing here??!”) maybe our job is to just blaze the fullest, wildest path on our way to whatever our final chapter winds up being. It could be tomorrow. It could be a hundred years from now. You could be living the Fast and the Furious saga of lifetimes and just keep freaking going despite everyone thinking “for sure this must be the LAST ONE how old is the Rock anyway?!”

I’m a realist in that I know I’m likely not meant to totally change the world – I didn’t leave my paltry desk job to tackle the cure for cancer or poverty in third world countries. My career change will likely affect nobody but myself, Brian, and the guy who does our taxes and has an extra W2 to enter. But I have talents and skills that were being wasted, and a pretty well-functioning brain that hasn’t been challenged in far some time. I know I can contribute to something- someone- somewhere, in a much more beneficial way than I had been, and I’ll be a happier person when I get to do that.

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I don’t know where I’ll wind up or what I’ll end up doing, all I hope is that it’s something that wakes me each day with a sense of passion and purpose. To spring out of bed ready to tackle the day’s hurdles, and go to sleep at night eager to do it again the next.

In the meantime, rather than stressing the process, I’ve vowed to enjoy this adult summer vacation of sorts. Do things I’ve always wanted to but haven’t had time (volunteer! sit at a coffee shop all day! take the train somewhere!) Attempt to make sense of all the moments that have lined, barricaded, and carried me through this trail I’ve started, and prepare to blaze the path ahead. To use my time and energy towards things that might in some small way add a little good in the world.

And who knows – maybe my one-in-seven-billion drop in the bucket will make a difference somehow.

Sarah OUaL, unemployed

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101 thoughts on “Closing Doors

  1. Life is too short to dread waking up 5 times a week! I applaud your courage to step out in faith that you will find something better. I made a similar move when I was 25 and I don’t regret it one bit! My career change has brought me so much more fulfillment than I would have experienced in my prior path. Good luck to you and your husband and you find your path! Don’t forget, I’m in OC too if you guys need anything.

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  2. Good for you!! Somewhere in the blurry 13 miles we ran together I remember hearing you talk about your job. You didn’t seem in love with it, and I had a flashing thought that I hoped you would find something you loved more. It’s a huge leap to seak out something new but huge kudos for following your heart and making your happiness a priority! Good luck and let me know if I can help your searching!

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  3. Good for you!! I quit my job and went back to grad school so I could do what I really wanted. I heart my job as a school counselor, with built in summer vacations!!

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  4. Right there with you…being feeling out of sorts for the past several months. I actually admitted out loud yesterday that I don’t really enjoy my job most days any more. Yikes….statements like that only come out when you are willing to do something about them.

    Best of luck as you seek something that will be more fulfilling for you!

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  5. I’ll admit to having a moment of shock when I first saw that pingback…! But that’s because I have a one-track mind these days.

    Congratulations! I’m really happy to hear this, actually. I know how it feels to be stuck in a job that you dread day after day….one that feels like it’s eating away at your soul (I know, dramatic much? But it’s true!). And I’ve sort of been wondering when/if you’d leave for something better. I quit my first job after grad school for the same reason…after way less time put in and with way less security. Can’t say it wasn’t a little scary, but it was also so liberating. Good luck and enjoy this new downtime! I hope you find something that makes getting up and going to work every day worth it!

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  6. Congrats! It takes guts to make that decision, and I’m so happy that you were able to make it work for you. I’ve been thinking about changing careers for what feels like forever now, but I keep comforting myself with those same thoughts of “but it’s such a stable, safe career – with good benefits! I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” It’s comforting to know that other people have those same thoughts, and that it may be okay to one day quit and find something that I love.

    Best of luck to you!

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  7. Wow, this describes me exactly! However, I’m not as brave as you to actually quit without another job lined up. Your so brave and awesome!

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  8. Awesome! I’ve been toying with this idea for 4 years (I’ve been working for 5, ha!!) and just haven’t bit the bullet. It’s the whole security thing and really having no clue where to go/what to do next. Your post may be the kick in the pants I need to really sit down and think about it… because you’re right, we only have this one life, and who knows how long or short of a time to enjoy it, so what’s the point spending it at a desk 9-5 that you loathe? Can’t wait to follow along and see what is in store for you!

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  9. I did the same thing 3.5 years ago in regards to a job I had for 4 years. Its definitely a liberating feeling and IMO, important to listen to your gut. You’re going to find something amazing that will make you happy. Don’t settle!

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  10. Totally going through the same thing right now. Left a job I liked (not loved, I admit) to move states and make a jump to sales. Well turn out sales is NOT for me. 2 years later I’m trying to figure out how i can quit so I actually have time to find something I’ll love (funny that traveling 70% of the time doesn’t make finding a new job easy).

    I hope you find something you love, and I respect your bravery to make the leap! I’m sure people will say you’re crazy for leaving a stable job, but I say good for you if you can make it work.

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  11. You are a brave and strong woman. Congratulations for uncomplicating things before they become too complicated. It’s a great feeling to know that you don’t have to do something epic for it to be worthwhile, it just needs to fill you up. Good luck on your journey and enjoy your summer vaca!

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  12. Awesome post and very inspiring. Growing up I thought I always wanted to be a doctor but during my senior year of college I could not stop thinking “is this what I really want to do?” The more I thought about it and the more physicians I shadowed the more I realized I don’t want to do this. I was nervous about what other people would think but then realized..I don’t owe anyone any explanation. Now I am on my way to becoming a PT and could not be any happier. Congratuations on taking the big leap something great will come!

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  13. I fully thought I was getting to read a post about future baby limes!!!!!
    You pretty much described my life. I’ve been working at the same place for 3 years and have hated it every single day. The people are nice and that’s it. I’m bored, not challenged, work long hours, almost no time off and feel like my major is going to waste. I’ve been looking for a job for the past 3 years and can’t find anything in Cleveland. I’ve had many offers for jobs in Chicago and NY but my fiance would never move so those aren’t really options.
    In case you can’t tell, I’m highly jealous of you right now. There are so many things I want to do that I don’t have the time for. Enjoy your unemployment! I’m excited to see where you end up and what you do with your new found freedom! :)

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  14. YAY! I did this “switch gears of life” as well and am in the process of pursuing doing what I love! I was told by many around me to be “practical” and but I love being a therapist and love my job helping others heal and Be who they are truly born to be! So I decided to tell those who wanted me to be “practical” to “Live their own lives and let me live mine”. Enjoy your summer and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “figure it all out”…you will eventually through trial and error and enjoy every moment of it : )

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  15. While I hated when you guys moved across the country, I certainly came to understand why it was the right thing and a good move for you both.
    As you well know, my life changing event 12 years ago led to me leaving the very comfortable and successful job I’d had for 14 years. I remember waking up some days thinking Oh my God, what have I done!!! Yet here I am 10 years later exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to do. Fate? Divine plan? Who knows????
    All I do know is that being happy is the most important thing. Life IS too short. It’s not cliche if it’s true!!
    So….. I’m sorry this isn’t a little lime post and I’m damn near willing to pack the truck and drive it across the country all by myself to have you back home, but I’m glad you’ve taken that plunge into the darkness of uncertainty. Every time that’s happened to me, I’ve emerged right where I needed to be. I’m sure you will too. And I love you more than you could know. Give my boy a hug! Miss you!!

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  16. Ummm, you basically described my situation with work perfectly. I’ve been with my design job over 2.5 years, and I’m feeling drained, unmotivated and unfulfilled. I’m also trying to do a career/job/city switch but not due to finances I can’t just quit my current job, although I REALLY want to and have a grown up summer vacation too. I applaud you for taking the leap! And I hope you find something that you feel passionate and excited about. And you’re right, some people DO love their jobs! I hope we both get to be those people soon.

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  17. This is thrilling. I wish I wrote this post. I’m in the exact shoes you are. My job pays well and offers a great schedule and great benefits, but I’m bored and don’t love what I do. Hm. I need that “But some people love what they do” voice to turn itself up in my head. Ah. Congratulations Sarah. That’s about the most exciting thing I’ve heard from someone in a while.

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  18. Good for you — it’s so important to sometimes take a step back and figure out exactly what your passion is. I hope you find it soon :)

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  19. It is so cool that you realized that you needed to do something “better”; I think a few months/years from now you are going to look back and realize now is when your life changed so amazingly. I also think this is going to touch more people than you think (in a good way!)

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  20. Some people say it does not matter what your job is as long as you are bringing in lots of money. I have to strongly disagree. I did the same thing last year. I did not want to spend my time in an office answering phones. It just wasn’t for me. So I am proud of you for being brave. It is not easy to do!!

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  21. I think you made the right choice! Life is too short to waste away at a job that you hate and that leaves you bitter! I did the same thing about 2 years ago…. went after a dream and now I’m looking for a job I’ll love… the looking part is stressful, but I know it’ll be worth it once I find the right one! Same goes for you missy! You’ll find the perfect thing! :)

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  22. I am so, so, so happy and excited for you (and a bit jealous). I love the post. I love the decision and I cannot wait to see what the next chapter brings for you. xoxo

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  23. Congratulations! I’m really happy for you and very impressed. It’s not an easy decision and it takes a lot of courage to leap into the unknown. Looking forward to seeing where the wind takes you on this.

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  24. I doubt I’m saying anything that anyone else hasn’t said already but this post really spoke to me. I made a career move about 18 months ago and I’m really happy but I still find myself wondering if there’s “something more” out there for me to be doing. I hope you enjoy your time spent unchained from a desk and find something that really fulfills you soon!

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  25. CONGRATULATIONS! I just quit my job yesterday! I’m going to grad school in the fall, a decision which I agonized over for months, but once I made the final decision it felt really right. I’m still not sure what exactly I’ll do with the degree, but (and this is super difficult as a Type-A planner) I try to remind myself that I don’t need to see the whole road right now but just the next step. Being in your 20s is HARD. Good luck and can’t wait to see what you end up doing next!

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  26. I hear a little bird calling and the birds name is Oiselle. They would be crazy not to bring you on in some sort of remote office personnel.
    So glad you had the courage to say good bye, especially when you aren’t quite sure what’s waiting for you on the other side. Find something you are passionate about and work will never be work. I’ve been lucky enough to do that with running and work. I just recently moved to Road Runner and I have never felt so fulfilled going into work. So believe me, your jobs out there just waiting for you!

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  27. This is so well written. I have been struggling with the same sort of deal with my “career” and you put it into words perfectly. My situation is a little bit different because I do have passion for my career – but trying to stay a teacher right now is so stressful – and moving from school to school each year is so hard – I’ve had to adapt so much that it is incredibly exhausting – new grade levels, new curriculum – never even knowing where the bathroom is on the first day which happens over and over. Ugh! It makes me wonder if I could leave the realm of what I thought was for me (and could still be) and move into the unknown the “unsafe” if you will. But like you say – there is no reason to be scared… I don’t have to do the same thing because I know it is responsible etc. …. so there are my ramblings… but I really appreciated this post!

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  28. Well put, Lime. It takes balls to leave a job in the name of happiness, but it has to be done! Make sure your next job is flexible so you can run lots of relays, k?

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  29. Congrats on making the leap!! I just recently realized (read: accepted) the same thing about my job, for the same reasons. I don’t think anyone can truly understand how boredom can cause unhappiness until they’ve been there. It is so frustrating showing up to work to be bored and unchallenged.

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  30. Sarah, thank you. I am in the EXACT same position now and really struggling with it. I moved to DC to chase down a dream and I took whatever job would get me here…I love it. I have a great apartment with a wonderful live-in boyfriend, amazing friends and great paths to go running on…but my job is the one thing making me unhappy. Thanks for sharing this…it was really helpful to read and to know that I’m not alone. Here’s to hoping I can take the same plunge you did…and soon.

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  31. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! It’s very inspiring and I am truly happy that you have moved on! There are so many people out there that would not make a big move like that, but you will be a better and stronger person for it! And, your soul- searching/job- searching will definitely pay off! So happy for you! Xoxo, K

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  32. I know this feeling well. I gave up my career as a costume designer (mostly) when I moved from LA (land of entertainment jobs) to Phoenix (desert in every imaginable sense) last May for my husband’s job. I get a costume job once every six months since we moved here it seems, I go do it, and I find it doesn’t fulfill me. I took a seasonal retail job for a while, but otherwise, I am on a long search to figure out what I want to do. It’s hard, I won’t lie. I wish I knew what my true ambition was, but I can’t figure it out. My advice is, don’t let yourself slack in finding your way. I think it’s really easy to let a ‘break’ from work turn into a way of life, something I’m guilty of. Enjoy it though– and definitely motivate yourself to do those things like taking the train somewhere or sitting at starbucks. I think that’s where I went wrong and why I’m still trying to figure things out. (PS, you’re going to have lots of time to run!!!)

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  33. I love love love this! I recently did the exact same thing – I left a job that wasn’t fulfilling because I realized that life was about more than a paycheck and I have SO much more to contribute than I was doing at that job! It was scary living on just my husband’s income and not having a new job to jump in to right away, but I had a sense of calmness that everything would work out okay in the end.

    I was able to enjoy each part of my day, taking the dog for multiple walks, exercising whenever I wanted for however long I wanted to(!), and cooking nice dinners for my husband. I had time to really soul-search and think about what I wanted, and sometimes having too much time on my hands, I thought people might judge me for quitting my job without a back-up plan (especially my in-laws who were shocked to hear the news…). But it was the right thing for me and I don’t regret it at all!

    After a month of a soul-searching vacation and a nice, stress-free job search, I stumbled across my dream job and started a few weeks later. I love life now and I’m so glad I did what I did to get here!

    Take the time to enjoy every single moment of your freedom and allow yourself to soul-search…trust me, a clear mind will really help you as you are thinking about what you want to do with your life! Best of luck to you!

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    • I hope my dream job scenario plays out even half as nicely as yours! And I won’t tell Brian what you said about the “cooking nice dinners”… still a hazard in the kitchen ;)

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  34. Just awesome, Sarah. Props to you for doing this. I hope that with some time and Starbucks sitting, you find something that you are meant to do more. I definitely have those feelings of “gah, am I just wasting away these precious years??” And then I remind myself that I have to make the change that is better for me. I can’t sit around much longer avoiding my dreams.

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  35. Man, if I didn’t have kids that ask for things like “Shoes” and “food” and “shelter”, I would be a nomad working on farms. Or something.

    I think almost everyone feels the same way at some point, and it’s great that you’re able to take action on that.

    Solution for us both: Come up with a way to tie in running WITH curing cancer. I’ll be your first employee. /invadingyourspace

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  36. I would try to write something cool and insightful here, but can’t seem to find anything particularly noteworthy to say other than kudos to you and follow what you love! Whenever I complain about the hours or the restrictions of my “job,” I remember that at least I do enjoy going home and reading about it and feel a strong sense of purpose. For that, I am lucky. I hope you find the same and know you will! Go forth and find your passion project job! :)

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  37. I sit in the “whatever makes you happy” and “everything happens for a reason” boats. So good for you for doing what makes you happy! I’m sure you will find something you enjoy and in the mean time if you have any struggles, you and Brian will handle them as they come. Good luck in the search!

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  38. Very brave! I quit my first job out of college after 1.5 years of working ridiculous hours at a job I wasn’t passionate about. I ended up backpacking through Southeast Asia for four months and it was the best decision of my life! Unfortunately I’m back in that same career – albeit a company that is much more enjoyable to me and pays even better – BUT I still get the itch to really explore my passion(s) and ditch my current career (accounting – BORING).

    Good luck! I have a feeling you will get the opportunity of a lifetime! And enjoy those FUNemployment days ahead!

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  39. BRAVO! And welcome to the Running Bum life! Although that started out as “pretty job-less” for us (winning $1000 in pesos at a race in Mex is not much of a job), its more a state of mind! A willingness to take risks, go after what you believe, value, love…and RUN with it! I know it might be overwhelming right now, but really rad stuff is ahead for you! :D

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  40. That is so incredibly brave of you! I’ve had a few jobs where I really just HATED being there. It was normally out of boredom. And there were many times where I wanted to just leave, but being single at the time, I couldn’t afford the loss of income. Then when I got married, Eric was very literally depending on my financially for a while, even when I HATED my boss and he was making my life miserable. It took a while, but I am pretty satisfied with my job now. Am I curing cancer? No. But my job allows me to enjoy the rest of my life the way I want to. And that makes me VERY happy. Excited to see what is in store for you!

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  41. I’m not sure you’ll read down this far, but I had to comment – this is just such a brave thing to do. I had a friend who did it too and I admired him so much. It’s going to work out perfectly, I know. And I would seriously love to work at Starbucks! Good luck! Plenty of time for running now :)

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  42. This is huge Sarah, but I get it, when you aren’t happy in your job and it just becomes the job that pays the bills, I agree its time to move on.
    I have been a paralegal for 8 years and only in the last 1 1/2 years did I actually start to really love my job and what I do. But on some days I don’t know that it’s my dream job persay. Good luck to you and I hope you find something that makes you really happy!

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  43. Phew! I thought this post was going to announce your move back to corn town! I haven’t had the chance to meet you IRL yet so that would have been devastating!

    BRAVO, Sarah! This is so exciting. I admire your bravery, commitment to your values and the fact that you are listening to your heart. You are awesome. The right thing will come along when the time is right. For now, ENJOY! If I was in a better financial situation, I would do the exact same thing. Live it up, sister! And now that you’re unemployed, you can come down to San Diego and hang out with ME!

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  44. I can sympathize. I liked my job, my boss, my company, my commute, and then my company went through a merger and suddenly I had a new job, a new boss, a new (long ass) commute and it was kind of like working for a new company. I liked the work I was doing, but not much else, and I grew to HATE my job. Every morning I woke up dreading it (somedays I would just call in “sick” because I couldn’t bear the thought of going in) and every night I dreaded the thought of doing it over again the next day. Since I did like the work I do (digital marketing), I was job searching to get out of there, but that was taking awhile and I had PLENTY of days where I was just like “ugh, can’t I just QUIT?” Unfortunately in our financial situation … no. But fortunately, I finally got an offer and Friday is my last day, thankfully. Cannot wait to get the F out.

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  45. So brave, and so wise. I think we are so trained to play it safe with careers, especially amidst the current sh*tshow of a job market, that we forget that there is supposed to be joy and passion in that thing we do for money.
    I went back to school at 31 to get a degree in a field that does not pay amazingly well. It definitely raised some eyebrows, but my first job out of school validated the choice I made. It feels incredible to go to work at a job that I love and have moments like, “I’m getting PAID to do this?!?” I hope you’ll find your dream job/jobs, too!

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  46. Good for you! I briefly talked about this same thing a couple days ago. It’s nice to know there are so many others who are going/have gone through the same thing and have lived to tell about it… Best of luck and I’m looking forward to where this leads you!

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  47. congrats Lime! I was in the same situation last year right before my hubby and I got married so it was easier to stay in the bad job until post wedding. Within a month after we came back from our honeymoon I was laid off and it was a blessing in disguise!! While I’m still looking for that perfecct job, its given me time to train for a marathon, volunteer at an animal shelter, and hang out at a coffee shop for the day!

    With your new free time, any races or new personal projects on the horizon? Personally, Pintrest has kept me busy many days haha.

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    • Ah, congrats to you as well! Yes, some fun projects on the horizon… For now a few volunteer opps (PCRF and local shelter, like you) and planning my best friend’s bachelorette party. Two separate ends of the spectrum, indeed. ;)

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      • haha I have a bachelorette party to plan too…plus I’m now the CEO of Travel Planning for the hubs and I. He’s off for the next 3 weeks so on a whim we’re doing a quick trip to Jamaica (via priceline name your own price)- who knows when we’ll be able to go somewhere like this again! We have a healthy savings account, so I don’t feel guilty about it at all!

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  48. congrats & good luck! Everyone here is super supportive and wants you to succeed in whatever you choose. RUNNERS NEVER FAIL WE JUST GET STRONGER!!

    I’m on the verge of taking the cali plunge (currently i’m in DC)… and this post is giving me a kick in the right, or west coast direction. :)

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      • Thanks, out of all the blogs i read i’m always like sarah seems cool cause she’s a midwest girl and likes beer and running haha. I’m originally from Indiana (hello corn fields!) right outside chicago and our local brewery is Three Floyds, which I DIE for when i go back home. See you in Cali!

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  49. I faced all this a few years ago too, I left everything, not sure of the future but knowing it had to be better than stagnating all day… It was scary and exciting and eventually my dream job found me…of course I busted my @$$ to get it, but the funny thing is, I didn’t know it was going to turn out so well. The same will happen to you, don’t lose hope:)

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  50. Good for you!! Now is your time to find what you love, explore what you want and take chances!! I hope that you enjoy this time and I also pray you land your dream job, whatever that maybe!
    Go forth and conquer the world! Or find more cool coffee cups to collect, whatever makes you happy! ;-)

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  51. I love this! Go find your passion and your happiness! I’m in the process of doing the same! My husband and I moved from Seattle to Phoenix a year and a half ago so I could pursue a more lucrative career opportunity. Turns out, more money doesn’t always mean more job satisfaction or happiness. So, we recently decided to move back to Seattle where we were both happier. Life is too short to settle for anything other than happiness, especially in the name of convenience or security. Here is a bit of unsolicited advice (I’m not that much older than you so I feel silly giving any advice, but here goes…), make decisions based on your goals and desires rather than those of others. It seems so intuitive, but when I look back on the career decisions I’ve made, they’ve primarily been based on what other people think would make me happy, or what other people think I would be good at. If you asked me 10 years ago what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you I wanted to be a high school teacher and volleyball coach. If you ask me today why I’m a lawyer, I don’t really have a good answer for that other than financial reasons and the fact that my parents felt I would waste so much potential if I was “just a teacher.” I’ve learned that I can’t mold my expectations to fit someone else’s definition of happiness. Good luck on your journey! Fortunately, running is cheaper than therapy and far more effective (it’s been proven, it’s science :).

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  52. This is amazing and inspiring. Congrats on taking the leap, life really is short. Ss uncomfortable as it is to leave the safety net and pursue change, being uncomfortable is how growth happens and how we stay alive. Looking forward to reading more about your journey!.

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  53. WOW!! not at all what i was expecting-thought you were going to tell us you were headed back home. I have never had enough $$ saved (or a hubs with an income) to help provide for what I needed to be able to quit a job without one-but I admire those that can so that they figure out what they want. I was absolutely miserable in my job for over 3 years. I hated it. I cried, I bitched, I was lazy as hell. I interviewed, interviewed, and interviewed. Got offers, got rejected, but nothing felt right. Sales is my thing and always will be. I FINALLY found a job I love (honestly, you would too since you are such an advocate). So take the time, find what you love. You really will be so much happier. My life was pretty much falling apart a few weeks ago, and oddly enough, work is what kept me happy and sane. We can talk more next week. :):)

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  54. Congrats, Sarah! I made a similar jump last year, and it was fantastic! I transitioned from working for a corporation to working for a non-profit (not at all where I thought I would end up), but it has been great. Best wishes to you on your search- make friends on all of your adventures- one of them will know someone who knows someone who is hiring! :)

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  55. I 100% understand every word you just wrote! I’m in the same position. I had a decent job as a manager, getting valuable experience and making an okay amount of money. But I was unhappy. In the weeks before I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to quit my job I would cry…at work…every single day. It was horrible. I was so frustrated.

    Then I had some soul searching talked with my husband and a few long conversations with my boss (who whole heartedly supported me and my happiness). I made a plan to get out. It took me 6 months of PT work (plus school) but I’ve officially been unemployed for a month. Its awesome. Sure, the money side kind of sucks, but we were able to take a long vacation (pre planned), enjoy life and now I’m hunkering down and getting my act together. And I’m looking for jobs doing things I know I’ll actually like. I’m really excited for the possibilities!

    Good luck – I hope it all works out great for you! :)

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  56. Pingback: So, I'm quitting my job.... - Running Hutch

  57. Pingback: Telisa's Blog

  58. I just read your post and it resonated in me SO MUCH that I needed to leave a comment even days after you published it. I have to say I am not a regular reader. I try to slow down on blog reading as it’s time-consuming. So, I just read a bunch of running blogs, now and then, to get my running fix :-)
    Anyways, let’s get to the point. I totally relate to your story. Actually, I am at the exact same spot right now. I graduated from an engineering school 5 years ago. I started working. I used my degree to do what I always wanted to do : live abroad (1 year in England, 6 months in New Zealand, a year and a half in New York). I was happy with the fact I fulfilled a goal of mine, but, in the same time, something was off. I always knew my job was the problem. I just didn’t want to see it as I didn’t know what to do anyways. I had a job. I earned money. I lived abroad. I thought it wasn’t fair to complain. There are lots of people who don’t like their job but they have to do it.
    A year and a half ago, I had to go back to France (I am French). Living abroad was over. I had to go back to “a normal life”. So, I looked for a job in France, same position as I used to do. I wasn’t motivated at all… I tried, then, to make a change. I thought it was time. I thought about getting a new degree to do something else. I couldn’t find out what to do, what would fill me up (as someone said in the comments). So, as I didn’t know what else to do, I get the same kind of job as before. It lasted a year. It was a bad year. Nothing changed. Actually, things got worse… obviously. And, here I am now, feeling like a failure because I had to stop my job. I don’t know what to do with my life. I do know it can’t carry on like that. I wasted too much time already doing things because I thought it was the right and safe things to do (and also because I didn’t know what else to do !). I don’t think I have nothing to offer. I think I have skills. I just don’t know yet how to use them for a job I would be happy doing.
    I obviously don’t know you but, from what you’ve written, I think I can understand and relate to your situation. I wish you the best. I hope you’ll find a way to figure out what you want to do with your life. It’s brave of you to have decided to do something now. And, I want to thank you for sharing that. It feels good to know I am not the only one trying to figure things out :-)

    (also… sorry for the looonnggg comment…)

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  59. Good for you!! To be honest, this was happening to me last year when my husband’s move from grad school to real job brought us out to SoCal. I felt relief in the fact that I had a reason to quit my job. It was kind of scary to not know what was next. At the same time, I felt guilt that my heart wasn’t fully into the career that I spent 3 years in grad school for and that I had burned out after less than 3 years in that job. In the time I was unemployed, I realized that despite not loving my work, it apparently made up a huge part of how I defined myself. It was a good thing that I had time to explore other interests.
    Anyway, while change is scary, it’s great that you realized it wasn’t what you wanted to do. I agree, life is too short to hate your job and you’ve got lots of time to figure out what it is you really want to do.

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  60. good for you!! i had a similar problem and chose to leave the security of a known company to go to an independent, smaller, local place. i’m a lot happier but i did take it knowing that my ability to transfer to another city or state was gone. i just figure if God wants me to move, he’ll work it out :) enjoy your time between jobs, something tells me it’ll be very short because you’ll get snapped up quick!

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  61. I think it’s awesome that you were able to quit doing something you hate, I do, but, just out of curiosity, since you were miserable for awhile, why didn’t you try looking for a different job while you were still at your current one? I grew up in a household where security was key- my dad died when I was in high school leaving my uneducated mom with nothing, so the idea of not having a job would freak me the fuck out. Nonetheless, if you guys can swing it rock on.

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    • I had started a light job search a few months prior, but it is very time consuming and I wasn’t able to commit much time to it while working full time. I have always worked and grew up in a home that didn’t have the luxury not to – but we do have more flexibility and security now, which I’m grateful for.

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  62. I’ve been wanting to post encouragement ever since this came out, but ironically I’ve been too caught up in work or exhausted from work or trying to fit in pesky things like workouts to have a chance to. I think this is amazing, and I wish you the best. Enjoy a little time off between jobs, and discovering where your passions can take you!

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  63. Congrats for you!! I’ve had 3 careers in my life and I’m sur I’ll have a couple more. And then I wll have my after I retire but I still wanna work a little job..
    I applaudeyou for doing what you wanna do and not what society thinks you should do.you sound like many of the tfa people I know..tfa is teach for america..check it out.you want passion ? Check sense of purpose..check.and you only gotta do it for 2 years!
    I didn’t do tfa to old but totaly would have!!!!
    Also you really do have an amazing writing voice! Normally when someone writes such a long post I skim it or pass it..but you really pave te way for your reader in a very sophistiphated way. Perhaps book writing is in your future?!
    Iwish u luck! Sorry for the horid spellin etc I’m on my phone and my smartphone is so not smart!

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