Almost five and a half years ago, I left my entire world behind to embark on a journey that was supposed to help me grow up. I moved almost 800 miles away from my family and nearly 1300 miles from my best friend. The amount of birthdays (and births!) and anniversaries I’ve missed pains me to think about. My nephew barely knows who I am (he’s almost 6 years old). My parents were glad to get me out of their hair…until they saw how unhappy I was becoming in my new life. No friends, no family, not even a roommate to keep me company. Work was my only interaction with people, people that wanted very little to do with me. It felt like high school all over again: I moved from out of state and tried to fit in with the various cliques in existence. It didn’t work in high school, and by golly, it didn’t work now. Being the stubborn person I am, however, I just didn’t want to give up so soon.
The first month and a half were okay. I kept to myself at work and tried to talk to people when I felt like I was allowed to do so. Then the workload got intense. For the following five to six months, I came home after 2:00 AM (when my shift ended), poured a double shot of Stoli’s blackberry vodka, and cried myself to sleep. I hated everything: my new residence, my job, the people I saw every day, the damn cold weather and snow. The list went on and on with no real end. Finally, my first vacation came and I went back to my college town to spend time with my friends. I got so wasted that first night, I couldn’t even walk! My best friends had to hold me up like the guys did in “Weekend at Bernie’s.” I cried to them about how awful my job was and how I hated my new life. They told me to stick it out because everyone goes through a rough adjustment at some point in life. So I went back to my personal hell. A few months later I ended up in therapy and needing medication (which I still take to this day) just to try to like this stage in my life. My therapist was quite condescending and my psychiatrist was no better. They told me I should try to find a hobby and if all else failed, quit.
For the next few years I had my ups and downs, even met a guy I liked, but I stayed the course. All of this emotional toil was wearing on not only me but my family as well. They all wanted me to come home, that being closer to family would make me feel better. I resisted because I didn’t want to be a failure. I didn’t want them to think that I couldn’t go off on my own and make a life for myself. I almost lost my job in year three. I was a wreck. Without this job I couldn’t afford to pay back my student loans or feed myself. No one else was hiring people with master’s degrees and only entry-level experience. Somehow I survived, or so I thought.
By year four people that I trained were getting promoted ahead of me and I was constantly being told by management that I was still “unapproachable” and “unprofessional.” In their eyes there was no way I could help aspiring data analysts get into this field because I can’t even help myself. Their lack of faith in me just broke me down. But rather than letting me go, they gave me more responsibility, with no pay compensation, and no title change. On paper, I was doing things people two levels above me were doing but I wasn’t worthy enough. My favorite part was when they completely forgot my five-year anniversary. They tried to make up for it twice after the fact but in my eyes, the damage had been done.
So here I am today, writing to tell you about how one of the worst weeks I’ve ever experienced at this shitty job has damn near put me over the edge. The more I think about it, the more I realize my health is in jeopardy. I already had a legitimate anxiety attack five months ago, which made me so sick, I couldn’t get out of bed. All because of the stress from taking orders from about eight different bosses, none of them knowing what the hell they were talking about. See, I don’t like it when people who have never done my job try to tell me how to do my job. And this infuriates me to no end. That’s why I’ve decided that I quit.
I quit trying to please everyone. I quit trying to be the best at my job when there’s no reward. I quit trying to be strong and thick-skinned: it’s just not in my nature. I quit taking orders from several people who don’t know shit. I quit trying to fit in where I am clearly not welcome. I quit putting this job above my faith, my family, my friends, and most importantly my health. I quit trying to make this life of loneliness work. I quit being the outcast. I just quit.
Quitting would be such a relief. It’ll mean that I’ve finally won: won back myself, my family, my friends, my life. Why continue to subject myself to this unhappiness? In order for me to be the winner I know I’m capable of being, I must quit.