351. I Am Quitting

A lot has happened since I took a break from this blog three weeks ago. I watched Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix and acquired a beckoning cat figurine—oh, and I quit the job I’ve held for nearly three years.

Yeah, a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post. This means today’s post is an extremely personal one. Brace yourself.

Well, first things first: my beckoning cat is wonderful. I’ve christened it Kogoro. It sits upon my bookshelf and waves its paw with leisurely dignity, welcoming high fives from passersby.

Maneki-neko

My maneki-neko, or beckoning cat, is supposed to bring good luck or something, but I use it mostly as a high-five machine.

That’s that for my beckoning cat, and I suppose I’ll save my thoughts on Marvel’s Daredevil for my next post. That brings me to the trivial matters of my impending unemployment and future plans.

For nearly three years, I’ve worked in a group home for gentlemen with disabilities in Berne, Indiana. I have been sort of a nurse, sort of a cook, sort of a housekeeper, and sort of a therapist, but mostly I’ve been a clown and a punching bag for eight special, needy, wonderful gentlemen. I’ll be officially resigned from this job by the beginning of May.

I have a number of reasons for quitting, but this is no place for me to describe them at length. I will state, for the record, that my decision has been pending for a long time. The gentlemen from the group home are one reason I’ve kept my job for so long, but a more selfish reason has been my fear of the future.

In spite of my English Education degree and teacher’s license, I’ve realized I don’t want to spend the next four decades teaching English. I want to work in writing, editing, and publishing.

However, since reaching that conclusion, I’ve been busy enough with work, blogging, and other commitments that I’ve made hardly any progress toward a long-term career. It has been hard enough maintaining the status quo of my day-to-day life: working, paying bills, helping support my younger brother, blogging, and drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee.

However, my workplace, which has always been stressful and a bit dysfunctional, has finally reached a point at which I can no longer meet its competing demands and unrealistic expectations. (In past months, I’ve occasionally been tempted to storm into my supervisor’s office, slam my hands against the desk Ace Attorney-style, and bellow “RAGE QUIT!” at the top of my lungs. I like to think my actual resignation is a little more dignified.) I think it’s time for me to let it go. I’ve mostly put off planning for the future, but my job is finally nudging me to move on.

What’s next?

For now, I’m applying for a part-time job while I look into career options. I’d like to build up freelance writing and editing on the side, and I’ll look for publishing internships willing to accept college graduates. With more time on my hands, I may write some fiction; anything is possible. I’ll continue to help support my younger brother. For as long as I remain in Berne, I’ll visit the gentlemen in the group home. Finally, I’ll continue blogging and drinking coffee and being silly—these things will probably never change.

I’m relieved to be moving on from my job, and excited to seek new opportunities. I’m also really scared. I am scared as heck, guys. It’s the same fear I felt upon graduating from college, and felt again upon ending my post-college visit to Uruguay and returning to Indiana. It’s a lost, shamed, lonely feeling—a nagging conviction that I really ought have it all figured out by now, or at least know where I should go from here. This feeling isn’t fair or rational, but I sure feel it, and it sucks.

I think Jon Acuff has the right idea when he suggests punching fear in the face. As scared and insecure as I feel, I mean to keep moving forward. At the very least, I mean to try. To echo my favorite apostle: I will always trust, always hope, and always persevere.

Long ago, when this blog was new, I wrote a post in which I quoted Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables: “My future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”

I’ve reached another bend in the road. What lies beyond? God only knows. Fortunately for me, I still trust God after all these years, so that thought is a comforting one.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to think about my future and give my beckoning cat a high five.

12 thoughts on “351. I Am Quitting

  1. “It’s a lost, shamed, lonely feeling—a nagging conviction that I really ought have it all figured out by now, or at least know where I should go from here.”

    That’s The World giving you its neurosis. Softly and constantly whispering to you “Everyone else has a plan. Everyone else is so far further along than you. You’ll never catch up now.”

    Frankly The World is bogus. The best thing you can do is not listen. Everyone has their own journey, and the day you “figure it all out” is the day you head home to be with God (unless He wants you to stick around and help others for a little longer). While it’s tempting to force that issue so we can get the fear and suffering out of the way, every ounce of the “scared as heck” is leading you somewhere. It’s why you’re here, to learn from it. So that later you will never need “scared as heck” ever again. Woo hoo!

    The more you trust Him, the less The World can get at you. Before you know it you’ll find freedom in the trust, and wonder why on earth you ever did it any other way. (Then you will inevitably find yourself not trusting again so that you know there’s still work to be done.) The alternative is, of course, to continue trying to save yourself. Or to trust in The World and its “you have to be good enough or no one will love you” madness. It’s a path many choose, and sadly many suffer because of. But it is always our choice.

    Trust, breathe, and know that everything will be okay. More than okay, really. In God’s hands, everything will be AMAZING.

    I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll be keeping you in prayer. Remember to listen to Him and not The World. He has you right where He wants you to be, lack of plans and all! When we step back and say “Your will, not mine” it opens us up to His plan, instead of ours. From experience, His are always so much better, ha ha. Look at how far He’s taken you already if you need a boost of trust!

    • Thank you for your prayers, JK. I’m certainly encouraged to realize how far I’ve come in my twenty-something years. As the old hymn says, and as I often remind myself, “Through many trials, toils, and snares I have already come. ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home.”

  2. I reiterate everything JK Riki said and add this: God will bless your faith in Him. As one who is also “scared as heck” of the future, I am praying for peace of mind as you follow God’s plan.

  3. I love that “bend in the road” analogy. For obvious reasons. You are definitely not alone in your unknown road ahead. I’m right there too, and I think countless other twenty- thirty- forty-somethings are there as well. Good for you for coming to a necessary decision and changing what’s been your normal for so long. I hope whatever comes next launches you further into the guy God’s making you!

    And why couldn’t you have had a high-fiving golden cat named Kogoro when I visited you. Just ugh.

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