Would anyone in this world stick with a job where their boss doesn’t trust them (and thus makes work really awkwardly demeaning), where they have only one monotonous task to do, where no one there will speak with them (other than their trainers), where their hours are wretchedly late and on holidays and involve never being able to call off, where the pay is only okay compared to everything else out there, and where they (as in the hypothetical workers we are considering here) have no chance of ever moving up?
After reasoning through the various prongs of that question, I had to say that the vast, vast majority of people would say, no, no I would not stick with that job. Even if it offered valuable, real-world experience in a dream career field to one who shouldn’t yet be getting it, most people would say, as my mom said to me, that life is so full of other even better opportunities that the experience doesn’t matter. Why be miserable when you have your whole life ahead of you for that?
She, as well as everyone else out there who agrees, is right. Why be miserable now when I will probably be miserable for a long time after now? I already have a few jobs (yes, three) as well as go to school full time. I also play a sport, and I’m only 18, only just finished my freshman year of college. And while adding one more job to that list is impressive to some, as in future bosses and current classmates who have no idea how I handle it, it really is only stressful to me. Really and truly, I’m not able to handle it, at least not something this important (which I’ll get to). And I don’t want to have a heart attack at age 25!
I guess I’m just realizing that, when everyone else isn’t trying as hard as I am yet is still coming out in life successful, maybe It means that I should tone it back a bit, too. Not only will it save my cardiovascular system, but it will also leave me just as okay as if I kept up with all that I do now.
So that’s why last weekend I quit for the very first time in my whole entire life. Out of all the sports I’ve played, the tasks I’ve taken on, the jobs I’ve had throughout the years, this is the first time I have ever quit. And it was the most important of all of the things I’ve done, too; I’m a first year journalism major, and because I met the right person at the right time, I landed a job at a major national newspaper. Yeah, what??? That’s very literally unheard of, and so it was going to be a huge boost to my journalistic career.
But the thing is, though, that I wasn’t writing. I was doing the sports agate, which is basically copying and pasting box scores onto a page and formatting them to look nice. And while not a hard job, it was also not how I wanted to be spending my weekend nights and all holidays (because I was filling in for the normal guys who don’t work at those times, because of seniority and all).
So while it was terrific experience that I don’t think I’ll ever get again, especially at my age, I had to quit. I was bored and unhappy, and my happiness is worth much, much more than being boosted into a career, especially when I’ll be working my whole life thanks to said career not paying well. When I’ve worked my butt off for as long as I’ve lived, I’d just rather take the wee bit of time I have left as a youth to actually be a youth! Because I really haven’t done that ever. Oops!
It’s not like I quit the job for nothing, though; I ended up getting a writing internship that could very possibly turn into a real job for me. And even though it isn’t for a newspaper, it pertains more to being a writer than copying, pasting, and formatting does. And while I know that quitting a newspaper at such a young age sounds really dumb career-wise, I kind of just don’t care. In all honesty, while I love journalism, my true love is general writing, so if this internship ends up making me unsuitable for a newspaper job the second I graduate, I don’t really care. As long as I end up writing professionally somewhere, I will be content. Journalism is merely the practical route for school; in all reality, I’m open to anything, even in other countries. So at the end of the day, giving up my job working the sports agate at a major newspaper doesn’t matter. It’s still my happiness that trumps, as it always has been and always will be.
I mean, if I’m not living happily, then am I even living at all? No, so quitting was best for me. Even if I’m stressing out because I can now be called a quitter (a term which I hate), I was stressing out even more for not quitting. And since this other internship came around, since I know I’ll actually be incredibly happy with it because I’ll finally be writing again, I’m taking it as a divine sign that the paper just wasn’t meant to be, just wasn’t meant for me.
So I guess that’s my revelation, that it’s okay to quit and follow your heart, follow your dreams and be happy. I forget which celebrity who I follow on Instagram posted it, but this poem came on my feed the day before I quit, and it really was another divine sign telling me to move on:
“There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
‘I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.’
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
It’s Shel Silverstein, and it may be written for children, but I’ve never encountered a poem more accurate. So from here on out, it will be me listening to that voice inside, never fighting it by trying to do what is logical or what the outside world says is best but instead listening to it and following that gut instinct we all get. Because at the end of the day, it is our life, and since we are the only ones who get to live it, we shouldn’t be worrying about making everyone else out there happy. It’s not their life, so why bother?
So with whatever decisions you have to make for the rest of forever, I really hope you make them by listening to the voice inside, for at the end of the day, your happiness is worth more.