2015 was the year of quitting for me.
I’ve seen that “Do more of what makes you happy” quote a billion times on peoples’ Pinterest boards. But the thing is, continuing to do things, even when I hate my life, is something that makes me happy. I like knowing that I can persevere through things, no matter how bad things suck, and I get an odd satisfaction from it.
With a few edits, I’ve tweaked the over-pinned quote to both speak to me, and sum up my entire year– “Stop doing shit that makes you miserable.” Here are some ways that I’ve done just that:
For all my life, my jobs have been dependent on my status as a student. If I graduated, I would just move onto another one, because who’s going to hold a grudge against furthering one’s education? No hurt feelings, no guilt on my part. Super easy.
My first post-grad, bitch-you-aren’t-a-student-anymore job was at an ice cream/mochi shop, and it was the worst. There was a line out the door every Sunday, which made my anxiety flare up. We had an awful manager who insisted that the world depended on how many times he could make us clean the display glass per day. The shifts were 8 hours long, and consisted of me dealing with creepy white dudes who tried to speak to me in Japanese. Plus, it was always freezing cold.
This first post-grad job was also the first job I ever quit. I was waiting for the day our manager said something so inappropriate that I could report him to HR, but I unfortunately didn’t last that long. Six months into work, they decided to raise the minimum hours per week to 32, and I couldn’t deal with that sticky, cold mess anymore, so I gave my two weeks notice (after I served the lead singer of Fall Out Boy, of course).
For the past few years, I’ve always had a perfect coat of nail polish on my fingers. Just ask my mom, who is still appalled that you can see my bright blue nails in my otherwise acceptable college commencement ceremony photos.
Unfortunately, there’s a price to pay for maintaining nails that look like they were done at a budget salon. I used my palms to wash dishes, in fear that contact with the soap would strip my nails of their color. My vacation would be ruined if I forgot to bring a bottle of polish and something happened to go horribly wrong and chip. I also avoided using tape like it could give me herpes.
A couple months ago, I took it off the polish for a day, and immediately felt liberated… Not to mention fairly grossed out at the dirt under my nails. I thought it would be temporary, but realized how much happier I was without it. I was able to do more and worry less about whether peeling an orange would release some acidic juice onto my fingers and send me running for the bottle for touch-ups. Sure, “I love that color,” is a cool thing you hear when your taste in polish is on point, but so is, “Thanks for handing me that piece of duct tape that doesn’t have your chipped-off nail gunk stuck to it.”
Oh, and I’ve never even gotten my nails done, so imagine what kind of monster I’d have been if I had been paying for that shit.
2015 was my first full year of being out of school, and it got rough at times. Yeah, going to Disneyland at least once a week is chill, but after a while, that pixie dust starts to get in your eyes, and you slowly come back down to a less-than-magical reality in which you’re poor AF.
I had no job in my field of study– the wonderful world of entertainment (still don’t). I lived (still do) with someone in an industry that paid him $20 an hour to intern, while I paid $3k for college credit, so Fox wouldn’t get sued for using slave labor again. And to top it off, I couldn’t use my drug of choice, Facebook, without seeing someone’s “moved to San Francisco to work a cool-ass job” update every five minutes.
This surely didn’t happen overnight, and surely did happen over the course of multiple therapy sessions and tantrums, but I was finally able to let the comparisons go. A big thing I’ve come to learn is that everyone is on a different path, and at a different point on that path. Comparing where I am on my path to where someone else is, is like telling myself that I suck at life because I’m 23 and not an apprentice to an air conditioner repairwoman.
Now, when I see people doing cool job stuff, I no longer think, “I hate myself, and I hate you. And why am I not you– oh that’s right because I hate you. Why don’t I have a job? I need a job. Maybe I should work in a different field– but the patriarchy!” Instead, it’s more like a, “Welp,” and then I continue to stalk people anonymously on LinkedIn and smile to myself as I endorse them for Word, but not for Excel.