Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River: I Quit! I think…

Putting in your notice at a job is at best cathartic and at worse a slow awkward drag to your final day. When you’re fired or laid off you get to peace out immediately after you box together a few years of your life. Sure, it’s often abrupt and devastating, but like ripping off a Band-Aid, it’s over in an instant. When you quit, you don’t get that luxury.
Recently, I put in my notice at my job of three and a half years, the longest I’ve ever stayed with a company. I attempted to put in the traditional two weeks notice but agreed to stay on through the end of the month because I’m weak. It was hard to say no; I really like my job. This is officially the first time I’ve ever quit a job before I had to fight back daydreams of setting the building on fire.
It’s also the first time I ever quit a job without having another job. I’ve been feeling stuck for awhile, and like some misguided holistic wellness instructor, I decided to quit because it “felt right.” Usually my anxiety and analytical nature stop me from making decisions based off emotions and uplifting Facebook memes I read.
I’m just banking on the fact that with more time on my hands, I can focus more on my freelance writing jobs and comedy gigs. The uncertainty of no guaranteed pay was always too daunting to me; quitting without a safety net always seemed scary. Until one day, a couple of weeks ago, the thought of always having a day job got even scarier.
Many comics teeter between employment and full-time creative mode; I’ve always worked five days a week. I have no clue if I’m a person who “needs structure,” but I have a feeling I won’t have an issue motivating myself at home. Most of my off days I have to force myself to take a break.
I usually do some mentally exhausting work, break it up with some physically exhausting work and use mealtimes as an excuse to watch 15 minutes of a TV show to unwind a bit. It’s not until my husband gets home around 8 p.m. that I officially allow myself to relax.
In the one month I spent “unemployed” when I moved back down South, I remember thinking I finally felt like I had enough hours in a day. I was never bored and still stayed super busy, but I was able to get the majority of my tasks done in a week. I’m longing for that time again and can’t even imagine what it will be like when I can do it for longer than a month.
I guess the end game is that I get to work when I want. In a perfect world we would all do the thing we are best at, while still genuinely enjoying it, and work the schedule we prefer. Productivity is at its highest when employees are happy and have the freedom to work with flexible hours.
I suppose that’s why some people own their own businesses. For me, I hope to achieve my independence by talking about myself via opinion column and onstage cloaked as a sex joke.
As excited as I am to say goodbye to my daytime routine, it’s difficult to wave farewell to my daily life. I truly enjoy my job duties and love my coworkers. And as little as my job has paid me, I’ve gained tenfold from coworkers. I’ve received a plethora of personal advice, motherly compassion and fashionable hand me downs I’m still years away from being able to afford myself. Plus, can you really put a price on gaining a Cuban family?
So alas, it’s hard to leave a place I love so much. I tend to take positions that put me in the middle of the company so everyone feels it when I leave. Usually, I do an evil laugh as I exit the building and yell in my head: “You’ll all miss me when I’m gone!” This time, it’ll be hard to make any exit and I’m sure I’ll be crawling back soon.
I’ve already offered to fill in shifts after my last day because I am weak and I hate leaving a place where I am liked. This is pretty similar to the sad time I went back to my high school to do a not even good production of a play my freshman year of college. Let’s hope I find the courage to cut the cord and follow my creative endeavors. Let’s also hope there’s not another horrible Marmee wig in my future.


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