Quitting My Job With Nothing Lined Up

July 20, 2017

Work has always been a sensitive topic on my blog that I tried to steer clear of, only briefly mentioning my first job after I left the company because it was so heartbreaking for me to walk away from what I truly loved. I'm letting myself break down here right now because I have nothing to lose — I already am nothing. I've burned out. Beset with a never-ending avalanche of self-doubts, I catch myself neurotically wondering, once too many times, when will I succeed — if ever.

I toyed with the idea of leaving my job for a while now, but never found the courage to tender my resignation — till recently. When I graduated from Mass Comm last year, I was a wide-eyed optimistic girl who saw myself as the ever-present sun. Now I know I'm just a candle, one that's easily burned out in the hands of the wrong people, and I'm on the verge of collapsing.

I went through the motion in 2017, allowing society to mellow my personality. I worked for the sake of a pay check. I turned into one of the sceptical adults I swore to never be, the kind satisfied to be stuck in the 9 to 6 life as long as my wallet remained filled. Initially, I buried myself in even more work. I thought by keeping myself busy and with more money, I could numb myself.

The ominous signs became increasingly, glaringly obvious. Spinning a web of bureaucratically impeccable lies, the malevolent mastermind concocted a perverse wedge of hope — an alluring dream to the ignorant and repulsive to the knowing. I watched my greatest source of motivation reduced to nothing but a pernicious illusion. I must add that this beguiling catastrophe, the epitome of ostentatious and expedient, might actually make a great episode of a cliche reality TV show. If it wasn't happening to me.

These multitudinous challenges led me to believe that life just has an unhealthy obsession with ruining me, and everything I had and loved. Tearing me down. Breaking me apart. There's nothing more corrosive than the dense, blanketing malaise that continually reminded me, time and again, money doesn't make the world turn round. Sure, I had a comfortable amount sitting in my bank. In fact, I had more than I needed even if I were to quit and travel for six months, but I was also miserable. Utterly miserable.

I took my first break a couple of months back. I travelled to my favourite country, Taiwan, with one of my closest friends. We partied, drank, laughed. But the nights after she slept saw me in a befuddled state, stifling, on the verge tears. Leading to the Kaohsiung trip, I was constantly stressed out. I didn't reply messages for days because I couldn't stand picking up my phone to face a deluge of work messages. I grimaced at the thought of work; I've always been one to push myself but I knew I haven't been giving my all because I couldn't work anymore.

With the recent occurrences fuelling and affirming my decision, I went against the decision of my mom the first time since stepping out of my rebellious teenager phase, and I did the unthinkable: I left my second full-time job without another job lined up. I threw in the towel because I couldn't see myself working there another second. I stopped believing in the work I was assigned to, long ago. I was burnt out, my mind insolently blank. For the sake of my sanity, I let go.

For once in my life, I don't have a plan in mind. What do I do now, after the waves of relief and adrenaline have washed over? I am completely clueless. Maybe a little foolish too, and definitely terrified. My life has come to another standstill; a crossroad which either decision will bring me to very different places. Literally. Should I abruptly stop my stable income in an attempt to pursue my childhood dreams of relocating to a country I love, or continue on with life as it is?

There I was again, the fifth time in just this month. A look at my Google search history shows things along the lines of:
  • Studying aboard subsidies
  • Studying in Australia for Singaporeans
  • Affordable degrees overseas for Singaporeans
  • Working in Taiwan
  • Travel and work
  • Freelance travel writers
And the list goes on.

Let's be honest, the fact that I'm even hesitating about chasing my dreams show how much I long for stability. How far am I willing to go for stability? I actually gave up a job I never felt Monday blues at, in a company where my colleagues felt more like my friends. It was everything I ever dreamt of doing since I discovered my passion in the advertising and marketing field, and I gave it up for stability.

Was it worth it?

I can never forgive myself for giving up the job I love so much in an attempt to pursue stability. I could be doing more, I could have made my departure so much more worth it. But I didn't. I hate myself for that. I fell victim to the adult life I vehemently hated and succumbed to the 9-6 clockwork lifestyle.

I envy my ex-colleagues who dared to put everything behind, quit their full-time jobs that brought in a stable income to secure jobs elsewhere, overseas, in continents they shared practically no similarities with. Most of them moved with no job offers, armed with only their burning passion and insane drive to succeed in their chosen country. At least I'm bilingual — some of them relocated to countries whose language they don't even speak! Talk about courage.

Chatting with my ex-colleagues made me realised how much of my own life am I missing out while trying to chase stability. I want to be responsible for my family when, in reality, I have to be responsible for my own life as well. Am I going to regret at 70 that I did not let go of my worries and do what I love? Am I going to live my life cowering in my fear of failure or should I give everything up I know in an attempt to pursue my dreams?

The question remains.

Now I understand why adults saw the pursuit of happiness as one so simple yet laborious.

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  1. Good Luck & take care!
    Hope u find your dream job :-)

    1. Thank you! Wishing you all the best in your life as well :)

  2. 桃花坞里桃花庵,桃花庵下桃花仙。

    Understand the meaning behind the poem, i think you might find the light in your life.

    1. Thank you for the poem :) I hope everything goes well for you too!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Not convenient to share any details now. Thanks for understanding.

    2. No prob. Hope everything works out fine for you.