Stay the course? Or quit?

Unsplash - jason-blackeye - SecureI’m on a course I haven’t been comfortable with for some time. I’ve been on this projection for the last four plus years. I once upon a time was in the publishing world, my last gig was with the great not-for-profit BookNet Canada agency, but something more permanent fell into my lap, and I seized it. Seized the full-time job with benefits. My practical self thinking: this is how I will pay the bills; this will provide the security and the stability I so desperately seek. Because contract gig to paid internship does not provide a whole lot of secure feelings.

At that point, I had already been having doubts about myself and my abilities of making it in the publishing world. A whole lot of insecurities were forming around my chosen path.

And so when a job in an unrelated industry—corporate immigration!—came my way, I quit. I quit fast and hard.

I felt a failure. I had moved to Toronto after all to complete a postgrad in publishing. And what do I do? I move away from it. Any time a former classmate reached out, I was reminded of the lack of hacking it abilities I so vehemently expressed in my departure from BookNet.

The stigma of quitting feels like a stink I can’t wash off of myself. Or at least, it did feel that way. I have since ma-tured and have come to realize that quitting isn’t a bad thing. Its association with failure is put on by nobody but myself—though to be fairer to myself it was learned many moons ago, growing up the way I did. I bounced around from extracurricular to extracurricular. My family tossed around the ‘q’ word from time to time in my general direction. Or at least that’s the message I picked up when comparing myself to others in my family who demonstrated great stick-to-it-iveness abilities. #middlechild

I now know myself that much the better. I know I am a person who seeks novelty. New experiences. I like to dabble in this and sometimes that and I think that that that is a-okay.

So, on the precipice of some serious change, a choice needs to be made. I have to decide: do I stay or do I go?

More specifically, do I stay here in Toronto working at the firm I’m presently working at? Living in the apartment I’m living in. Still swiping the good swipe on all them dating apps? Or, do I go. Do I pack up my things, put them into storage, dust off ye ol’ backpack and book a meaningful solo adventure timed with a summer visit to childhood bestie?

If I stay, more of the same will happen. More of the same 9 to 5, more of the same comfortable routines, on the whole of which I enjoy, but to be quite frank, it’s not enough. It does not make my heart sing the sweet song of contentment because something is missing (adventure? Unpredictability? Discomfort?). I have written a lot about urges and listening to the little whispers that call from within and likely will continue to do so because from now until 21-days from now, I have some choices to make. And they involve quitting.

If I go? If I go I will be leaving behind things I don’t take lightly or for granted. Namely: security, a steady income. Savings. My apartment. My friends, my neighbourhood. Comfort. If I go, I will be welcoming novelty, new experiences, new friends, new stories to tell. An adventure to look back on as something I did that one time where I listened to that inner voice of mine, acknowledged its presence, breathed in courage and took action.

The future, as they say, is unwritten. It is both scary and exhilarating thinking about this truth. And as a woman of novelty, I do not want another year to go by with more of the same. I choose to quit what I have going on here. I choose to leave. I choose to step into the unknown and explore my options. I choose to see what kind of future becomes my present.

Feeling exhilarated.


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