Quitting my job was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to think about and the easiest thing I've ever had to actually DO. The secret? I stopped consulting with my friends and family.
They mean well; really, they do. But unless they've been in the same situation, their fears and apprehensions in their own life will be put on you and further delay the important decision you need to make for yourself.
Here are things people might say when you tell them your considering quitting your job. Have you ever heard them? Did they deter or delay you? They certainly delayed me!
How will you support yourself?
The answer is, I wasn't 100% sure. What I did know was that I was working 12 hours a day for a prestigious company and making shit for a paycheck. I was barely supporting myself then. College degree, impressive resume, and all -- I was broke and miserable. I was trying trying to live the life of my veteran coworkers making two and three times as much as me. When I quit my job, I saved money and cut out all my expenses by changing my lifestyle.
But you worked so hard to get where you are!
Shut up. Please just shut up. You don't know about my hard work. Even more, you don't know about where it's gotten me. There were times when I felt like a downright failure. You know why? Because I worked my butt off with nothing to show for it but an overpriced studio apartment in Brooklyn infested with mice and (I later found out) scammed electricity. I needed to start over and work smarter not harder.
But I worked so hard to get you where you are!
No one has ever said this to me because I've always been quite independent. But along my travels I've encountered people who had a great financial support system growing up, whose parents were quite upset to hear that all the money they'd invested into their child's education (in their eyes) was going down the drain. Here's my thought to those parents: why did you invest in your child? Because you believed in their potential, right? Why not now? Why don't you believe now? BELIEVE NOW. (I'm yelling.)
I think you're going through a crisis; it'll pass.
I've actually had friends sit me down for mini interventions to say: I'm worried about you and your health. I think the new people you are hanging out with might be influencing you to make stupid decisions. It's funny: the new people I was allowing to enter my life were free-spirited, loving, supportive creatives who just so happened to be mostly freelancers. The people I slowly removed from my life were materialistic, gossipy, miserable, and closed-minded. So you tell me who's the bad influence?
What about health insurance?
It held me back the longest - my health. My and everyone else's fear of "what if you get sick"? Then I realized: I'm miserable at this job EVERYDAY. In the last 6 months of working there I got sick and would throw up every Monday morning, just thinking about returning to work. Then it dawned upon me: I've been lower class (economically) the majority of my life. I didn't have good health insurance until five years ago. So what if I lose it? If anyone knows how to get medical assistance it's me! And with the new Obamacare I was actually able to choose the affordable healthcare plan best for me.
It's too dangerous to travel alone.
I'm a woman of color. In light of the continuous hate crimes and brutalities, honey - everywhere is too dangerous. I don't let that deter me from travel. Everywhere you go there will be hate. But there will also be love. And the power of love is strong beyond measure. I am smart (and respectful) when I travel. I research current events, culture, dress codes. And I experience life. Being afraid will do nothing for you but keep you sheltered until you die (right outside your door or something ironic like that).
What about your bills?
What bills? Cable TV? Shut it off. There's nothing worth watching anyway. Read a book. Cellphone? Reduce your plan. School loans? Defer, forebear, or suck it up and start budgeting it as a life expense. Expensive rent? Move out. That's what I did.
I heard they don't like [blacks / women / gays / redheads / Americans / People who wear crocs / etc.] in that country.
Well, I heard in the U.S. they have a messed up judicial system, terrible public education, and a huge prison problem. We are not perfect. Ignorance is widespread and we are not omitted from that pool. By accepting only the bad and the stereotypes you are rejecting the possibility of experiencing the good.
But what's your PLAN?
I don't exactly have one. I'm not going in completely blind, but the plan is to be a little free and accept possibility. What's yours?