Boundaries and balance are two of my top priorities.
Upon graduating college, I taught middle and high school social studies and career electives. As a teacher, I left school at 4p and never brought work home. I was efficient with tasks and loving with students. I created a system in my classroom that made my life easier, and I was a more attentive and peaceful teacher as a result.
At a training for my current job, the associate director nodded to the director and told us trainees with a laugh, “I see her more than I see my husband!” Soon, it become clear that her lifestyle was the expectation and not the exception, and there was little I could do to create the balance that was so important to me.
I want to be around my husband more than I want to be around my boss.
It is unfortunate, because I really do love the components of my job, but I can’t share in the belief that it comes before everything else in my life, that it replaces everything else as my life. That I should sacrifice my family, community, and health for the sake of the company.
I am frustrated with an office culture where I am tested without knowing it, where internal policies change without notice, where protocol oscillates depending on the mood of my supervisor. But I can only complain for so long without taking action.
Tomorrow is the last day I will go to work, indefinitely.
This is not a career-advancing move. In fact, it is my second resignation within four months, and in two more months, I will join the ranks of stay-at-home moms who wear leggings every day and maybe shower and one day hope to reenter the workforce.
Financially, I have no idea how it will work out. My husband is a full-time student and I have been the primary breadwinner, but I am not worried. As my step-dad told me, affirming my decision, “Life is too precious to be miserable. There will be more jobs.”
Eventually, I want to spend my days doing work I love, and receive recognition and promotion for it, but for now, I am not trying to “have it all.” I am just trying to have a happy heart. And I do. I am loved. I am supported by my husband. I feel empowered, unburdened, free. I feel like me.