It was a Monday afternoon when I realized it had to happen right then. I had to quit my job an entire month earlier than I planned. At 2:45, the president of my company had just offered me a trip to Boston to attend a social media conference. He needed to know by the end of that day.
Luckily, I had a meeting in 15 minutes and time to think. And by think, I mean text my best friend, mi novio and my mom to get their take on the matter. I had never quit a job in my life. Worry and panic set in as my brain rattled through the possibilities of what telling them I was leaving would mean, or if I attended knowing that it’d be the weekend before I was done for good.
I spent 2.5 years at the firm, and it being a smaller agency – made it even more difficult to reach a decision. (Plus, I’m not a decisive person in general.) The former two people said decline the conference, and tell them right away. “You’re on the universe’s timeframe,” said my bestie. “There’s no such thing as a 2-week notice anymore,” said the boy. And my mom, life’s voice of reason who had been in the business world for 40 years told me to “go, and stick to the plan.”
What would telling them mean? what would i even say? would i have to leave a place i wasn’t ready to part with in two weeks? i was really counting on those last couple paychecks to fund my travels. i didn’t know what to do.
fuck. fuck. fuck.
i lost it. i got all sweaty, and jittery and couldn’t sit in that seat any longer. i watched the clock as it ticked slowly through each minute. tick tock. my eyes darted to my account lead and back to my cell phone. tick tock. what would i say? what would i do? the conference call ended and as my heart pounded deeply in my chest, i tried to move the conversation along. i needed to leave.
i needed to go anywhere. just out of the office. out of the panic-stricken, space in my mind. i couldn’t think. i couldn’t breathe. my years of practicing yoga, of finding my ujjayi pranayama, of silencing the thoughts and feelings and working through them – was not coming to me. nope. i needed to get the fuck out.
so i left. i put on my fleece jacket, despite the 32 degree weather, and took a walk to the mega coffee shop found on every other block. hint: it rhymes with four bucks and also is the amount you spend for a cup of joe. but it had exactly what i needed – a double shot of espresso to calm my already racked nerves. right?
no. it was a poor decision, but i realized as i sucked down those two ounces of caffeine inside the warm foyer, staring out of the window at the snow-covered sidewalk, that i was freaking out because i knew what i had to do. my bestie was right – the universe opened up the door and it was time. i had to quit my job.
fuck. fuck. fuck.
so i walked back inside – it was now or never. i stood up from my half cube – the one i’d sat in for the past 2 years that was adorned with photos from my job, trinkets and business cards from the people i had met along the way and a bunch of action figures who’d watched over me and my coworker – and marched (ok, slowly stepped) into my boss’ office. She would be the hardest to tell and although there were so many potential outcomes running through my head, I hoped that she would understand.
awkwardly, i explained that i could not go to the conference, as i had planned to be gone. not that weekend, but the following. and not quite on vacation (unless they wanted to pay me for it) but more on an extended trip. with an indefinite return date. it wasn’t the perfectly practiced speech in my head – there was no easy way to say i’m leaving this company and don’t know if i’ll return.
this company was one that had helped me grow in so many ways. had given me opportunities personally and professionally. it had made me pull my hair out at times, and laugh uncontrollably at others. i was sad to leave people, the place – but it was time.
it was time to say goodbye and time to go out into the world. and while my boss was understanding and promised to keep it on the “down low” – it was still a scary thing to do. telling everyone else was easier and i was met with with support and enthusiasm for the next stage.
i smiled in gratitude, and in my head i said “fuck. fuck. fuck.”
it was all happening.