Quitting My Day Job

take a chance

RESIGN: to give up (a job or position) in a formal or official way

I love words and take a great deal of pleasure in stringing them together, but sometimes in life’s big moments I find it easier to borrow the words of others.  This email is one of life’s big moments for me, so please indulge me while I borrow words to help me share my own.

Never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard seed germinates and roots itself.1

I recently accepted an opportunity for a small beginning.  This particular beginning comes in the form of a part-time job at my kids’ school that will allow me more time for writing and more time with Son and Daughter (i.e. my source material).

My new job will begin in mid-August and I will make the transition to starving artist at that time.  I plan to use the next six weeks to close out/hand off projects at the office while I stockpile rice and beans at home.  Amidst the fear and trepidation a person is bound to feel when swapping a regular paycheck for the fickle earnings of a freelance writer and the laughable salary of a public school employee, I also feel hopeful and energized.

If we accept and internalize the fact of our own mortality, then, by definition, we have to deal with the essential questions of how we live and spend our allotted time.  We have to stop procrastinating, pretending that we have forever to do what we want to do and be what we long to be.2

Those of you not teething in the ‘80s may laugh, but the clock of mortality has begun to tick louder for me.  Time feels short and I am compelled to make good use of it.  The reasons for not pursuing writing (what I want to do) or having the courage to call myself a writer (what I long to be) are no longer as compelling as the reasons to take a chance on a personal passion.

It’s not you, it’s me.3

My choice to leave is not motivated by a desire for an ending, but a desire for a beginning.  The ending is just a necessary part of making room for the beginning I want.  I came to this firm when I was twenty-three. On my first flight to Walla Walla, I was carded to sit in the exit row (FAA regulations require you to be fifteen).  I was a wrinkle-free rookie with much to learn.  And, with grace and patience you taught me.

Now, more than a decade later, I am surrounded by teachers, encouragers, mentors and friends who have seen me through major life transitions (e.g. marriage, children) and minor ones (e.g. the arrival of a second chin and eye luggage).   It is with a mixture of joy about the potential gain and sadness about the known loss that I announce yet another transition.


Disclaimer: There is a part of me that knows this information should be shared in person.  Forgive me.  I simply couldn’t imagine doing that.  I am deeply grateful for all this firm has done for me and, above all, for the opportunity to work with such amazing (even writers sometimes can’t find adequate adjectives) people.  Walking into each of your offices to share this news was simply too much.  Plus, the carbon footprint of the number of tissues I would need seemed irresponsible.  Please forgive my cowardice.

1 Florence Nightingale

2 Surya Das

3 Boyfriends, Various


19 thoughts on “Quitting My Day Job

  1. Hi Kristina,

    Congratulations on pursuing your dream!

    Having done something similar late last year, I wanted to celebrate with you, and I also wanted to wish you patience and kindness to yourself. I was fine for about a month, then started freaking out and had a couple of anxious and low weeks. It’s a major adjustment – being at home more, loss of the usual acknowledgement and financial independence (or at least, that’s how I felt!). But now, I am *loving* having the time to write more, my writing is so much better, and I’ve started to have some small successes. I’m sure you will just fly, but if it’s a little bumpy to start with, be gentle with yourself 🙂

    All the very best,

    P.S. I was teething in the 1970’s (just). My eye luggage is better than yours.

  2. Congratulations, that’s a big step! My wife and I are encountering a similar situation right now. You can easily fail doing something you don’t love, might as well try something you do. Good luck!

  3. WOW! Exciting!! I so admire your courage!!! Best of luck! (And sometimes, I’m sure it WAS *them*, NOT you! 🙂

  4. ‘The reasons for not pursuing writing (what I want to do) or having the courage to call myself a writer (what I long to be) are no longer as compelling as the reasons to take a chance on a personal passion.’ This line is perfect. Congratulations on what promises to be a wonderful turn in your life!

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