When you marry young, you learn pretty quickly just how important a secure job can be. It can be the difference between “I told you we could make it on our own!” and living in your parents’ converted garage.
At 22, newly graduated, newly married, and broke as hell, I took a job I didn’t like. Sure, I took it for the money, but I mostly took it because I was afraid not to. I didn’t want to struggle so early in my marriage. I feared something more “me” might never come along, so I did what a lot of people do: I worked a job that I didn’t like in an industry I didn’t like, all in the name of adulthood.
Babies came, as did promotions. Mortgages followed and time passed. Before I knew it, I was wearing a company pin in recognition of 10 years of dedicated service.
On the outside, I looked happy and accomplished, but my insides told a very different story. Riddled with regret, I tried to buy myself out of my soul’s perpetual funk. Disappointed, I tried to convince myself that this brand of achievement would one day make it all worthwhile.
For years I pondered the true root of my unhappiness. Was it the fact that my kids were in daycare 12 hours a day? That my commute was long and my hours even longer? That no matter how much I gave to my employer, it was never enough? That I saw my kids a grand total of three hours each day? Or was it that I had now allowed 12 years to pass? Yes. Yes to all of it. I needed out of my job.