I’m the middle of fluffing paper pompom centerpieces for an AR Events birthday tomorrow, when I found myself tearing up about a speech I’m making for myself in my head. Yes, I am aware of the weirdness of that first sentence.
I’m becoming more and more emotional as May 10, my last work day, approaches. I’ve finally formally handed out my resignation letter last April 10 and the journey to that moment was a slow one. It took so many internal debates that started off as whispers at the back of my head late at night, to shouting for attention at random parts of the day. I’ve been trying to understand myself for the past months, struggling to figure out what my problems were that led to my resignation. Why am I so agitated to leave? What greater meaning does resignation have? How will this fix anything? What is broken in the first place? And every day, I find a different answer, sometimes, just a different perspective of the same reasons I keep telling myself to justify my actions.
Then I realised, the first problem I had with resignation was how I needed to justify it. Why did there need to be any other reason for resignation than just my happiness? I just wanted to leave because it would make me happy. Period. It’s as if everyone I ever talked to about it was still waiting for another answer, clearly unsatisfied with the truth I just bared to them. So I scrambled my brains for a more satisfactory answer (even if I didn’t feel I needed one in the first place). Was it the money? No. I wouldn’t be resigning and not have another job to replace it if this were the reason. Was it the people? No. I don’t find relief in knowing I won’t see any of the people in the office anymore. If anything, I’m starting to feel separation anxiety from realising that I may never see some of those people ever again. Was it the work? No. I honest-to-goodness like what I do. I’m pretty good at it, and I feel fulfilled seeing things get done. Then I came to the conclusion that I didn’t hate anything about what I was leaving, I just had other things I loved more, if not the same.
That leads me to my next problem. What was the purpose of it all – the money, the career, the commercials, the shoots, the late nights, the stress? Was I really meant to be placed on this earth to just sleep enough to wake up the next day, then to tire myself enough to fall back to sleep at night? When I started asking these questions last year, I grew more anxious every day without an answer. Of course, these thoughts and questions were always pushed back, made to wait for extra time, in favor of the deadlines of the day. I condition myself to think that, “what is the meeting today about?” is more important than, “what do I want to do with my life?” Then one day, I couldn’t trick myself anymore. I knew that the questions I didn’t give enough time to answer were more important, and that I will never have the time for them, if I don’t make time. Resignation would give me time. So here we are, three weeks away from all the time I need.
The last problem I have is a more practical one, and the same problem anyone I ever confided in had, too. How was I going to survive? As much as I want to be a philosopher of life and practice what I preach about money not being the most important thing, I still had to live in this world. How was I going to pay for food? for my credit cards? for my phone bill? for my car? for my movie tickets? Before I even begin to explain how I will live without a job, I’ll be the first to tell you how I am aware of my privilege. I don’t have rent or utility bills to pay for, or a family to support. Heck, even if I didn’t have a single penny left on me, I know I still wouldn’t be sleeping on the streets. My family isn’t rich, and I am sensible enough not to drag them into my soul searching journey. But I am grateful that they have not discouraged me from doing what I’m doing because of money. I assured them I won’t be asking for anything more than the roof on my head and whatever food they already have on the table. Everything else, I will manage somehow.
So, back to my “somehow.” One, I have AR Events. I earned enough from this last event to last me a few weeks. Two, after that money runs out, I have Street Smart Customs – Jose’s newly opened car shop. I’m helping Jose out with all the paper work, and though we agreed I won’t be asking for salary, as I’m doing this as a supportive girlfriend who wants to help him succeed, we also agreed that should I lack funds, he would cover the last two months of my car loan. It’s been a tricky road figuring out our working relationship. I made it very clear that he should treat me like a business partner, not his girlfriend, starting May 11 (my official first day as an SSC employee). If he needed me to run errands, he should tell me and I should do it, whether I felt like it or not. I would in turn set protocols for the business that Jose had to follow, whether he felt like it or not, too. Nothing personal. Three, I’m working out an out-of-office arrangement with my current office that, should it push through, will last me another two months.
I stopped myself from planning for anything further down the line, because that defeats the purpose of my resignation in the first place. So what is the purpose, you ask? Time. Time to think about the thoughts I always consider less important than deadlines. Time to know who I am and what I really want to do. Time to understand and truly find what happiness is for me. Time to do absolutely nothing. Time to just stop and not know what will happen next. Time to just be okay with sitting in the middle of the day, fluffing pompoms, maybe even a little crying, while blogging about how I feel.
It still feels so unreal to me, how I got to this point. I would hear about these existential concerns in movies, with teenagers dropping everything to go on a road trip or a crazy adventure to nowhere, to find themselves. I always found it petty, pointless, and self-absorbed. Now, I find myself in that same state of mind, just a few years late from my teenage years. It’s so unlike me. But I’m excited – excited to see what life holds for this side of me I never gave the chance to reveal. I’m also scared – scared that I don’t find anything profound at the end of my journey. Most of all, I’m hopeful – hopeful that if I end up somewhere completely different from where I am now, or if I end up exactly as I were, that I’d be happier than I was before. And isn’t that what everyone really, truly wants?