Do I regret quitting my job to stay home? I know what you’re thinking. It’s foolish. It’s not what an adult should be doing. Believe me, so many of my friends started asking me about my future plans—Have I found a new job yet? How was I going to support myself?—and I’d always be stumped on what to say.
I just smiled at them, telling them I didn’t have any plans yet. But I did. It just wasn’t the plan they were expecting.
I was in no rush to apply for a new job again, because I wanted to reflect on the last two years I spent as a web content editor at a solutions company in Makati. It had been a fun two years, and it taught me a lot about myself. My once-shy persona proved to care about being a good mentor to younger writers, can you believe that? All I ever wanted to do was to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Fast forward to March 27, my last day at work, I couldn’t help but feel…liberated. But this isn’t the story of how or why I quit my job. This is about what happened after.
I Had All the “Free Time” I Needed and Wanted
During the last few months of my job, I felt so bored and so lost, and I’d always complain about it. I’d always think I didn’t have any free time, that work was kicking my ass and I wanted to change that. Though that wasn’t the ultimate reason I tendered my resignation, quitting still had the by-product of giving all the free time I wanted.
I felt free those first few days of not having anything to do, and I wasted my time however I wanted. This wasn’t all done lazily, though, and no one was more surprised than me. I finished the projects I started, and worked on new ones. Finally, I had the time to really sit down and plan, and ideas just kept coming.
It was like my creative tap has been reopened.
I Knew Which Friends Really Wanted Me Around
Because of work, I spent most of my time with the same people. I’m glad to consider some of them as my friends, and I’m happy that even after I left, they hadn’t forgotten about me. They would hit me up, we’d chat (erratically, because I am the worst at keeping a conversation going), and make plans to meet up. And guess what? We actually followed through.
How many of your old buddies say “Let’s talk soon” or “We should hang out!” without actually making plans?
I Changed My Routine
Waking up and going home at an almost fixed schedule for the past two years, I felt caged. Bored of the monotony of it all. I was seeing the same people every day, talking about the same things, and doing the same work. At the end of the day, I was expected to do the same thing: prepare for it all over again.
The routine could have been made more interesting if I made the most of my weekends, but being the lethargic person that I was, I chose to stay in, binge-watch a show on Netflix, and ignore my phone. I was pretty much dead to the world on weekends.
After quitting my job, however, I got to exploring. I spent a week visiting one cafe after another, determined to make a post out of it. I met people, as well. I attended events, watched movies, treated myself to a good dinner every once in a while.
I pampered myself, like I knew I’ve been needing to do for so long.
I Learned to Survive on Cash
Money was the one thing the people around me were concerned about. I got that, of course. The bills won’t stop coming while I was waiting for a new job. There were credit card purchases from months back that I still had to pay. Even my own laptop was still on installment. My phone bill, too. So yes, I was concerned about cash.
But I wasn’t really unemployed, not in the sense that there was a total loss of income. This is the good thing about surviving as a freelancer early in your working career. You learn to always have “side projects.” I survived on those and minimized my use of credit cards. And it reminded me to be careful about my spending habits. There’s something in immediately paying for your expenses that tells you, “Stop. You’ve already spent too much.”
I don’t regret quitting my job. Without doing so, I never would have learned these lessons. Whatever next step I plan to take, I know that I’ll face it a stronger and more self-assured person.