October 3, 2019
I was prepped and ready, I had been rehearsing how this would go for almost two weeks. After my train of excuses ran out and my courage kicked in, the meeting finally came and at 5:44 am, October 3, 2019 I let my boss know I was resigning. Now I am sure you're wondering, or to quote the amazing Brene Brown "the story I'm telling myself is...", but hold tight, I'll fill you in. See I had an amazing job, low stress, a few co-workers I was lucky enough to call friends, a 17+ year history with the same company, the great benefits, the 401, you know "the American Dream", but deep down in my core, I knew that it was amazing job, it just wasn't MY job.
Looking back I could tell you that I have not yet had MY job. Maybe you feel the same way? See my amazing career started and ended with someone else saying you should go to school be, well you get the idea. For me that started out as a doctor, which quickly moved to undecided, to then eventually a random Health Policy and Administration degree, sounds glamorous doesn't it? Truth, I still have no clue what you would actually use that degree for.
So after three miserable years working in the health insurance industry, which is so broken it hurts, I thought I'd try my hat at nursing, because why not, I only needed a few credits and hey, you always need nurses! Looking back, once graduated, that worked out for all of a month before I realized, nursing wasn't really my thing either. Nine years later and many positions later, from bedside to clinic to management, to informatics; that's where my career ended, with a shiny MBA as a feather in my cap.
So here we are, three college degrees, 17+ years career growth at the same company, gaining immense opportunity, skill and insight; yet I still felt lost, bored and wholly uninspired.
"It was an amazing job, it just wasn't MY job." - Sara
It was time to really take a look inside, what did I want to do? Shocker, I have no idea. So I did what any rational person would do, straight to anxiety attacks, restless nights, breakdowns, and back to pushing through my day to day pretending that it didn't really matter. Thankfully our bodies call our own bullshit, and if you push them too hard when they instinctively know it's not what's best, you'll know.
My burnout started to spiral in July 2019 and as hard as I tried to manage it with self-care, it became more and more evident that I knew the answer was staring me the face. I needed to move on, I needed to take a step back and I needed to get help. Here's the thing, if you are lucky enough to be in-tune with your intuition, you already know the answers to all your questions.
In September 2019 I had to make a trip back to the office, working remotely had been my only saving grace, and with each day closer, it felt like a wall was closing in. That week was the most emotionally exhausting week I had ever experienced and I knew, plan or not, next job or not, I needed to quit.
It's only the beginning...
Life has a funny way of always working out, even when you think it isn't going "in your favor". If you look back and reflect on what has happened, I guarantee that everything you are today is what you asked for, wished for and worked for. I quit my comfy corporate job because I was tired of being burnt out, playing small and settling on the idea that "this was it". As for my next steps, I laugh we people ask, and typically respond "I have no f*ing clue." I'm taking the time I should have 17 years ago to look inward, and do what I know is best all while helping as many people as I can.
Here's what I do know, I am grateful beyond words for all that the past 17+ years has provided. All that I have experienced, learned, failed through, succeeded at, and pushed through made me who I am today. Everything I have now, I wished and hoped for years ago.
And so when I think of what's next, I smile and think; look out, I am just getting this shit started.