I am definitely a catchy quote fan. I love the way poets like Bob Marley here can take some of our most intricate and complex emotions, some of the deepest abysses we face in our lives, some of the most powerful elements that drive our life choices, and boil them down to 140 characters.
Yep – the solution for every existential problem a person faces can basically be Tweeted.
Sarcasm aside, I do love these catchy quotes. I always stop and read them when I see them on magnets and coffee cups, and I try to make note of the ones I find particularly inspiring. This Bob Marley gem has struck a deeply resonant chord in my soul because I made a choice 6 months ago I never thought I could.
I decided to walk out on my job.
Doesn’t sound like much, but let me explain. My friends and family will tell you I am very risk-averse. As one who suffers from anxiety (and to such an extent, I am on medication for it) and worries about everything from having enough money to pay bills this month to whether I bought the right ice cream for my husband (who loves the stuff and eats every flavor in the book), deciding to up and quit my job is not, as the ubiquitous “they” would say, something I would do. This is much more “me”: if I were miserable in a job, I would start looking for a new one while continuing to struggle through the current one, and then submit my resignation when, and only when, I had secured another full-time position.
I am also a pacifist and a people-pleaser. I abhor confrontation and will literally worry myself sick if I think someone is “mad at me” or “upset with me.”
So, yeah, for me to walk into my office one random Tuesday (September 6, 2016 to be exact), hand over a terse letter of resignation, grab all my personal items off my desk, and walk out with no intention to return? That is an action I would applaud someone else for having the courage to do while wishing I had that same courage to do it myself.
But I did do it.
And what a change a single brave action – like quitting your job suddenly – can have on the rest of your life. I wasn’t consciously aware of it at first, but in the past several weeks I have started seeing shifts in my personality. I have noticed that I’m not as scared of certain situations as I used to be, that I am willing to “put myself out there more” – i.e., I am worrying less about what other people think of me – that I am standing up for myself more, and that I have every right to devote myself to what makes me happy (rather than what people expect of me or what they think I should do).
Because I have seen the other side of a risky decision, and now I know: the worries I formulate before the choice are always far worse than the actual results. Furthermore, I have *made* a risky decision – I jumped out of that airplane without knowing if my parachute would work – and I’m all the better for it (not to mention alive to tell the tale).
So why wouldn’t I speak up more? Share my views? Stand up for what I believe in? After all, those are risky decisions too (for a people-pleaser anyway), and why shouldn’t I keep adding them to my tally? Especially since every time I take that plunge, jump out of that airplane, or – you know – any other metaphor for taking a risk, I have come out on the other side all the better, braver, stronger, and more confident for it?
So, in the spirit of catchy quotes, I wrap up this post with yet another. And one that has been a perfectly Tweetable summation of my past 6 months: