Two weeks ago, I gave notice. I knocked on my supervisor’s door and stood there with my resignation letter in hand. “You’re quitting aren’t you?” She said it with a smile. “Well, it’s about time. You’re in a new place now, and I’m so happy for you.” I was scared. “Stephanie, you don’t seem happy about this.” It just doesn’t feel real yet. “You’ll always have a home here.” I bit off all my nails.
This Wednesday is my last day, and I’ve already eaten my cuticles. They’re throwing me a going away party. Parties in my honor make me anxious. I mean, who is going to show up? I’ve been working for this company for over 5 years, and I only really know a handful of people. Why? Because I haven’t been warm. I’ve been a hard worker because it’s what I thought mattered most. I’ve seen people around me who can balance both. They’re well-liked and respected. I fear I failed at warm and personable and have been seen only as dedicated and diligent. When in life, all I really want is to be compassionate and connect with those I care about. It’s what I’ve learned from my time in advertising. I wish I’d made more of my time with people instead of job numbers and iPod playlists.
When people have invited me to lunch, I thanked them and declined. It had nothing to do with the company and everything to do with the calories and my anti-social habits. If I worked through lunch, I was a hard worker, people would see how much I valued the project. Wrong. What people see is when you value them. I wish I’d been more personable. I wish I’d invited anyone to lunch. I fear no one really likes me.
This is my risk: leaving a job to pursue a career. Life leaps. This is mine, and I’m owning it.
“No, I’m not quitting. I’ve just decided to take a new job.” A job that requires a bathrobe, laptop, and lap dog. It’s still scary, but it’s not courage without fear. And I have a feeling the friends I have made while at work, I will have for the rest of my life.