Friday, March 23, 2012

Balance and Confidence: A Reflection on Why I Quit My Job

      The first time I remember having certainty about something about myself was in the 6th grade. My teacher was Mrs. Grimm, a caring and respected woman in her mid thirties who I recall wearing glasses, even though she didn’t, simply because she seemed so wise. One day Mrs. Grimm went around our class asking us what our favorite colors were. Our classroom was one of the few in our 50-year-old Catholic school that had white boards. I distinctly remember her pointing at me quizzically with a dry ease marker and asking me what my favorite color was. I didn’t immediately have an answer because it was honestly something I hadn’t thought about in a while. She was a patient woman, but I knew the rest of the class was waiting and I felt the pressure to answer weighing down on me. My mind skimmed over the colors of the rainbow, and then to the color pink, which I knew I had claimed as my favorite as a five-year-old. No, not pink, I thought quickly. I remember thinking about what color made me feel like me. “Red!” I finally blurted out, after what felt like a whole school day. As Mrs. Grimm wrote it on the white board next to my name, I realized that it was true. Red was my favorite color! Excitement danced inside my heart and clarity in my head as I gazed upon the board at an enduring detail I had uncovered about myself.

         Last year at my old teaching job I didn’t feel as confident about my decision to be there as I did the day I chose red as my favorite color. I loved teaching, but doing it meant I wasn’t able to follow what was really in my heart. I wasn’t feeling found there, I was feeling more and more lost. What encouraged this feeling was the fact that the people I worked with acted like they liked me to my face, but weren’t the same behind my back. Convinced that I would get them to like me, I spent much of my time around them trying to prove to them that they should. Towards the end of the school year I knew that I couldn’t stay in that situation any longer. My heart was unsatisfied, but what was almost as unbearable was the fact that I felt so off balance in life. My days were filled trying to work towards a futile goal, the approval of others, and I never quite had the right mindset to enjoy my other passions.  

     The decision to quit my job was hard, terrifying really, but I know in my heart that this is what is right for me. Writing and surfing are like the color red to me; they make me feel like myself, they make me feel found.
Further entries about this subject can be found here.

14 comments:

  1. this is so inspiring devon! i'm so happy you have the confidence, the guts, the bravery to do the things you love... keep it up!

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  2. Yikes. All signs keep hitting me in the face and this is another one! I feel more and more lost every day and am not nearly brave enough to fix it. I keep telling myself it's because we're not yet married/living together so I can't afford it, and that's true, but there has to be a way to make it work. Most of my waking hours are spent not feeling like me and not feeling able to escape that trap.

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  3. This would be an extremely hard decision to make... but I'm so proud you went through with it! If you are miserable at work, you will eventually turn into a miserable person! And you DESERVE to be HAPPY!
    Your talent of surfing is amazzzzing!

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  4. I just stumbled across your blog and must tell you, this post is exactly what I've been needing to read. I so admire you for making that brave decision to do what's in your heart. To do what makes you "YOU!" You're an inspiration to so many of us :) Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. Wow I just read the other two posts you had linked to it. And just wow. You are so inspiring to take that bold and brave step!!

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  6. And you always have to do what's best for YOU! If you're not happy yourself, it becomes very difficult to contribute to others, even if you love them. I'm so glad you made that decision, no matter how terrified you were!

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  7. hi there, came over from bridget's blog. i have to be honest - i'm really glad you wrote this post & that it was the first thing i read on your blog. i don't always click on sponsor links, and then if i do, i usually only spend a couple seconds skimming before moving onto something else. but today, i read your whole post, your entire about me section, and then your home tour post (which is amazing btw).

    anyway, back to this post...i hear ya loud & clear: i'm not so satisfied with my job, and i am teetering on the edge of pursing something i am more passionate about. i'm impressed and ever so happy for you, not many people take the plunge,so congratulations..a few months late. ;)

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  8. Sticking to what you believe is the right decision is so hard to do! I admire you for making that decision. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Very well put. I admire you for having the courage to pursue your dreams. So many choose the safe route in life...but going after your 'color red' is really the special sauce.

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  10. what an amazing post. truly inspiring. I'm in this limbo about pursuing my dreams right now... finding the right time to really dive in and all of that... thank you Devon!

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  11. I came across your blog a few months ago and really enjoy your writing! You have an inspiring story.

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  12. I love blogs with substance. People who blog about their passions and end up inspiring others. I'm glad I found your blog. I'll be following along. Hope you stop by and visit me as well. I'd like to do a button swap if you're interested. Btw...you gotta be a Cali girl?

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  13. I just found you thanks to Drea (from ohdeardrea), and I can't stop reading. I love how open and honest you are, and how brave and self-aware! It is so hard trying to figure out where to go in life, staying true to yourself without getting sidetracked by so many voices and opinions.
    You have a beautiful writing voice, and seem like a wonderful person. I'm excited to get to know you better!

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