I Quit My Dream Job

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I quit what I thought was my dream job yesterday.

After struggling for a month and a half to force myself to love both the highs and lows I decided to leave. With a heavy heart I wrote my brief resignation letter and waited until 4:30pm to discuss with my director the next steps moving forward.

It’s not a decision I made lightly. I had been in talks with him since March to find a different place within the company, something that involved more creative duties. But alas (yes I just wrote alas) there was nothing that fit my needs and theirs.

After a job proposal, an internal interview, and over a month and a half since admitting to both myself and the company that I wasn’t happy my journey here is finally over.

I’ve avoided writing about my struggles with this company for a while, but I think it’s important to fully address it now.

As I’ve mentioned in the past I have issues with stress. My body basically doesn’t have the right balance to deal with stressful situations. So when I get into an overloaded stress situation my body shuts down. Which is what happened in late February.

It was terrifying that a job I though was my dream career was basically shutting down my body. Eventually I went to the doctor, after suffering three panic attacks in a month, and was put on anxiety medicine.

The decision to quit at first had a lot to do with my physical health. I was told by countless friends that I couldn’t let a job basically destroy my health. They were right, but I couldn’t admit to myself that I wasn’t able to handle this balancing act.

I felt inadequate, so rather than listening to my body I kept pushing on.

I was so stressed out that I wasn’t remembering to eat. I was exhausted all the time and bitter. Not to mention just plain mean.

I worked late, and resented my job for it. It was impossible to meet the amount of deadlines I was dealing with while still thinking about my health.

I don’t know what woke me up, but I finally realized I didn’t want to live like this. I didn’t want to put my health on the back burner and do something because “it was supposed” to be my dream job.

Sometimes dream jobs don’t work out the way we want them to, and that’s okay. 

When I started this job it had all the elements I’d always wanted, building strategies, dealing with multiple clients, and surrounded by an amazing work environment. But that’s not exactly what it ended up being for my actual position.

So I quit with a months notice to smooth over transitions. I quit with no job offer because that’s what I needed to do, because when we finally see what a job does to us it’s important to fix all of the wrongs before moving on.

And the first wrong I’m fixing is to start putting my health first.

Why I think I have Asperger’s

Lately I’ve been feeling stressed out. I don’t know who to talk to, where to turn. And on top of it I’m caught up in major confrontation issues, which I hate dealing with.

Then I start rereading old Penelope Trunk posts, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be tested for Asperger’s syndrome. So since I’m in Maine I confess to my sister that due to my intake in psychology courses I’ve started self-diagnosis (not uncommon in med students). But after a two sentence conversation she changes it. As per usual…we never seem to be able to have actual conversations just enough for her to think she really understands me. Then be blown off and go back to pretending we are close.

So now I’ve convinced myself that after “failing” two different diagnosis test that maybe I should talk to a real medical person and ask them to tell me what’s wrong.

But knowing me, I’m problem just finding something problematic to focus on so I can stop thinking about everything going on with school.

  • I’ve never been good with social situations. I usually freak out and hide when friends ask me to go to parties with them. I slowly shut down before being dragged off to a bar. I’ll put up a fight just so I won’t have to go through with meeting new people. Or if I can, I just find a reason to cancel and stay home to read.
  • It gets better, I can’t read nonverbal cues. If someone is bored with me I have no idea. And I can’t tell if I’ve upset someone. So sometimes I don’t talk at all because I don’t know if I should. And sometimes I can’t stop talking for fear I’ve already said something wrong so now I need to cover it up. And other times I won’t talk and I’ll just watch the entire group have a conversation, not understanding how they are able to keep the conversation funny…and oh was that a joke? After a while I just start spacing out wondering what my next post will be about.
  • I hate when people think I’m weird. I’m not weird. I just get lost in my thoughts, a lot. Writing is the only way I can really explain what happens, because when I start talking I can’t stop. But sometimes that happens in my writing too. I call it word vomit.
  • And I get really frustrated when people don’t tell me exactly what they want. I’m really bad with reading between the lines. By ignoring me you aren’t making me more interested, you’re actually making me so frustrated that I stop caring. And the only reason I continue to talk to you is because I genuinely just want to know why you stopped. Not for emotional reasons, but because I don’t understand why someone would stop wanting to talk to me. Well I have an idea, but I like exact reasons.

I don’t understand why people are just able to fall in line with dating rules/life rules. I find them so complicated and I’d rather not do any kind of dance, I’d rather someone just be blunt with me so I know exactly what they are thinking. Instead of having to worry about if I just said something wrong and by then you are already on another topic but I can’t focus on what you are saying because I am still trying to figure out if you are upset.

I’ve always felt like this, and I just never really thought anything of it until my abnormal psychology class/googling on a cloudy day led me to believe that I could be more different than I already am. But, Like I’ve said before, I’m a big over analyzer and I sometimes get so involved with what is going on I need to start searching for a cause of some abnormal behavior. That is, in all likely hood, completely normal but it just happens to be showing itself at an inconvenient time.

So I realize that I am just reading into behavior that is perfectly normal, and I also understand that because of certain things happening I am trying to focus on other things. But I still can’t help but think that maybe there is an explination for why I am the way I am.

How to Survive Finals Week

Dear students and Professors…take a deep breath, Look at the calendar..and scream.

That’s right, it’s  finals week. Where did the semester go? Who knows! But it’s almost over. I always picture this part of the semester as a false end..like your in a desert (where you’ve been for months) running towards what you thought was this beautiful water fall and as soon as you reach it you fall into sand. That’s what Finals are for me…but sometimes while you’re laying there a giant sand storm comes up and picks you up..and you are screwed.

This semester I have four finals (out of six classes so I shouldn’t be complaining) but one is Bio. Bio to me is like organic chemistry to a kindergarten. I don’t know why…I just am not a science/math/history girl. At All. And on of my other finals is just a paper, so again I should be complaining..except it was due yesterday and I am writing this post instead of finishing it right now.

OKAY so how to survive Finals week: (how to conquer the impossible)

Step 1: Make a list of all the days and times of your finals. May three of them…you know for that night when you come in completely trashed and you have something at 8am and don’t remember. That post it note right next to your bed just may help.

Step 2: Print out all of your study guides. I find it more helpful, and more likely to get done, when I have a hard copy of something. This way I can close my laptop and get down to the  business of Cross Culture psychology.

Step 3: If you have questions for your professors, don’t say them for the last-minute! Make sure to ask a couple of days in advance. This way you are saving them the headache of answering you email, while they have thousands of assignments to go through…and you look like a better student.

Step 4: Stock up on water, Advil and gum. I drink water like my life depends on it (well it kind of does) so during finals I need a bottle. Even if it;s just to take my mind of the question while I sip a nice cool refreshing sip of ice-cold water. Advil…I stress out like no body’s business, and when I do I clench/grind my teeth, which puts pressure on this thing that then puts pressure on your head and I get a nasty headache, Advil has saved me some major angry break outs (I get angry when I’m in pain…can’t show weakness obviously). Gum…the only study I’m using is the one that says when you chew gum your concentration is better. At least for me. I am addicted to gum (and not supposed to be…it makes my jaw really sore and feel horrible) I think it helps me concentrate on finals, and as long as I believe that I can usually semi finish it thinking I will pass.

Step 5: Get  a goodnight’s sleep before your finals. I’ve made this mistake far too often, and it is not worth staying up all night…sleeping for 2 hours then going to your final. Get at least 7 hours of sleep the night before. I know you think cramming all of the info. in at the last moment will help, but it won’t. If anything you’ll just be more freaked out. Try to study during the day. Or go to bed early and wake up early if you are a morning person. I’ve found out that some of my best work happens at 3am…but I make sure I go to bed at 8 or 9 so I sleep. Or I schedule a nap in later that day…ahh the wonders of being a college student.

Step 6: Make sure to bring your own pencil to the final! (or pen) I (this was just a one thing) forgot my pencil, and the teacher didn’t have enough. Lucky the girl sitting next to me had an extra so it wasn’t a big deal…but what would’ve happened if she didn’t? It would’ve sucked. So bring your own writing utensils just to be on the safe side!

Step 7: If you have a question on your test, ask the Professor. It’s better to be safe than sorry on a final. And when other students ask questions, listen! Sometimes it’s the question you wanted to ask…then you don’t have to go up and look at the Professors annoyed face and listen to the forced dramatic sigh.

Step 8: Hand in your final. And just smile say “Have a great summer” Then as soon as the door shuts begin jumping for joy because you are finally done and never have to sit through another BIO (or whatever) class again! And while you are in the midst of celebrating that cute boy who has totally been half flirting with you all semester is obviously going to walk out and give you the “what is she on” stare. Embrace it, you’ll probably never see him again anyway.

So the main thing: Stay relaxed! Sleep! Stalk up on needed supplies! and Study!

Things to watch out for:

Cleaning, I clean when I need something else to do. Blogging, as you can see…I also created another blog instead of studying for my psychology of personality final. Facebook, Cracked.com, collegecandy and Twitter are all huge distractions for me…have someone change your passwords if it gets really bad. And Hulu/T.V. I can always find some episode of some obscure show that I haven’t seen…damn bad T.v.

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to put away the computer and start opening the 350 dollar book that hasn’t been opened all year, or at least while looking for more distractions you opened your notebook.

What are your tips and tricks to surviving finals? Any horrible distractions you care to share?