“I resign,” I exhaled, gasping for air. I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t breathe. For the last eleven years I’d been in quicksand and at that moment I was about to go under. For good. So the words tumbled out and I breathed.
I remember feeling like I was floating. This incredible sense of calm and my head expanding and numb and tingly all at the same time as I walked back to my office to begin packing. I felt free. Like someone had opened the doors to a cage I hadn’t realized I had been in and had set me free. I felt alive and something new. Something I hadn’t felt for a long time. Hope.
I remembered saying to a friend at a Midsummer’s Eve party just after I’d taken the job that I hoped that it wouldn’t change me. But it had. Of course it had. I had known that Midsummer’s Eve. My gut had told me. That still small voice in my head had said “Don’t’ do it,” but I hadn’t listened. When you are working two jobs and just scraping by, and someone offers you a full time job with benefits, sanity tells you to take it. But I had known. I just didn’t listen.
So I had spent the last eleven years trying to squeeze my round self into a square space. The whole time feeling, knowing deep down at my core, that no matter how I tried to contort or twist to fit in, it would never feel right. Like I belonged. But I stuck it out because I am nothing if not persistent, or maybe stubborn. My Volleyball coach had once told me “You try too hard.” “What?” I had asked. How do you try too hard? Isn’t that the whole point of trying?” I had wondered.
But on that hot August day something rose up inside me and took over and I had no choice but to listen as it screamed, “No more!” No more trying to fit in. No more trying to bloom where you are planted. It’s time to go out and be scared. It’s time to listen to what the universe is trying to tell you. Finally.