Can you imagine two responsible people with children, both so fed up with their job situation and employers but having no known future prospects…. handing in their resignations anyways? Do you think it’s irresponsible of them? I don’t.
I get it. Completely.
We’ve been living here so long now (getting on 12 years) that I have a hard time knowing what the rest of the world is like. What business is like. What normality is. What the real world is like, anymore. But I totally get why the friend I mentioned would do such a thing. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same way about it living back in my home country (and maybe it wouldn’t make any difference) but here I get it.
This couple I refer to are teachers. They quit their jobs about a week ago so have until June before they’re actually out of work and need to know where they’re moving on to. But the whole act of quitting without any plan tells you space they must be in.
I’ve been there. Felt that.
People think this life we lead…. this expat life…. is one of luxury, of adventure… the easy life. In many ways it is and can be. But there is a whole other side that exists that is not talked about so much.
I touch upon it from time to time. Though I can be a complainer, I know that for the most part my life IS easy compared to many. To most, perhaps. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s challenges.
It was easier when we first moved here. Though adjusting to a new climate, a new culture can be excruciating because of its differences you eventually learn your way around. It’s like starting a new job. Making new friends. It might be uncomfortable but it’s mostly the unfamiliarity and unknowing that derails people.
Once you settle. Once you see somewhere or something for what it really IS, that’s when your eyes are opened and you see the TRUTH of it.
Unfortunately as you or I may find along our journeys, once you get to know the truth of job, a person, a neighborhood, a city, a life….and you don’t like it, it’s hard to get untangled from it.
People leave their jobs, their marriages as the truth becomes so contrary to their own truths it’s harder to stay than it is to leave.
Sometimes it works out nice and clean, this change. This breaking of a promise. This admitting to yourself and others that you’ve made a mistake or a wrong decision. Or the decision may have been right for you at one time, but no longer is. Or that it’s become something so unbearable that no matter what, you just need to stop. To leave.
I’ve made so many different choices, so many about-faces that I’m quite used to doing so. It doesn’t mean I don’t think people wonder about my ability to make good choices. Or whether they think I’m a quitter.
But I don’t quit all things. I don’t quit on my husband. I don’t quit on my kids. I don’t quit on my health, my love of learning, my optimism in my life ahead.
I guess I’d rather be the known as the quitter, or the indecisive, or even the fool in other people’s minds than someone who’s lived their life in misery.
I am a believer that you won’t find the opportunities, unless you open the door for them to show themselves. You won’t find the good friends unless you rid yourself of the friends that suck you dry. You won’t find the job that fuels your passion if you’re living your days in drudgery of your 9-5. You won’t find the place you call home, unless you look around a little and get to know what home feels like to you.
I wish them well. I think of all that is available to them as they leave what’s not working behind and go on to hopefully find something that does.
For them, fear of the unknown is a lesser challenge than living with the truth of what they’d found.
Freedom. Choice. It’s what we have.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi:
I welcome the release of fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and extend my appreciation to the military regime in Burma. I extend my full support and solidarity to the movement for democracy in Burma and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.
– Dalai Lama, 14Nov2010