Well I did it. I tendered my resignation for my job of nearly four and to my organization of nearly seven years, effective in early February. It was a tough decision, even given all of my reasonable reasons for making a job and career change. I’m happy that I made the move. More importantly, I’m happier and looking forward to the next phase of my life and career.
The days after handing my resignation to my boss and explaining it to her have been filled mostly with relief tinged by a bit of sadness. After all, I like my supervisor and most of the folks I’ve worked with over the past four or seven years. And while I believe that my decision to resign was the right one, my doubts still linger about the consequences of leaving a job — however unstable the job and funding situation was and is — without another position already lined up. It seems weird to step out on faith — in God, myself, my wife and family — without calculating every conceivable angle for staying or going ahead of time.
But besides all of the things I have in my favor, the lessons I’ve learned from Boy At The Window are important ones for the road that lies ahead. I’m the same person who witnessed my mother getting beat up and knocked unconscious by my now ex-stepfather twenty-five years ago. The same human being who stepped in and took a summer’s worth of abuse from my stepfather in ’82, who found himself without a serious friend for years, who contemplated suicide at the age of fourteen. I’m certainly the same person who spent five days on the brink of dropping out of college, five days homeless on a major college campus wondering if I’d ever have any hope of having a future.
I’ve seen and been involved in so many things that I’ve had to overcome to get to this point in my life — including unemployment and underemployment — that I have little doubt that everything I’m searching for will actually happen. Including the success I desire as a writer. Yet the move to close one chapter in my life while opening another one has produced moments of anxiousness, of unfocused energy where I can do everything and nothing at the same time. It’s strange, really, almost exhilarating how this decision of mine has begun to affect my view of myself and my life of late.
But I know that none of this matters if I don’t find my footing as a successful writer and teacher in the foreseeable future. I know that there are things more important in life than paying rent or a mortgage, than the obvious accouterments of success. At the same time I understand that having some sense of financial security and independence can make the other parts of my life that much easier to enjoy and pursue. I want to be happy, to enjoy success and to cherish all of the people, places and things that are near and dear to me. If Boy At The Window has been about anything, it’s been about knowing that life is too precious to spend our time living in fear and despair, without trust and with little hope. That’s what this move to take more control over my life is about, to imbue all I am with a life of meaning and purpose that accounts for financial need, career success and personal happiness.