First, let me give you a little background information on my situation. I got my first job when I was 19, and I had just received my associate’s degree in Psychology. I have been told many, many times that I should have picked a degree that was more useful, but I can’t think of anything more valuable than studying how people work and why they act the way they do. I know I’m not alone in this, but I am one of those college students who changed their major at least five times. I am the kind of person who is good at lots of things, but great at nothing. Despite these many changes, I am not one to give up, leave without warning, or quit something because it was too hard.
I worked at a movie theater for four years, and I loved it. Well, I enjoyed watching 117 free movies over the course of my stay. I did not, however, love the people who would yell, scream, bully me, and I even had several people throw things at me. I felt like a robot, and I wasn’t happy. Which brings us to the first thing I learned.
1. There’s no point in being unhappy about things you can’t change, and no point being unhappy about things you can.
That’s a quote by Dan Harris. It just came to me a week before I quit. It was the last semester before I graduated college and I went to talk to my manager about working fewer hours because I wasn’t going to let a minimum wage job stop me from graduating. I spoke with them in early August about reducing my hours, and they agreed to do so. However, that is not what happened. In fact, they moved me to a different department which made me very tired, and I had no energy to do homework once I got home from school.
Again, I went to the managers to try to make it work. They agreed to help me, but ultimately that’s not what happened. They did move me back to my original position in the box office, but then they started scheduling me past my availability or keeping me longer than was necessary. My father, at the time, was beginning to get sick and I needed to take care of him. If given a choice to go back and change things, I would have quit sooner. Keep in mind that I had 3 English classes during this semester, so I would frequently have 2-3 papers plus 400 pages of reading due per week.
My dad graciously waited until after my graduation ceremony to go to the hospital because he didn’t want to miss my big moment. My dad ended up having surgery just two days later in December, and I was able to be there to take care of him because I quit my job on Thanksgiving.
2. No matter what anyone else thinks, you deserve to be happy.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to be an artist or a writer, we all deserve to be happy with what we do. That may be the downfall of my generation, but at the very least we will die happy and fulfilled. We don’t want to work the rest of lives away, and if we are going to do that, it should be something we love to do. Edgar Allen Poe has always been an inspiration to me. Without him, I wouldn’t be an English major. I would rather die poor and happy than to be rich and miserable.
My love of writing and reading and books, in general, has always made me happy. As someone who has already published a book and plans to write more, I must say: I finally feel happy. Of course, I was writing while I had a job and that’s okay too. I may have even written a few poems while at work about how awful the customers were to me. I never genuinely stopping writing, but I was missing something.
3. Life goes on, and this too shall pass.
I have always wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Despite some people who told me I was a great writer, I couldn’t believe them. We are always our own worst critic. I’m a harsh critic so it’s hard to please even myself sometimes as you can tell by the 20 rewrites I do for a simple letter to a friend. My decision to quit my job was not easy considering there was a lot at stake, but it was by far the best decision I ever made. It led me to my current passion which is the library. I started my own mobile library as a way to gain experience and give out the best gift a child can receive: a book.