Saturday, December 19, 2020

Knowing When To Quit

Please excuse me, but a huge congratulations for myself is in order, thank you very much.

Drumroll please...

(Image above found on


Yes, I am celebrating, but, no, I am not doing so flippantly. 
I didn't WANT to quit my job. In the middle of a pandemic. Without a backup waiting in the wings. 

But I needed to quit my job. And so I did. And now it is done. And I can finally write about it.


At this point in my life, I've made many super huge and major decisions. They are never easy, but I've distilled a process for myself that I'd like to share. Using this method, I don't rely solely on my feelings to make a decision. It's a very practical method, but it still allows for my value system to be at the heart of every decision.
          First, I go back to my values. (Make a list. You can do an internet search to get ideas.) 
          Next, I make t-charts of my concerns. (List the pros and cons of potential decisions.) 
          Then I look at my data and see what conclusion makes the most sense. 


Quitting my job was a super huge and major decision. 
It also wasn't. It was just what I had to do.

I took off from work the week before Thanksgiving. For the first week, I went easy on myself. I knew I was stressed to the max, emotional, exhausted, and depleted. Then during the week of Thanksgiving I just enjoyed myself, the holiday, and the time at home. But as the weekend drew to a close, I knew I needed to figure out what I explicitly needed. So I determined three things I needed to feel safe at work. 

I returned to work. Things inevitably came to a head. I stated my three things. They conceded to one. And I knew I had to resign. 

I did the same thing with my divorce, which was probably the hardest decision I've ever made. But again, with my process, it wasn't really a decision I had to make. It was just something I had to do and get through. Once I looked at what I valued versus what my reality was... Well, facts are facts. Even when they're sad or hard or traumatic or devastating.

Like IVF. I went through that whole process twice. I'm sure many people can relate when I say I haaate needles and injections and blood draws. Just the smell of rubbing alcohol makes me anxious. But I did it. And then it didn't work either time, and I had a decision to make. Except I was done. There was not a whole lot left of me, of my personality, of my spirit. There is no other way I know to describe it: I was an empty shell. Facts are facts. I quit fertility treatments.

So, while it was not as difficult as knowing I had to get divorced or knowing I had to quit fertility treatments, it was still really hard to realize I had to quit my job. It was only a handful of months, but I put a lot into that job. I thought it was going to be my new career. I was growing very passionate about it. I envisioned retiring from the position. I invested a lot of time and money into training and materials. I quickly grew attached to my students and co-workers. Not to mention, I liked the paycheck and health insurance.

But it wasn't safe. And my concerns were not handled well. At all. 

And I had to walk away.

I cried a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. In a way that maybe only fellow IF survivors will understand, it was a tremendous heartbreak for me. I know I'm not going to raise children. I know I'm not going to be a mother. But I was really, really excited (in the most healthy and healing way possible) to be able to build long-term relationships with students and to watch and help them grow throughout their 
K - 12 school experience. 

So quitting this job hurt in ways that I expect nobody but you all to understand.
It was sad and devastating. I have let myself feel all of my feelings so I could move through them.

Which brings me to where I am now. And right now I want to recognize that quitting my job also opens up a whole hell of a lot of time and space in my life. Perhaps there will be better ways for me to serve others. I will keep my heart and mind open to the possibility.


So THAT is what has been affecting everything. I was very stressed about the lack of precautions being taken at work. In addition, I wasn't being treated well by my boss or HR. I was bringing a lot of fear and stress home. My boyfriend was an important support as he listened to me process everything out loud. It was extremely frustrating for him too. He and I are tired from the whole experience. For the past month especially, I really needed a whole team of people to help keep me grounded in reality (my boyfriend, his sister, a couple of friends that texted me validation, and three different doctors who all shared my concerns). But realizations had and decisions made, I submitted my resignation, waited out my two weeks, and quit my job.

And now it is done.



  1. Congratulations! And commiserations, because I understand the loss too. How ridiculous that you had to quit because you didn't feel safe. And if you weren't safe, how many of the kids were safe, or your colleagues? I get so angry when institutions brush aside concerns that will later prove to be legitimate. (Or, in Saneland, are already considered legitimate.)

    Sending hugs, and best wishes. I hope you can take this time and recover and relax a little. Here's hoping 2021 is better for you.

    1. Thank you!! The last couple of weeks have been incredibly difficult. To help myself, I would remind myself (literally out loud), "You have support around the world! You've done nothing wrong. You will get through this." Thank you Mali!! I should have also included the IF blogosphere on my support team in my original post. That was an oversight because I definitely thought of the regular writers and readers on here and felt supported. <3 <3 <3

      My plan for the next two weeks is to rest, recover, quilt, and cook holiday goodies. I'm feeling thankful.

  2. Congratulations on taking a step that is scary but what is right for you! It is unbelievable to me how organizations are not keeping the safety of their employees (and STUDENTS!) first and foremost. This pandemic makes everything so much more difficult. I hope that post-pandemic you can find a place that values you -- your talents and your safety, and you can move forward. It just sucks to face setback after setback, but I'm so glad you have support and you have the relief of knowing that you can be safe!

    1. Exactly!! It's amazing how much better I feel now that I know I'm safe at home. And yes, that's exactly how I want to feel in my next job - valued.

      It is unbelievably awful how some employers are acting during this pandemic.

      And it really does suck to face repeated setbacks. Thank you for the validation. Dealing with life's twists and turns can be so hard. Thank you so much for your support and understanding. <3

  3. Dear Phoenix,
    congratulations on the brave decision, I am with you 100 %.
    A dear pen-friend said not long ago when quiting her job: "I can get another job, I can not get another life."

    best wishes!

    1. Hahaha I love it. Thank you!! It had to be done and now it is over. I can start to reflect and heal from the experience and move forward with more clarity from more of life's tough lessons learned.

  4. Dear Phoenix,

    Well done! I am proud of you for being faithful to yourself and your needs <3.

    It must have been a hard decision. I think I understand because I am quitting my job as well. It won't be over until the end of February, but I am glad I am leaving. My boss didn't care about my safety for over half a year either (I didn't mention that on my blog, just that our relationship changed). I can't tell you how many times I got angry, upset, and how unsafe I felt. It got better this autumn because the commission (the boss of my boss) became interested in our safety and I was allowed to order some safety equipment. But by then I had already resigned my job. And I still think it was the right decision. I don't want to work for someone who doesn't care about my health and safety!

    I wish you calm and relaxing days at home!

    PS: Do you know how I read the title at first? "Knowing When To Quilt" ;-).

    1. Oh wow, you and I continue to lead lives on such similar paths!! Good for you on quitting your job. I am sorry and also congratulations!!! It's insanity. All of it. :(

      Yesss! I love "Knowing When to Quilt"!!! Hahaha <3

  5. I am so sorry that you felt you had to quite because you didn't feel safe. :( But -- good for you, too! -- I'm proud of you! :) Sometimes I think I should have quit my old job (or at least looked for another one) long before they ushered me out the door. It all worked out in the end, but there was a lot of stress before that point, and a lot of bitterness on my part for a while afterwards.

    I hope you're having a great break, and that 2021 is a whole lot better!

    1. It's just crazy to me. I wasn't asking for much, especially in the middle of a pandemic. But do you know that phrase, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth?" That's what I keep thinking about this situation... It was looking like it was a pretty toxic work environment. I had to fight just to do my job. So, maybe their lack of covid precautions just sped up the inevitable. I'm still processing my feelings (I am really sad about not getting to build long-term relationships with K-12 students), but I am confident I will find a better fit for my gifts and services.

      My break is great. Thank you! Lots of resting, just doing what I feel like around the house, and the days are honestly flying by. Here's to 2021!!