Friday, March 02, 2012

I quit

The title isn't meant to be clever in any way. I literally quit my job and today was my last day. After 8 years with Apex I decided it was time to do something new with my life, so about 5 weeks ago I gave my notice, helped them train my replacement, got as many of my ducks in a row as possible, and exited gracefully and not too drunkenly after two loving farewell happy hours. On Monday I will wake up and have absolutely nothing to do. I can't be sure how I'll react to that, but I bet it will be pretty awesome.

To all my coworkers past and present, thank you for helping me grow up. Personally and professionally, I am a different person than I was when I started as a college intern at age 22, when the company itself was also young. I should have been fired on more than one occasion, but both times (maybe three...) someone saw my mistake as an opportunity to help me mature. I tried to quit so I could move to South America, and was met with the shockingly simple "why not just work from South America?", allowing me two years to live a totally different life while still remaining financially stable. As the company has grown, I've had multiple positions at every office we've ever had (Bellevue, Seattle International District, downtown Seattle, Philadelphia), and I've thrown a lot of company parties. In some ways Apex and I grew up together, and this feels like high school graduation where we each go our own ways to start down the path toward the adults we're destined to be - we'll still keep in touch and have many fond memories of each other, but it will never be the same.

Today I throw financial stability to the wind. I don't have a job lined up and I don't plan on looking for one any time soon. Instead I will drastically cut my living expenses by moving back in with K, M, and Toddler J (what joy is all of ours!) and providing occasional childcare in exchange for reduced rent. I can't tell you how often during the past month I've fantasized about the spring and summer ahead, evolving our three-year-old garden, going swimming and reading books and eating fresh fruit a three-year-old I love like a nephew just helped me pick. Tomorrow morning, my first Saturday of funemployment, I will wake up and head to their house to start planning this year's crops and do some winter weeding in preparation for spring. It all seems a little too bucolic to be real, but here I am.

It's funny how people react to news like this. "What do you mean you won't have a job?" "So you're just going to do... nothing?" "Oh, to be young and have that freedom!" But by far the most incredible reaction has been the overwhelming endorsement from my close friends and family. I was expecting no small amount of skepticism, but they have been nothing but enthusiastic and supportive. To know that the most important people in my life have complete faith in me... I tear up just writing about it.

So there you have it. I, Elizabeth Archer, am officially unemployed. So why do I feel like I just won the lottery?


jrteacherlady said...

All I can say it "You Go Girl!" That is awesome and totally scary! I wish you the best and I hope you enjoy every free minute!!!

Robyn said...

yay for chosen unemployment! good work Arch!