My first ever job was at a thrift store. I gave them five good years. I brought dedication, commitment, and all the effort in the world. I’m a fast paced person who has never been one to slack off.
These are some of the reasons I was promoted to supervisor.
I was thrilled. A little bit nervous, but mostly thrilled. It seemed so right. Out of my department I had been there the longest. I knew the ins and outs of the clothing department. Not only that, but I knew I’d be getting a decent raise.
It felt like things were looking up. I felt like I was moving up in the world. Then I learned the true nature of the world.
Early on I realized my new position was a much greater provider of stress. I was more exhausted by the end of each day, mentally and physically.
At first it was somewhat rewarding. But the more the stress built up, the more I resented what I was doing. It became suffocating. I felt trapped. I had constant headaches, and going to work made me feel miserable. Every day I dealt with frustrating situations, plus the overall weariness of retail.
This was my first job, and having been there for so long made me begin to worry. Anxious thoughts flooded my brain.
Am I going to be here forever?
I don’t have any other skills.
But I get paid pretty well and I don’t want to start at the bottom somewhere.
I knew it wasn’t my career, just the job I took in high school to get my foot in the working world. I was grateful for for all the opportunities it had brought me, but I knew it was time to branch out. I felt like I needed to explore other options. I had to find something else I could do to open doors to my future.
Call it a quarter-life crisis. Call it crazy. Irresponsible. Impractical.
I decided to give a notice that I would be finishing up the year, then leaving to go live on the Caribbean island of Grenada. I would have a fresh start at my life when I returned.
It seems reckless to quit my job before finding another one, but in all honestly, I needed the time off from working. I needed a mental health break. I felt like I was too young to be as stressed as I was.
I’ve got my whole life to work. Right now is the best time for me to be doing grand things and having adventures.
My older sister has been living on the island for the past year and a half. Her husband is attending the medical school there, St Georges.
My parents and I had visited them for a few weeks and I absolutely fell in love.
It was beautiful. The waters were blue and crystalline. The jungles were lush. The weather was warm! (Keep in mind this was in the middle of winter, so I was more than happy to be met by 80 degree weather)
When I arrived home I felt a sense of dread. I so badly hadn’t wanted to leave. I didn’t want to go back to work and the cold, cloudiness that caused my seasonal depression.
I was quite envious of my sister. Envious of the life she was living. It was my dream life. She lives on a gorgeous island, where she paints and explores, and experiences magnificent adventures.
For months after our vacation ended I had dreams about returning to the island, being in the ocean mostly. It was like the ocean was calling to me.
The idea came to me one day when I was feeling so unhappy and overwhelmed at my job. I randomly thought, “I should just quit my job and go live there for a few months.” It was sort of crazy, but not too crazy. It’s doable! I realized that if my sister could live that life, then so could I, if only for a little while.
Suddenly I felt this lightness, this joy, this excitement. I wanted to book a flight immediately and go right then. I knew I had to be patient. I figured it was best to wait until after the holidays, that way I could stay at my job a bit longer in order to save up as much money as possible.
The months went by slowly, but finally my last day came.
I’ve never felt happier in my whole life. It feels as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel such complete freedom. I know it’s temporary, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
I haven’t yet embarked on my tropical adventure, so for the time being I am relaxing, and preparing.
I was finally able to do all those things that look nice on Instagram, but I’d never had the time. I do face masks and take bubble baths and read all the time, while drinking way too much coffee.
Before I was going through the motions. Now I’ve taken the time to slow down, to contemplate life, think about my future, and enjoy the present.
What About Money!?
I’m aware of the fact that I live in a capitalist society that runs on money. To some people, what I am doing seems ridiculous and impractical. I get it.
People think money is the most important thing, but my mental health is incredibly important as well. I will not settle for a job that makes me miserable. Why should anyone? Certain people seem so against following dreams if it means making unorthodox choices.
Sometimes you have to take leaps to get to where you want to be. You may fall, but you can at least say you tried.
I’ve worked my butt off and saved up my money for years. I didn’t know what exactly I was saving for, I just knew I was saving up for “someday.” Now is the time. This is what I was saving for.
I’m young and have nothing tying me down. No marriage, no kids, no house, or steady job. I can afford to take a break from normal life to pursue something amazing.
I never would have thought to live in Grenada if it were not for my sister moving there, and I wouldn’t go if she wasn’t there. In fact, I’d never actually heard of the country until she moved there.
Now she has five months left there, and I’ll be damned if I miss an opportunity like this.
I have this one life here on this beautiful planet. I want to experience the richness life has to offer. Everyone should do something crazy awesome at least once in their life.