Well hellooooo there, lovely Internet People! I hope you’re all well and good an enjoying basking in the intermittent (but nevertheless, real) sunshine good ol’ Irlande du Nord has to offer! This blog post comes to you from the comfort of my bed, and is fuelled by tasty chocolate & caramel Mentos- I know I know, I am totes clean-eating inspo.
To use a phrase which has been used oh so often on my blog, it’s been a while since I’ve last written, yes. And since then (around May 27th, I believe!) there have been some ma-HOO-ssive changes in my life. CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES!
I finished my exams…
I graduated from University…
And more recently, I quit my job. EEEEK!
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This past fortnight has been… dramatic, to say the least. It's shown me that you can plan and plan and plan, and think you've got it all figured out, and suddenly, the "plan" falls apart before your eyes. Ah well. Til I figure it out, I'll just enjoy the cool sand between my toes, and long beach walks which end with stunning sunsets. Besides, I'm not in charge of the plan. All I have to do is Be Still, and I know everything will be okay. ❤
It has been a hectic few months. And perhaps you read the last point in my summary and went, so what? People quit jobs every day. No big deal mate. Or maybe, like many of my close friends, you reacted more like “OHMYWORD WHAT AMBER ARE YOU CRAZY WHY OH NO ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE VERY UNEMPLOYED NOW”. Whatever your reaction, it’s been a big deal for me, and writing about it has been sitting on my heart for the past two weeks.
The details don’t really matter; all you have to understand is that I found myself in a very awkward and crappy situation, in which my agency weren’t even going to stick up for me. On the same day I was called in to my agency offices to be “reprimanded”, I met up with a very wise man, who had volunteered to give me some career advice over coffee. It was meant to be that THAT was the day we’d finally meet up. Not knowing anything about my “situation”, he said something which spoke to me on a deeper level that what he’d intended. He asked me what was more important: money, or self-respect? And it took me about a millisecond to blurt out “SELF-RESPECT, of COURSE!” So he said “Yeah, that’s the right answer. Don’t ever lower yourself to a situation where you’re sticking something out for the money. If something is challenging your self-respect, walk away from it. That is the most important thing.”
When I thought about it, I knew what I had to do. I was getting paid peanuts to be treated like a naughty little girl, who’d aggravated her teacher and was being sent to the principal. Later that afternoon, I quit.
It wasn’t easy; please don’t think this was the kind of situation where I skipped for joy down the road yelling I’M FREEEEE! I was really upset, and even more angry at how things had ended. My boyfriend and I were watching the new Spiderman film, and I was blinking back hot, angry tears while Peter Parker got a badass new suit, courtesy of Tony Stark. In fact, I never understood the phrase “hot, angry tears” in literature until I quit my job. Quitting hurt, because it felt like breaking up with someone; my job had taken a big piece of my heart, I adored the friends I’d made there, and I had so many special memories of my time there.
Plus, it wasn’t like I had a backup plan- I wasn’t leaving one job and walking into another. It was the middle of the summer, everyone had the summer staff that they needed, and Ballymoney is a ghost town. Welp.
I can’t lie, lads, I was a little bit scared.
But something that has given me real comfort is the feeling I had in the moment I quit. My heart felt really uneasy until I said “Yeno what? No thanks. I’m not going back”. And when I said those words, it just felt right. I knew that’s what I was supposed to do.
Something in my heart told me everything would work out. I kept thinking of that Bible verse “For I know the plans I have for you,” and something clicked. I thought I had a plan- I would graduate, then I would work in the same job for a year and save money, while deciding whether or not I would go back to uni and do my masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. It was safe, it was easy to rhyme off to make people think I had it all figured out.
People react differently to finding themselves unemployed; some are upset, some get low, others get angry. But my reaction was a little different- I hadn’t felt peace quite like that in a loooooong time. I was lying on top of my bed, reading books, drinking coffee, and relaxing. I needed to relax. And it felt great. My favourite verses of all time are “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” These verses got me through the really rough ordeals I had with my OCD- that idea of not leaning on your own understanding became very important to me. But I just had such a sense of peace, I thought “Okay God, I’m not gonna worry. I’m going to give this to You, and I’ll trust that it’s all going to work out.”
On Friday 21st July, I had no job. By Friday 28th, I had two new jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I applied for lots of things, and got rejection after rejection. And between those two dates, I panicked like a mad wee woman surrounded by robot bears with bazooka blasters. But looking back now, that was SUCH a short space of time. And I NEEDED that time.
It was just under a fortnight of seeing my friends- I spent time with some girls that I love very much, and had delicious food with them. I had nice walks with my daddy and Alfie, and the week and a half I was unemployed turned out to be the NICEST weather we’ve seen in a long time. I spent time with my boyfriend, and we had such a nice time relaxing together. The burdens and stress my old job was laying on me were being lifted, and I felt like Amber again, for the first time in a while! I even had some gin.
Maybe you’re reading this, and you’re not the most spiritual person. But you can’t deny that things happen for a reason. There was life outside the distillery gates, and I had to see it for myself. And I am so glad that I did.
My hope is that by reading this, maybe you’ll also get out of your rut, or have the courage to change direction. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it.
Much love guys- I’ll be back again soon with a post that isn’t so intense!