I remember that time I quit. I just quit. I wrote my two weeks notice and just quit. I was over being underpaid at my job and although I had no backup plan, I said fuck it. This was the job of my dreams, or so I thought. It turned out to be a toxic environment that if you weren’t aware of this you would get sucked in too. I was 25 and my mom passed away just a few months earlier so having a job wasn’t an option for me; I needed it. My boyfriend at the time did not agree with my decision to leave my job, so I didn’t give him a heads up, I just quit. I am my own woman and I knew I could do better. He kept reminding me of how my decision wasn’t a smart one. I told him to relax let’s just enjoy our weekend out of town and I would get to apply to new jobs when we returned. I ended up becoming a substitute teacher and working my way through schools until I got hired. I struggled for some time to keep up with my bills. I asked God to guide me and most importantly I trusted in myself. I made it and everything turned out fine.
Reading Americanah reminded me of that carefree girl who did what made her happy. Ifemula had a decent income and a job doing what she loved. There was absolutely nothing wrong. She quit working for her boss and began to work for herself. At times, we get so caught up with being content with things because they are not causing a problem in our lives. I went to see my cousin and her husband today who just had a baby a few months ago. My cousin has been a nanny for years and in the recent months earned her master’s degree. We discussed what she wanted to do with it but didn’t get very far She is a wife, who works full-time and along with raising her newborn daughter and teenage son she is taking care of her mother who just came up from St. Lucia to live with her. She barely has time to think of what she wants for herself. I reminded her that she had dreams and that she shouldn’t let the days go by and not pursue them. I didn’t want her to have regrets.
The Joseph clan is what I call us. We are such hard and dedicated workers; it’s in our DNA. Which is why you won’t see us bouncing around from job to job like most millennials. We succeed when we take charge of our lives. We make plans and we execute, but sometimes we can become complacent and we let fear block us from taking our next step. I more than likely will never leave teaching, because teaching is life. I do miss being adventurous, courageous and having that confidence, like Ifemula. That girl is in me because I am her, but she’s been hiding for too long and it’s about time she wakes up.