For What It’s Worth

I recently decided to take on a part-time job to add to my current income and try to get ahead. My full-time job is your average, 40 hour per week office job, Monday through Friday and while the pay is okay, I certainly believe I am worth more (however, that story is an entirely different blog post on its own). I decided to get a job at a local bakery here in Charlotte for multiple reasons but mostly due to the fact that I worked full-time at a bakery in Greensboro and was already well accustomed with what duties were to be expected (plus, I love baking!). I was hoping to work 25-30 hours a week (crazy, I know!) due to the fact that she was only going to pay me $8/hour. When I said 25-30, I thought it was very clear and assumed that it meant I’d like at least 25 hours but I could not handle more than 30. Unfortunately, after two days of work, I became aware of the rest of the week schedule: six days in a row, just about 37 hours (depending on how fast we could clean up the shop at night, some days are obviously longer than others). Now, I don’t know about you, but working two full-time jobs is not something I want to do! Perhaps it would be different if this 2nd full-time job was paying me quite a bit more than just $8/hour, or if the job was something that would benefit my career, or help with my undergrad (and future graduate) studies — however, none of these are the case.

After two days of waking up at 7, working 9-5 at my office job, and then working 5-10:30/11 I was miserable. Even after the first night I was snappy with my boyfriend, whom I live with. This morning I felt absolutely terrible driving to work thinking of how the morning went, I was a zombie, I could not get out of bed, and all I did was complain about how absolutely exhausted I was. I practically ruined Jordan’s morning with the fact that I was miserable. I don’t like to quit, I don’t like to give up, it is not in my character — I follow through with my commitments — but in this situation I felt I was left with no choice. Alas, tonight will be my last night at the bakery, my last 16 hour day. And while I feel absolutely terrible about quitting, as I’ve never quit a job before in my life without a proper two-weeks notice, I also feel an overwhelming sense of relief. I was so stressed just thinking about working close to 80 hours in 7 days I was shutting down completely. I am feeling slightly guilty over my relief though…
This situation has really got me thinking… Is it worth giving up your happiness, your sense of self, sleep, and life to work? I understand it’s a necessity in life to work, I have bills to pay and accomplishments I want to achieve in my future like owning a home, buying a new car, and providing for my family. But at what risk? I’m 24, I want to enjoy the life that I’m living. I already plague myself with so much stress and anxiety, why make it worse by never giving myself a moment for me?! It seems absurd. I am not a drone, I cannot give up my happiness and my life to add an extra $400 to my income monthly. If I continued with the bakery and working ~80 hours a week my relationship with myself would fail, my relationship with Jordan would fail, I’d have no time to take care of important personal matters and household chores, everything would come crumbling down, and for what, a paycheck? Money? That is no life that I want to live. I am not that desperate to add to my income.
I relish in the little things: a beautiful blue sky, some white puffy clouds, sunshine all around, a good book, a lazy Sunday morning that quietly and unabashedly turns into a lazy Sunday afternoon, a good run, a night spent with good company, a hug, a kiss, a  happy heart — all things that do not require any money at all to thoroughly enjoy. Working ~80 hours a week would not allow these little things, and even if little things were occurring, I’d be too miserable to even notice them. If I’m even going to consider working 80 hours a week, I want it to be something I’m passionate about, something I wholeheartedly want to do.
I can at least say I am confident in my decision to quit. I am not going to give myself a hard time over this, and make myself feel terrible because it’s not worth it! For now, I am going to enjoy the beautiful blue sky (from my office), the love I have in my heart, and delicious greek yogurt and granola with blueberries I’m eating for lunch as I type this.
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