How I quit my toxic job and completely started over
February 23, 2020
Hi! My name in Nina, I’m 24 years old and I live in Switzerland.
In my childhood I was extremely creative. I constantly invented stories about talking animals, fairies, wizards and imaginary worlds. I even talked two of my childhood friends into starting a witchcraft group, where I was the “master”, teaching them my imaginary spells and potions.
I loved to draw and experiment with colours. My favourite technique was squish painting and I still have a few creations in a box under my bed. As a teenager I started to put money aside to buy a DSLR and took pictures of nearly everything I encountered. Editing them was a thing I could do for uncountable hours.
As I got older and my educational performance begun to request more commitment, my priorities shifted and my creative side decreased. Furthermore the sudden interest in boys popped up and as if it wasn’t enough to worry about, the internet started to swallow me in its shallowness for way too many hours quite frequently.
Hence there was no time remaining to create stuff. Solely my camera had the privilege to accompany me on my vacations, to capture some impressions of the experience.
Quite recently my life started shifting. In the meantime I graduated, studied three years to become a primary school teacher and worked for almost two years at different schools.
Meanwhile I moved out of my parents house lived with a roommate and a horrible neighbour for a while and realized that I needed my own space. One co-worker seemed to hate me and often showed me up. My self esteem was extremely low at this point and I wasn’t able to stand up for myself.
The last job appeared to be better in the beginning, but unfortunately I encountered massive problems with a set of parents who made my life a mental torture.
I felt stuck and started to develop physical symptoms of stress and exhaustion. My cheerful, open minded and positive nature vanished slowly. My fire had almost been extinguished. This has been a rough time and I nearly lost myself in the process.
At this point I figured, it can’t get any worse. This realisation helped me immensely, because I finally started to take action. I knew that I wanted to change my life for the better and do something I’m passionate about. The only way to do this, was to quit my job and start over. But although I knew this, I wasn’t entirely ready.
So I went to the doctor and told her how I felt and she gave me a sick note. My diagnosis: Burn out. Now I found myself in a completely different position.
Instead of waking up at 6:30, I’d sleep in. Instead of going to work with a sluggish feeling in my stomach and the constant urge to puke, I’d take it slow, snuggle up with my adorable cat and wait for the exact same feeling to go away. Instead of teaching, I had plenty of time to think, reflect and overthink.
After two weeks of “dolce fa niente” the nausea slowly bade farewell and I suddenly was determined to quit my job for good. So I called the principal.
This was the best thing I could do.
After a few more weeks of recovery (quite a number of endless Netflix marathons, some bad migraines, a few therapy sessions, plenty of good food, a couple of inspiring podcasts and books and several conversations with amazingly supporting friends and family) I noticed how hard it was for me to do something creative.
My head was bursting with ideas. I wanted to weave, knit, draw, makeover my apartment, meditate, go on long walks by myself and a few other wonderful things.
But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. It seemed like there was a wall between me and all those ideas.
It was my therapist who helped me to conquer this obstacle.
She gave me an assignment for the period of two weeks. “Do something you love every day consciously.” she said. As easy and unspectacular it sounds, this was the perfect amount of liability and liberty for me.
Slowly but surely things started to shift. Within two weeks I amongst other things made a few paintings, readopted my habit of bullet journaling, excavated my camera and had a crack at filming YouTube videos, rearranged my furniture in the livingroom and captured some photos of my cat.
But the most important thing is, my brain developed some pretty good ideas for my vocational future.
It was two days ago, when I decided to start a blog. Yesterday I had a frustratingly bad time creating this website. Now I’m writing my first blog post and I’m a tiny bit proud of myself, because it doesn’t even look that bad.
Actually I forgot to mention, that I also have a corresponding Instagram account with a couple of quotes and thoughts on a rather nice colour sceem, which I started a few days ago. I would love to create content for YouTube as well, but my current level of self esteem causes some issues performing in front of the camera.
Well, this is some pretty nice progress considering my circumstances roughly three weeks ago.
Maybe you want to know why I started this blog…
If you read everything from the beginning, you already know how much I love to create. I also love to write. Writing for myself has been a fun experience, but I never managed to be persistent. In this respect I hope to write more often, because I do it also for you, for my audience.
Also, I think sharing my thoughts and issues can have a very therapeutic character. Through verbalizing and sharing I’m able to process a lot.
But the most significant purpose of this blog will be our communication. I would love to read your stories, discuss about problems and maybe even mutually inspire each other and find strategies and solutions together.
If my story resonates with you or you even had similar experiences, this blog is for you.
Perhaps you would like to overcome your insecurities and finally love yourself unconditionally. Maybe you don’t know what your passion is or you already figured it out and now you are waiting for the right moment to start.
If you are ready to learn more about finding yourself, acceptance, how to overcome insecurities and fear, how to listen to your body, how to find your passion and how to start, this is your spot. Let’s start a community for those people who want more from life, those who no longer wait for their happiness to come, those who make their own happiness.