There I was, sitting on the bathroom floor in tears, begging my husband to let me quit my job. Yep, 28 years old, sobbing like a child in the bathroom of my workplace. I had never before been treated with such disrespect at work, much less by a boss. I don’t want to share all of the gory details, but my new boss said such disrespectful and hurtful things to me that my husband and friends encouraged me to call our compliance hotline. I, to this day, cannot understand how he was promoted to his position or why he received no repercussions for his words and actions toward myself and my coworkers. But really, this isn’t the point of my story at all. The point is that I finally hit that point, you know the one, the point where you can’t take it anymore. The benefits no longer outweigh the costs. Free coffee and pastries no longer outweighed being treated like trash. Good insurance no longer outweighed being yelled at by customers for things we have no control over. Flexibility no longer outweighed feeling horrible about myself each day. And on and on. I worked for this company for years and I would say I loved it 99% of the time. I believe the company overall is a wonderful place to work. I met some of my favorite people working there. I met my husband there just over six years ago. I started my first 401K and received stock that helped me travel. I was able to work a flexible schedule that allowed me to pursue both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I would wholeheartedly encourage others to work for this company if they asked (albeit not for my recent boss-that would be an emphatic no). But in the last month before I left, all of those feelings faded away. I couldn’t see the good anymore. The only reason I was still there was one thing… you guessed it…money.
Money kept me waking up at 3 am to open my store. Money kept me smiling when my customers yelled at us. Money kept me there. And the saddest part, it wasn’t even that much money. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, I was struggling to find a new job that aligned with my degree. I made enough to make things work and I had the flexibility to keep searching for a job, volunteer, and have a life. And then, finally, in mid-April, I received a part time position at a nonprofit seeking justice in Denver (more on this in another post). I decided it was worth it to cut my hours down at my current job, to keep my insurance, and work both. I was ecstatic. Finally, things were lining up and I was able to do something that I felt called to while making enough money to pay the bills. And then, unfortunately, the above mention jerk became my new boss. And money no longer mattered at all. I just needed one final push to convince me that money wasn’t everything. That taking a significant pay cut (seriously- less pay, less hours, and the increase in insurance by switching to my husband’s) was worth it. I could say it over and over “money doesn’t matter”, but I had no opportunity to prove it to myself. I could pray to not let money control my life, but until I let it go, it meant nothing.
So, there I was, sitting on the bathroom floor, begging my husband to let me quit. (When I say “let me” quit, I simply mean consider and talk it over with me. I don’t mean he would force me to stay there. He just tends to be more level headed than I am, especially when I’m upset. So I wanted him to take me seriously and not assume I was just having a bad day). He was furious when I told him what happened, encouraging me to call my boss’s direct supervisor, and told me that we could seriously talk when I got home. I went over our budget, I prayed, I reworked the numbers, figured out where we needed to make cuts, prayed more and finally said, “I’m doing it.” Tyler agreed. We put my emotional and physical well-being above money. Something I had never done before. I gave my notice the next day. I felt lighter and happier. I was excited to be finishing up this phase of my life.
It’s been just over a month since I made the choice to not let fear of money (or rather, a fear of the lack of money) run my life. And it has been fantastic. Tyler and I have had to make a few cuts, primarily to our “date night” budget, to pay for the difference. We refinanced our car loan and are getting a different car to lower our monthly payments. We’ve eaten at home every night for a month. Luckily, a few weeks after I quit, the executive director at my new job approached me about additional hours each week. These additional hours have lessened the burden from quitting. What’s even better is knowing that I wouldn’t have been able to take on the additional hours at a job I love, had I still been working part time at a job I dreaded. All I know is that God is good and, somehow, my decision to stop fearing money has turned out for the better. I enjoy my new job, I delight in the small things that Tyler and I choose to do for date nights, I cook healthier meals at home for us both, and I think less about money. It used to consume me, but I’ve discovered that trusting God is easier than trusting money. He has never failed to provide for exactly what we’ve needed, even if what we wanted was more.
When Katelyn asked if she should take the manager position for the money (a conversation you can see on her post from last week), all I wanted to do was tell her “no!” Obviously, I didn’t say it in quite that way. I encouraged her to think about what we’ve been discussing on and through our blog. I wanted her to feel the freedom I’ve found in trusting that doing what you love is more important than doing what pays. I still work part time so I’ve had the opportunity to continue volunteering. I wrapped up Seminary and now have time to dive back into this blog with Katelyn that I love so much. I’ve found cheaper or free ways to spend time with friends. I’ve found freedom. Money is helpful. But it sure isn’t everything.