When to Quit
Start listening to that gut
It is September 12th 2022. Normally I say something on here on the first of the month, but I was away at the Jersey Shore (the south part – not like the show) and also, I had nothing to say. (That’s not really true – I did write a quitting manifesto before I left. It may be at the bottom of this newsletter. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to delete it). Tonight I consumed a delicious combo of media–then cried hard–and ran over to my computer to write about it. Below are the three things that helped me process some difficult emotions: a book, a Patreon video, and a new TV show.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure By Rachel Friedman
I came home from a chaotic first day at work since my vacation and jumped in the tub to read this book, which I started at the beach. I’m re-reading it – the first time was in college around 2015 (I had spotted it at a used book store/record store on campus). Reading it seven years later as a slightly different version of myself has been a trip. It’s about a soon-to-be college grad who doesn’t know how to hear her own voice and doesn’t know what she wants “to do with her life” so she goes to Ireland for a summer, then spends four months in Australia, then backpacks through South America. I've been feeling the urge to travel lately–and if I’m honest, a little lost–so this quote really got me: “See the world and then come home and decide who you want to be in it, not the other way around, as seems the general trajectory in the U.S.”
Fran Meneses Patreon video
This was about letting yourself cry when you need to, even if it feels like an inconvenience. I’ve been following Fran since 2020 – she’s an artist with an amazing ability to express herself thoughtfully in a way that is very inspiring to me. Growing up, she learned that crying or being emotional around others was inconvenient and put off crying until she was alone. By putting it off, she would talk herself out of it after her feelings shifted. But the feelings don’t move on, they just come out later in different ways – by getting frustrated and wanting to shout, or by feeling anxious or stressed. I’ve been trying to form a more healthy relationship with my emotions and this revelation certainly resonated.
Subscribe to Fran’s Patreon or check out her free YouTube Channel
In this Patreon-ony video she also describes how she feels after a month-long challenge of being off social media, inspiring me to take a month off as well. Social media is designed to make you crave a “new thing” (that’s why they created suggested posts because the people we follow can’t make enough content to keep up with our craving). I want to look for “new things” in my actual life instead of on a phone app.
The first 15 minutes of the the last episode of Season 1 of A League of Their Own (2022)
The final piece of a media trifecta that I consumed tonight. If you are on a journey of discovering healthy ways of communicating, look no further than this show. The final episode (no spoilers) is rife with difficult conversation after difficult conversation. A tribute to freedom, integrity, and patience. And the wild beauty of female friendships, queer friendships, and Black-female-queer friendships. This show had me rooting for everybody and every relationship, even the uncomfortably difficult ones.
Carson’s (Abbi Jacobson) struggle to hear and trust herself resonates deeply with my own journey. This September, I was supposed to marry my boyfriend of 8 years, but last year something lead me to leave my relationship. (It’s difficult to write about – I am still gaining awareness around this urge for others to understand exactly how I feel, which is impossible). I wish I had the communication skills portrayed in these scenes.
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Thank you for reading! Below is the first draft of this newsletter:
I’ve been wondering lately whether my time as a graphic designer should come to an end.
A little over a month ago, my job changed drastically. It’s been a tumultuous past couple of years and the beer industry has taken hit after hit (not to mention the other effects of poor business handling). As a result, half our team is gone – choosing to follow their guts away and beyond a sinking ship – and I cheer for them. Only a year in, I have chosen to stay and take on twice my responsibilities until things get better. Lately I’ve been wondering if they will ever get better. With no raise or promotion, I wonder why I am putting a company’s needs above my own and still expect some kind of reward for my efforts.
Okay I am really whining, aren’t I – but maybe I’m not alone in this discovery? Maybe folks with more experience than me have been where I’ve been. I think maybe this could even be exciting – because isn’t change natural and scary and inevitable? I would rather act and steer my ship instead of sitting helpless while the waves keep coming.
A month ago I applied for a dream job with a really rad illustration/design studio in town. The position is exactly where I need to be in my career with folks who I could learn a lot from and values that align with mine. I haven’t heard back yet and I can feel the disappointment starting to well up and seep out of me. Today I thought, “If I don’t get this job I don’t want to be a graphic designer anymore.”
Whoa Allie that’s an intense reaction… but honestly it felt like my inner voice just telling me the truth.
Thursday I am teaching my first class ever. It’s going to be at the park and I’m showing a group of ten folks how to keep a sketchbook and observe the world around them. This timing is significant… I think that if I do this, and I enjoy it, the feeling will stoke my courage enough to carry me over to Big Change.
“See the world and then come home and decide who you want to be in it, not the other way around, as seems the general trajectory in the U.S.”
Love that. I'm thankful for the travel experiences I had in college. I feel like they did help me figure out what I'm drawn to in this world, though it's never a super clear process.
Thanks for including that early draft. I hope the class in the park went well for you!
I love and support your need to listen to yourself better. It will lead to scary, yes, but inevitably fruitful, enlightening, wondrous, surprising breakthroughs. ♥️💕💃