Like a lot of people, I have a high track record of burning bridges—mostly because I wait to end something I don’t like until it’s completely unbearable, and by then I act like a total jerkface to get out of it as quickly as possible.
I quit my restaurant management job at the start of a shift rather than giving two week’s notice. I didn’t quit my last salary job soon enough and was laid off, which released me—but not before I suffered heart and stress issues, from my hair falling out to not sleeping and so many other ailments that led to hospitalization. Right now I’m in a rut of my own making again, this time in my family’s living situation.
We were warned that in this situation we would have no privacy, that there were dozens of idiosyncrasies to work with, and that it would be a challenge. I love a challenge, I proclaimed, and what do I have to keep a secret from anyone? The answer to that is everything, since the entire world (or at least everyone I know) now knows when and what I eat, when I sleep (although they’re often told that I’m asleep when I’m working, or simply unavailable), every word I say (and many that I did not say but are still attributed to me). It’s like having a live reality TV team streaming my life from my home without my permission and I can’t do it anymore.I’m ready to move out and live in my car if I have to.
But I have a six-year-old, so I have to be careful. I have to save up the nest egg I had before my layoff and then some in order to get our own place as soon as possible. We applied for a loan and though we were not approved, we were close; our agent said with just a little more work we could be on our way to owning a house—which is what we want, seeing as you can do that where we live as cheaply as, if not even more cheaply than, renting.
And I have to work really hard to not burn bridges this time, although I already feel it happening, because it’s family. I’m just tired of living under a dome; I need to live somewhere where I am the boss of my home and whatever I do—whether it’s work till two in the morning, homeschool my kid, have pets or not, grow vegetables or not, whatever—is my own damn business. This walking on eggshells life is just not for me.
Please don’t do what I did and wait until a situation gets unbearable before you try to fix it! If you find yourself in a rut, take the first doable step, no matter how small, to get out of it today before it costs you much more than it’s worth.