I was a PA. I worked for an incredibly successful media law firm in the most successful department and was highly regarded by my peers, my team, my direct bosses, my firm and the managing partner for my hard work and for always going above and beyond in my PA capacity. But I quit.
I left my safe job for nothing. I literally left for a life of nothingness.
I had no boyfriend, no hobbies, no active social life aside from occasionally hanging out with ‘my boys’, as I lovingly call them. I wasn’t embracing the life of London in the slightest.
This wasn’t my job’s fault. But I quit.
I took myself away from my safe zone and a life that wasn’t alive so that I could breathe with something to actually breathe for. For my day to become ‘why am I here…’ as opposed to ‘why am I here?!?’
Do I want to spend the final year of my twenties in an office hoping that I’ll soon get a pay rise that reflects the work I do, and a boyfriend that will want to go on adventures with me and love me for the person I am including my flaws and fakery, and a home I can raise my children in where they won’t have to worry about stability or safety because I am strong enough to create that for them.
I don’t have these children and I don’t have that environment for them because I haven’t lived the life that will lead me to that form of emotional comfort where I can pass this on to them. I don’t have this boyfriend because I haven’t put myself in any place where we both thrive and shine bright enough to see each other. And I really don’t have this magical pay rise because, oddly enough, I hadn’t asked for it. I didn’t tell them my worth, I merely hoped they would notice it and reward me accordingly. I forgot the world is a business.
So I quit. Although, no, I didn’t. Or rather, I haven’t.
Not yet, I tell my friends that ask. I’m saving up, is my monologue of choice; not being strictly untrue. Saving in London is a running joke to all PAs from working or lower class backgrounds living here.
I hate making excuses for my life because I have overcome so much and am capable of overcoming so much more, I know this, but I do have a pang of hatred slice into my gut when I hear others talk so breezily about the opportunities life presents if only we push ourselves. Often these conversations come from those that have never had to invent dinners as a child from whatever was almost out of date in the cupboard because buying new food was too expensive. [FYI, rice and gravy (literally just those two things) is Really nice if you thicken the gravy; my sister invented that meal when we were pre-teens.]
My plan (Jesus even I’m sick of that word) is to [try to] save for ten months, and then move to Canada on the work and travel visa before hitting my thirties and that privilege runs out!
Then my post will be a Fuck Yes, rather than a Here’s What You Could’ve Had monologue.
My greatest fear of repeating a life in poverty is the fear that makes me stay in a job where I can pay for my rent and food each month. I’ve been poor and I was able to be happy. The happiest people make the most of what they have, they don’t have the most; we’ve all seen the memes and know it’s actually true, but the knowledge of how hard it was, and that I don’t have to live like that, scares me more than the hope of how good it can be.
One more push for the road.