I'm going to quit the career I had for 22 years.
Whew. That's a relief to say it. I'm sure both of you reading this are shocked.
Sure, it's a personal milestone, but is there a reason to write a bunch of blog posts about it? Well, there is for me. I am having many horrible emotional experiences right now, I need to process and figure out what is going on in me. I am having a hard time writing anything, and I can't take pleasure in the things I would have. I am struggling to get up and do anything. I am at my wit's end, in that I cannot come up with solutions, which has always been my strength. And I feel that if I figure out my head, sort out my emotions, perhaps I can make some positive steps.
Also, my "job" (so to speak, as I never got an official salary) has a lot of folks dependent on me and the organization work I do. This will leave them out in the wind. This also has me conflicted.
Just to let you know, I am seeing a psychologist, but I can only see him once every few weeks, so I figure I'll spend some time writing to help me know what to do.
For those reading this who have worked with me and it is close to the date I wrote it, this will be a surprise, as I haven't announced my "early retirement". This writing is part of the process I have to go through in order to write my announcement helpfully. I'm not giving up on helping homeless people completely, but if I am going to do this correctly, I will need to get a job to, you know, pay bill and such. So my ability to help will be limited.
I'm not going to limit my writing on this blog. I need to process, so I'm going for the nation-wide trip. This will get boring sometimes. So if you're reading this for entertainment... well, perhaps you'd better re-think that. If some student of abnormal psychology is assigned this portion of the blog, all I can do is apologize.
There is only one reason I'm quitting. Because the voice that told me to start is telling me to quit. All other reasons I have aren't that big of a deal. I've had depression and opposition and difficulties for years.
But when I started this work among the homeless, it was because of a prayer. I prayed that God would help me work with the poor and not just talk about the poor.
When I quit my job to work full time with the homeless and to have a planned period of homelessness (couch surfing) myself, it was because my Voice told me to.
When I started a church, it was because my Voice told me to, after the church that supported us kicked us out.
Earlier this year, that same Voice told me to rest. To stop the work, to read, to take it easy.
And a number of weeks ago, that same Voice told me to quit.
In every case, I didn't obey the Voice right away. I checked with my wife. I checked with some other counselors I had. And all agreed that the Voice was correct.
So while I'll be talking about a number of reasons why I am quitting, in reality, it is only one reason: the Voice in my head told me to.
I will call that Voice God. You may call it something else. Some deep-seeded logic. A portion of my brain. A spiritual being that is something other than God. Whatever. All I know is that it is the Voice that I am welcome to question and test and delay, but in the end I obey it. Because of the Voice I have taken chances that most people wouldn't take and my life is richer for it, and I'd like to think that others' lives are as well.
And that Voice is telling me to quit. And I have a number of reasons why that's probably for the best.
I'll go over those in the next few weeks.