Everything to Gain

Sep 10, 2014 by

“I noticed that one of my co-workers is a should-have person, and I thought, Maria would never be like that. If she doesn’t like a situation she’s in, she gets herself out.”

– My best friend


          In wishing that they could quit work and fly to Europe too, I’ve noticed multiple people using the same wording: “I wish I could drop everything.” I find this assessment of my actions interesting, and I suspect it is precisely this outlook that stops people from doing what I’m doing. Too many are irrationally fearful of anything off the beaten school-career-marriage-children path. Their perspectives differ from mine. You see, the idea of “dropping everything” never occurred to me. I don’t look at my choice that way. I’m going to Europe for a few months; I’m not indefinitely moving to another planet. I’ll be back, and everything that’s here will still be here when I return.

          As for my job, I’m willingly disposing of it because I don’t want it. Recall that I decided to quit before I decided what to do next. To clarify the chronology, I submitted my resignation letter, and then I realized that I wanted to leave for Paris. I didn’t know Europe was my next move before I gave notice. I knew it was a possibility amongst other possibilities, but I didn’t quit specifically to travel. I quit to quit. I quit to get myself out of a situation I didn’t like. I was not going to continue to force myself into an office that I didn’t want to frequent anymore.

          I’m not “dropping everything” by quitting my job and venturing to Europe. First off, my job isn’t “everything.” Second, “everything” isn’t found within the borders of my own country. Quite the opposite, I’m gaining everything by experiencing the world. People wishing they could do what I’m doing are simply wishing they were unafraid. Their setbacks are mental. People see adventure as a risk – not necessarily a bad risk, but a risk nonetheless. I don’t. To me, the risk would be not quitting my job and taking off to Europe. The risk would be regret. The risk would be looking back on my life and having to say, “I should have done that.” I don’t take such risks. I’m not a should-have person.

Happiness Tip: Don’t be a should-have person.

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