It’s Okay

Jan 11, 2015 by

          When I bought my Mac back in April, I didn’t buy an extended warranty. The laptop was already expensive enough of an unexpected cost. I couldn’t afford hundreds more for potentially nothing. However, on Thursday, with the fear of possibly losing my not-recently backed up documents fresh in my mind, I inquired about the cost of extending the standard one-year warranty that comes with purchasing a Mac.

          “A two-year extended warranty is $250,” Imen told me. “Just to give you an idea, to replace the hardware is about $200.”

          “Oh! So it’s cheaper to replace my hardware if something goes wrong than to buy the warranty.”

          “Yes,” he laughed, “but that’s if just your hardware goes. The warranty also covers other issues.”

          “Yes, but I quit my job and went to Paris, so I’m currently unemployed, Imen,” I explained, unintentionally steering the conversation away from repairs and warranties.

          “Sometimes that’s the best thing to do, just quit and leave,” he said. “I left my old job and went to Europe for two months because, mentally, my job was . . .”

          His loss for words spoke for itself.

          “Where did you go?” I excitedly asked, always intrigued by other people who have the balls to quit their jobs in pursuit of happier things.

          “England and Spain,” he smiled. “My sister lives in England, so – sweet – I went to visit her before travelling to Spain.”

          As I listened to him speak, I felt a sense of relief. Actually, more accurately, I felt a sense of justification. I felt like what I did – leave for Europe before I truly wanted to go, because I didn’t want to be at my job any longer and, although I didn’t want to admit it to myself at the time, I was stressed out about the guy I would end up crying over at the Eiffel Tower – was okay. I’ve told myself that repeatedly, but I don’t think I really believed it until Imen told me his story. It was never the quitting my job bit that had bothered me; it was the putting my dream on the line part. I’ve felt guilty that I saved the largest sum of money that I have ever had in my life for a big trip to Europe only to return early and spend what was left on taking time off from the corporate world at home. Even though I know this was the right choice because I’m much, much happier now than I was in Paris, I’ve experienced annoying pangs of guilt when I recall the money’s original intent.

          However, when Imen said, “Sometimes that’s the best thing to do, just quit and leave,” I felt instantly absolved. It reminded me of something someone said to me over a year ago in response to my story about quitting my previous, life-consuming job and how I made it work financially: “You did what you had to do.” That’s what Paris was, I realized: what I had to do. That trip and my current freedom from the corporate world have been one huge life break, which has significantly reduced my anxiety. It has also changed my perspectives on independence, travel, work, money, and marriage. It has upped my happiness, putting me in a much calmer frame of mind than I was in the summer. Most importantly, it has brought me back to present day by reiterating to me in the most impactful way possible that life doesn’t go according to plan, resulting in increased focus on being happy now and decreased stress about my future. Therefore, without further self-questioning, I say that’s money well spent.

Happiness Tip: Do what you have to do.

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