I did an "interesting thing". I am a 32 year old Marketing major, with no kids, and I quit my job. So, pull your chin up off the floor and let me explain.
I started working in the gaming industry in my hometown in 2006. It was a slow start from the bottom for me, after having stayed with a recreational company for 10 years, 5 of which I managed the company. In 2008, around the time that I met my future husband at this company, I was promoted to a Manager, and the economy took a huge dive. My future husband and I worked about 8 out of 10 hours a day together on average, Management companies were called in, and all HELL broke loose. Even if I explained it to you, you could never imagine the pain that the company caused myself, and the others working in my department. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband), went to the hospital a few times with chest pains, our 32 year old best friend had a heart attack, my 50 year old boss had a heart attack, and I ended up in the hospital a few times with very serious stress related issues. It was a horrendous time. Over the years, management company after management company came in to try to "save us" but ended up stressing the situation and everyone in it even more. There were so many times where I asked to be fired, that I lost count. My boyfriend ended up escaping the company, and soon after, I sustained an injury and I was out of work for 7 weeks. Near the end of those 7 weeks, I was shaking with fear and misery, knowing I had to go back in there...when my boyfriend said "just don't. I cant continue like this, we have to eliminate that place from our lives". I remember wanting to jump up on the bed and scream I was so happy, but the numbers of my salary flashed through my head and I became very... very scared. There was no way that this was going to be possible. I made a good living for a 30 year old. I needed health insurance, I needed money to pay my car payment, and to contribute to paying off debt, and eating. How in the heck, were we going to manage this? We had gotten engaged 6 months prior, so he and I decided that we would get married in a private ceremony so that I would have health insurance, and not tell anyone as our big wedding was 9 months away. But we still had the issue of the salary. He had lost a good chunk moving to the new company, and if we lost my salary on top of it, would we be homeless? Ok, ok, not homeless, he still made a very good living, but how much money could we lose and stay afloat? I started thinking, maybe I should just go in. Maybe I should just try and suffer a bit longer. Maybe they will fire me? But if so, why hadn't they already when I begged and pleaded with them to be fired? I never once wondered "would I be ok not working?". Would I feel like an incomplete woman? I have worked for 16 years of my life... I have had my own money for a long time. How would this work? I did not even think about those things. Now, here comes the truth. I wanted and was ready to be Lucy. Lucy Ricardo. Most women look at me with disgust when I say that, but I have to be honest. I was ready to take care of the household, have dinner ready when my husband got home, bring him his slippers (ok, lets be real, he doesn't wear slippers), but you get my drift. If you knew me, your chin would be on the floor. Since I was 15, I have worked. Mostly because I wanted to. I wanted to be hugely successful, I wanted to be able to take care of myself in life if I ever needed to. Now, I wanted to be a housewife. So, that is exactly what we made me into. You wouldn't believe the things people say, or the looks they give me. My husband and I started telling people that I am a stay at home cat watcher. We had to say something... people were looking at me like I made the cardinal sin. BEING A HOUSEWIFE. I mean my goodness, its not as if I said I was going to be a serial murder. But you would think from peoples reactions, that it was exactly what I had said.
Listen, I spent many many years taking care of myself (lots of times with my parents help), but my mother DRILLED into my head that I needed to be able to support myself my whole life. I spent many years being that girl/woman who is determined to rule the world, managing as the first woman manager at a company where almost everyone (except 3 people) said I could not do it because I was a woman. And now, it was my turn to be who I wanted to be. I literally remember driving somewhere right after I quit my job, and there is a song by Kina Grannis that made me cry every time I heard it.... and the lyrics went:
One day I woke in the rubble
Knee-deep in damage I'd done
I was ashamed of it
How did it come to this?
And how did you know that I couldn't be
What everyone wanted me to be
And how did you know that I wouldn't see
When everything falls away from me
When everything falls away from me
And that is how I felt. I felt as if there was so much damage done to my soul, that I had become unrecognizable. It makes me ill to think about, and I couldn't continue to try and be what everyone wanted me to be.... it just wasn't in me any more. Now, in the 1950's, women were encouraged, even forced to stay home and take care of the household. These days... well it is like exact opposite. Besides the looks I get, any of these responses can accompany them when people find out such as "well, what do you do all day?", or "how did you manage that?" or "I guess that's fine if your husband makes enough money to support you". Ohhhh well thank you for your permission. Can we as women do anything right? First, we are barely allowed to work, now if we don't, we are looked at as lazy, moochers and gosh knows what else is running through peoples minds. Is it not enough to be good and take pride in sustaining the household, taking care of your children, taking care of your husband? And for those who think that I am unable to be happy because all I am is a housewife.... should come to terms that they are sadly mistaken.
I have made a decision to be proud of who I am. Only myself and my husband know what is right for us. And what is right for our marriage. And this, this is what is right for us. We should all try to be a little happier for each other, especially when we are doing what is making us happy.