‘Comfortable’ is a Coffin

Illustration by Kelsey Dake NY Times Magazine web, “Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young?”, Sept. 16, 2014.

Illustration by Kelsey Dake
NY Times Magazine web, “Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young?”, Sept. 16, 2014.

I can thank one of my friends for the title of this post. It’s been stuck in my head since she quipped it at me during one of our runs together.

I am taking a 3 month hiatus from employment: I resigned from my job today. I’ll work through the end of the month and then after that…who knows? I’m pretty terrified. I don’t understand what is wrong with me, but in the past three weeks since I have returned to my after school care teaching job my mood has taken a dramatic nosedive.

I should be happy, I should be grateful.  I did this last year, and I was fine. It’s a great job: fun, low stress, work with kids. What on earth do I have to complain about? Yet I have consistently been filled with dread at the thought of going to work each day. While I am there I feel deadened and useless. I feel like I can’t do a good job for the kids like I did last year. And when I come home, I am always upset with myself. I feel guilty, ashamed of myself and my feelings of weakness, angry with myself and my attitude and just sad.

For the past week, I’ve been mulling over the thought of taking a break. I feel burned out. I worked full-time all summer while simultaneously racking up hours at my internship. I loved doing both, but not having a break and transitioning straight into my school job has been a lot harder than I imagined. I was going to look for a new job anyway when I graduated in December, one that aligns with my ultimate career goals and puts my Bachelor’s degree to good use, so I guess now is as good a time as ever to begin the transition.

For the next three months I’ll concentrate on finishing my undergraduate education and enjoy my last days of being a student while I can. I’ll have a lot more time to devote to my running, I have some big plans for base building and strengthening after the Portland Marathon, and I look forward to having more time to really take care of myself. Lastly, I really want to grow this blog. I want to create a stronger online presence and really focus on putting out quality content centered on health, nutrition, veganism and running.

prison quote

This decision has felt pretty momentous to me. I am scared of how my parents will react to me quitting my job, I am worried that others in society will see me as a leech who isn’t contributing. I don’t know how I will react to having unstructured free time that I haven’t had in awhile, will I rise up and pursue my goals? Or will I crumble into a mess of drifting days and wallowing thoughts? I am facing a lot of unknown right now and I don’t know how hard it will be to try to get a job again in the future. I’m losing the security blanket that my part time job provided me. It gave me structure and a way to participate in society that was acknowledged by others, but lately it has stopped being something that I felt was mutually beneficial.

I’ve got to trust myself and have faith that I will make it work out. I don’t want to let fear be what keeps me from living a life that I enjoy.



4 thoughts on “‘Comfortable’ is a Coffin

    • Thank you! Now I know at least there’s one member of society out there who doesn’t frown upon my self-imposed break 🙂 I am conflicted, I need a break, but I also want to be respected for working hard…hopefully I can find a balance that makes me and others happy. And thank you for reading, it really makes me happy to know that my blog is interesting enough to read and that there are people who enjoy it (like you!). I hope your life is going well, not too many bumps in the road…though things never go as planned, do they? I look forward to your updates, but no pressure!


  1. If you can afford to take the break and you need it, why not? Make running your “job” for those three months. Focus on making yourself happy – you’ll never make everyone else happy. I’m sure I can’t be the only person out there who wouldn’t frown on your break! Seriously, 10 years from now is it going to matter? No, at least not in a negative way – if anything you’ll have experiences that will set you up for more positive experiences in the future (like you’re able to invest more time into your training for the olympic qualifying, or you are able to spend time thinking more intentionally about what you want your future to look like, instead of spending every day burnt out). I could go on and on, but you get the point.

    Things are going smoothly for us. The kids have been moved in for a little over a month now, and the transition has gone about as well as it could. I’ll get around to blogging about it at some point in the future. Hopefully!

    Liked by 1 person

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