My friend Shane, turned 35 today and quit his job. He posted about it on his website. When I read it, it made me think about my job change from earlier this year. I haven’t written about it but it seems like maybe now is a good time to share.
In May, I quit a full-time job with benefits created just for me to go back to a seasonal job that employs me 7 months out of the year. Luckily Scott is the most supportive person in the world, so when I told him how I was unhappy and wanted to leave, he asked what I would want to do instead. The answer was simple, return to my old contract job and the job that brought me to Los Angeles in the first place, I was proud of my work there, was a vital member of a small team and honestly really loved the people I worked with. Also my job just happened to be available. But I knew realistically that probably wasn’t a real option because of the full-time job with benefits I was giving up. But again, Scott being amazing said do it and we would figure all the scary stuff out. It was really that easy, I mean sure I debated it for a few weeks and we really talked more about the scary stuff but after that first real conversation my mind was made up. When I told some close friends the decision, a few of them thought I was crazy. And when I announced I was leaving, many of my former colleagues couldn’t understand why I would leave if I didn’t have a another full-time job lined up.
Now here are some of the realities of what my decision meant, the aforementioned “scary stuff”: I was and still am the primary contributor to our household income (this will be changing soon but was not known at the time) so this was a huge financial gamble. Technically, my new job pays more per-paycheck that my full-time job so I’m taking home more money now but come December I have no paycheck. I was also the person who got us both healthcare at very little cost and that also disappeared when I quit. Now we have both lived without health insurance before so that one was less scary but it still sucks. I currently have a chipped tooth that has started bothering me but no dental insurance and limited funds mean that it’s not getting looked at anytime soon.
But I still have absolutely no regrets about the decision I made. Overall, I’m much happier when I come home each day from work, even stressful days are nothing compared to how depressed I felt earlier this year. Sure the beginning of next year is going to be a bit scary, I don’t have another job lined up and we are banking big on Scott’s new promotion filling in the gap and hopefully it will but if it doesn’t we will figure it out. I’ll get a minimum wage job, I’ll go find a short contract job somewhere or something. But I couldn’t let that fear, keep me locked into something that made me very unhappy. And you know what, the last time I did something like this (yes I have taken this risk before) I left a very stable and prestigious job in New Orleans to move across the country to Los Angeles for a job that was only for 3.5 months (it’s the job I went back to FYI) and everything worked out then too. So I am not stressed about it.
So why write about this now? Well like I said above Shane’s post got me thinking and I wanted to share my story. Maybe it will help you take the same kind of leap and find something better. You know what you are worth as a person and if a job is making you miserable I say do something about it. Also I just hate all of this pressure to have a full-time job and wanted to put it out there that maybe you don’t actually need one.
Part of what has kept me from posting about this is that I truly loved the people I worked with at my old job and still call them friends. I tried to give ample notice but quit before a big part of my job happened and felt a like an asshole. I don’t want posting about this to stir up any hard feelings or hurt anyone.
It’s been nearly 30 days and today I dipped my toe back into the social media waters by re-installing Instagram on my phone. How did my social media hiatus experiment go? I found that I missed using Instagram the most, realized that I get most of my information and news from Twitter and did not miss Facebook at all. Sadly, I didn’t get to accomplish as many things as I hoped mainly because most of my free time was spent working. But I did find not having social media to distract me did help me focus more on my work and made me take a harder look at what I want to be doing in the next 5-10 years. Overall, not using social media at all felt very alienating. I had no idea what friends were doing if I wasn’t hanging out with them and I missed out on knowing about at least one event that I would have liked to attend. I did enjoy not being glued to my phone or computer screen all the time and I think that I may try a similar experiment over the summer when I am not so crazed with work to see if I can get some projects accomplished but I don’t think I will ever take such a severe break from it again.
Happy Lundi Gras!
Yesterday, Scott and I spent nearly all day making king cakes and decided to revise our recipe a bit in trying to recreate a Randazzo’s king cake. Everyone in New Orleans has different opinions on which bakery makes the best king cake but Scott and I agree that Randazzo’s is our favorite. We had already been doing our king cake icing Randazzo’s style but our cake braiding and shape wasn’t quite right. After a ton of google image searching we decided to try a new way of braiding and shaping the cake. And I’m pretty happy with the results. So here is our updated recipe!
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups water (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 Tbsp salt
1oz yeast (we used 4 packets of Fleischmann’s RapidRise Highly Active Yeast)
1 Tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp Warm Water
Cinnamon sugar filling:
1 cup evaporated cane juice sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Vegan Margarine
1 pound of powdered sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk or water
1 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the Dough, add all ingredients to a mixer with the dough hook attachment (rub some oil on the dough hook so the dough won’t stick), and mix on low for 8-9 minutes, until dough is no longer sticky and snaps back into shape after pinching (photo here). Cover the dough for 1 hour to allow dough to rise.
- Once the dough has risen (photo here), find a workspace at least 3ft wide and flour the surface. Roll dough to about 2ft long by 6-8in wide (photo here).
- Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Melt the margarine and spread it on the rolled out dough. Then cover with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Cut dough into six strips of the same size, then braid strips together. The more they get twisted and turned the better. Form a circle with the braids. Place on a baking pan and pinch the ends of the braids together (photo here).
- Cover with a large plastic bag (like a garbage bag) and let the dough proof for an hour (photo here).
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper for 15-18 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Take out and let cool.
- While king cake is cooling, it’s time to make the icing! Mix together non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a mixer with the whisk attachment on low to medium until combined. You can add an additional 1/4 tsp of liquid to thin the icing if too thick. The desired consistency is close to paste or glue.
- Pour and spread icing on king cake and sprinkle colored sugar on it.
- If you want to get really authentic, you will need purple, green and gold colored sugar which isn’t always easy to find. I made my own pretty simply using sugar and wilton gel colors. I used Leaf Green, Violet and a combo of Lemon Yellow and a small amount of Orange to make the gold. Just put a dab of color into about 1/4 cup of sugar and work with your hands until the color is evenly distributed.
- Hide the baby and enjoy!