Getting started

Don't expect words of wisdom or earth shattering revelations, just my thoughts and observations about living in Ottawa, being a public servant and trying to live life every day to its fullest

Friday, September 7, 2012

Learning to quit

For the last eight or so years I have defined myself as a public servant. I always believed that working in the government was what I wanted to do and where I could make a difference. I wanted to fight the good fight, but fight from the inside for change. And to this day I believe in the public service and how government (not Government) works to help Canadians. After almost a decade I still believe that - despite everything I am about to write.

I need to quit. I need to leave. I need to do something else. I can no longer be a public servant. I am no longer a public servant. I can no longer do what I do - and yet I am committed to the project I am working on and know that people I work with believe in what they are doing and how it will make Canada better.

Sometimes the hardest part is admitting you have a problem - and I have a serious problem. I am not happy doing what I do, despite the fact that I know it is a fantastic project. It seems paradoxical, and I am not yet sure why this is the case, but I plan on spending several months figuring it out and asking myself "what next". What do I want to do when I grow up? How do I want to define myself? Why?

And don't think this is some sudden mid-life crisis precipitated by the marriage of my younger sister, or a questioning of my mortality and legacy because my cat died. This is not a desire to give it all up and back-pack around the world because my house caught on fire, nor is a rejection of Ottawa per say. This has been peculating for a while, in fact I first told my boss that "I quit" on Friday April 13th; but then the house caught on fire, the cat died and my sister got married - I had a busy summer and quitting takes a lot of thought.

Here it is - my path to quitting. Will I actually quit? I am not sure. Maybe I will take a year of unpaid leave, maybe I will take an interchange, and maybe I will stay. I have threatened to be out of Ottawa within a year before, I have promised major life changes on this very blog, and yet nothing came to them - but now I have a plan. The first step is to know me; to actually think about who I am, what has shaped this person I call Tabatha, and where I want to go. Does this path differ from the one I am on? I don't know - but until I start asking the hard questions I will never know.

I am learning about me so that I can face the choice I will eventually need to make; to stay or leave (full disclosure - I am pretty sure I am quitting). I want to share this learning, these insights about me and I would encourage you to undertake your own voyage and ask who you are and what you want. Don't take what you have for granted, challenge yourself and learn from the experiences around you - embrace them and let them shape you. And if you need guidance, let me know and I can point you to a very talented lady who is always eager to help.

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