Why I picked sanity over employment

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LogoJPGAfter almost 2 months since returning to home from Australia, I am relieved to say, I finally have a job. The irony being that, had I been prepared to ‘go backwards’ in life, I believe I could have been employed within a couple of weeks. However, there are times in life where compromise can’t be called upon and my job situation was most certainly one of them and so I chose sanity over employment.

Before going to Australia I worked for a national institution for 6 years – there was nothing special about it until the last 2.5 years when it all went to shit and it took me to Hell. And I mean that. The situation I found myself in (because of my employer) caused me to have a breakdown (more on that another time as I think it’s an important topic to discuss) which then lead to a bad case of post-traumatic stress disorder which, sadly, I still suffer from today in a mild form in certain aspects of life. That’s the situation in a nut shell. It was every bit as dramatic as my words suggest.

I mention my story because since returning, I have seen jobs posted daily to work in the Institution and not once have I even hovered over the links with the curiosity to click them. Why? Because I value my life, my mental peace more than I ever could a paycheck.

It sounds like I’m rich doesn’t it?! That I could afford to be ‘picky and choosy’ about jobs? I couldn’t. I applied for any jobs that I saw (which I checked on a daily basis) that I thought I could do and signed up for agencies; I tried every single day. And though is was incredibly disheartening and insulting to be told I was overqualified or just didn’t hear back (even after interviews), I knew that there was no way I could entertain the idea of going back to the Institution and I’m so extremely lucky that my entire family and network of friends supports my decision.

It has nothing to do with the value of money and everything to do with the value I place on my physical and mental health which is far greater than any wage could offer.  Yes, I’m lucky in the sense that my mum is prepared to forego rent currently (though I still buy groceries and other small things to ease the guilt a little) but I can’t afford anything else – I am surviving off the money I should have been using to live my dreams; it’s a difficult situation to accept.  So given my struggles, you might begin to realise that however shitty I feel about having no money or freedom with it, my previous situation at the Institution was far worse and will explain my avoidance to entertain the idea of going back.

You see, we have choices in life; not all the time and they’re not always easy or quick but we have them and I chose to look after myself mentally instead of going back to a place that still haunts my dreams despite how low and discouraged I felt never hearing back from my daily job applications.  Everyone’s situation is different and of course, if you have bills, children and loan repayments then you can’t afford to risk the wait like I have done but what I am saying is that you have a choice…I would have happily worked in an office environment if it had meant working again, just not in the same Institution; it’s about priorities, your situation and knowing yourself.


So what do I do now?  For the moment I’m a waitress at an outdoor tearoom with a beautiful walking commute.  I have no responsibility, I don’t have to think about anything important and although it gets busy, it’s not stressful; best of all, I’ll only work between 10am-6pm –  it won’t make me rich (only about 25 hours a week) but I’ll have enough money to give something to my mum and save a little if I’m careful and honestly, it’s all I crave right now.  I get 30 minutes of walking as a commute each day, I’m allowed to eat leftover cakes and cream teas and I still have time to write and recover.  It feels exactly what my soul and mind want and crave and require right now.

Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul – Wayne Dyer


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