Bad feminist! Bad!

Which is to say: I gave ‘notice’ at my job. I resigned. I am relieved and terrified at the same time.

I gave notice two months in advance, because I’m a nice woman who does not want to inconvenience her employer too much  (or perhaps she’s simply very much afraid of displeasing anyone, ever). January 1st 2013 will be my first day of not having a full-time activity since the day I started university as a lowly freshman. I will also give up financial independence (For a while, okay? Temporarily! Only until we’ve moved. Only because when Beloved starts studying I get to be breadwinner for a few years. Only because I’ll make up for it!). I’m looking at a time frame of three to seven months of no-job, depending on how everything goes.

Queue freak-out. Do not want. No like! Aaaargh. *panicked arm flailingl

However. Let’s look past all my fears of immediately losing all justification for my existence by changing my employment status (it is hopefully obvious I don’t apply that standard to other people who are un(der)employed, so I need to learn to cut myself some slack).

Maybe I should acknowledge that one can’t simply sell a house, move to another continent, obtain visas and passports and keep up with the many other, smaller responsibilities of life as a grown-up when there’s only two of you and the both of you are eaten alive by work, work and more work on top of a nice portion of work. Or maybe other people can do so, but we don’t have to, which is a form of privilege. Which I should also acknowledge, but perhaps not feel so incredibly terrible about that I refuse to use it.

What good _is_ privilege if you feel too guilty to use it? How about if you have privilege and use it to make other people’s lives better along with your own? If there are people out there for whose physical, immediate survival it is necessary that they spend all their resources on themselves, isn’t it sort of a duty for those who have resources to spare that they use some of them to make the planet a nicer place?

The inner feminist insists I only twist things that way to get out of the feelings of guilt.

Maybe the inner feminist should (kindly, consensually) go fuck herself, though.

I get to be happy. I should find another way than a pay check to find value in myself.  I appreciate non-financial contributions from everyone else, so I should learn to appreciate them from me. As a starting point, below is a list of ambitions for when I have free time:
– fix up the house to make it sell better (to be done in time off while still employed)

– deal with realtor

– find good homes for all the stuff we’re not bringing to the US

– handle USCIS / consular business

– arrange the international move

-arrange travel (if we have time to travel)

– keep house (save money by no longer having a cleaner)

– Cook All The Things (bento box lunches, maybe?)

– finish working through the book ‘Python Programming for the absolute beginner’ to improve future employability

– improve understanding of math

– volunteer at pet shelter (and maybe see if we can do short-term fostering!)

– volunteer at the food bank my mom has set up

– find cool freelance assignments (and enhance resume)

– find a form of enjoyable exercise

– see some friends
On another note: I have so far not had a single negative response from anyone who heard of my decision to quit. Beloved is pretty much the person who proposed it and argued against all my doubts. And everyone else so far has been telling me that they think it is an awesome idea. Even at work they’ve all been like :”Well, it’s too bad for us, but it makes total sense for you and we think you’re smart to do it.”
Can I say that I am very  suspicious of the total lack of opposition? I mean.. was I that obviously miserable? Does no one worry about me finding another job? Does no one feel anger-on-principle that once again a (sort of) female-identified person puts on an apron? Does nobody think I’m an idiot? Has nobody yet thought: “Oh, see? There she goes.. Not even married for a year and she strong-arms that poor guy into letting her quit working!”?

Anybody need some guilt? I’ll ship it to you for free!

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2 Responses to “Bad feminist! Bad!”


  1. 1 misshappnstance October 31, 2012 at 1:34 am

    OK, I totally love the *kindly, consensually* and I totally hear you on the guilt front. To alleviate and quiet the inner feminist: your coworkers mention that it makes sense for you, and that you are smart to do it – not oh of course you’re the woman so that’s how that works… This is a choice that works for you right now, and it’s incredibly brave of you to make it. If you were letting someone else make it for you, that’d be a whole different thing, but for now, I say Congratulations! Good luck on your free time list!

    • 2 thesmittenimmigrant November 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you!

      I realize that the decision is in fact a good one and that we would be making our lives tremendously more difficult if we both insisted working to the day of our departure. It will be a novel experience, too.

      Thank you for the support, in any case, it is certainly welcome!


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