Today I quit my job.
It was a simple retail job, but I loved it. It was easy to do, I loved the people I worked with, I had even remedied amazing working hours, considering it was retail.
I kept thinking whether there could be a way to quit without actually telling my manager, whom I have huge admiration for. But no, she came in early, so I just had to tell her. It was an emotional moment.
I guess people would call me an idealist, as I quit mainly on matters of principle, rather than practical reasons.
At the same time, I know that pretty much all my choices in life were condemned and criticised by most as being irrational, impulsive or based on silly ideals. I was constantly met with surprise, puzzlement, worry, scorn or what have you, after I’d made one of my choices. That would make my emotional life after I made those choices harder: I rarely (though not never, fortunately) had any support after my choices. I rarely received the respect and admiration that would cement my decision and make me feel good about myself.
My need for other people’s respect and approval has always been an enormous part of me, so not having it meant I would usually feel lonely, unloved and guilty for possibly doing the wrong thing (especially when my choices obviously would then affect my (then) babies).
Now, in hindsight, with the benefit of increasing age, looking back and so on, I can say that: I am proud, not grateful, for my family, as they are in great part the result of my choices. I am proud, not grateful, for my life in general: it is completely the result of my choices.
Guilt is an idiotic sentiment taught to us by religion that has stuck in society: if you realise you made a mistake, correct it. If you have done something wrong to someone and are aware of it, correct it. NEVER feel guilty for choices that affect YOU. Secrecy, cheating should bring guilt with it: that guilt is necessary to push you to finally do the right thing and do things the way you know you should. That is all. Guilt should be an alarm bell, not something you grow accustomed to and let it linger in the back of your heart and still carry on as before.
Gratitude should be felt towards people who have actively helped you. Do not feel grateful for what “life has given you”: life doesn’t give (or take) anything, life is not a person, it is an abstract concept. You didn’t “deserve” anything, good or bad. Good things happen? Great! Enjoy them! And certainly don’t feel “guilty” because good stuff is happening to you and not to others. Good things are the result of your actions? Be grateful to yourself for being good to yourself. “Be grateful for what you’ve got”. NO. Enjoy what you have, if you enjoy it, be happy to have it. If you don’t enjoy it, then perhaps something needs changing! Don’t be grateful for stuff you don’t enjoy but you are guilted into feeling you should: work towards changing what you have.
Finally, God. Well no, that’s too much of a big one. I’ll leave it for when I write a book about it.