💌 The courage to quit
An emotional intelligence newsletter for highly sensitive people.
How are you feeling?
Take a minute to use the emotion wheel to check in with yourself.
“Not knowing what’s coming next—which is the situation you’re always in, with regard to the future—presents an ideal opportunity for choosing curiosity (wondering what might happen next) over worry (hoping that a certain specific thing will happen next, and fearing it might not) whenever you can.”
- Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
Let's ditch the ladder and climb a tree
When I was young, there was a large willow tree that stood aside the apartment complex I lived in. I remember hanging on the branches and pretending I could fly.
I felt free, and I’d quickly escape into an inner, imaginative world.
In Charleston, SC, there is a large tree known as the Angel Oak (Dave, if you’re reading this, thanks for putting it on my radar!). It is estimated to be about 500 years old and it stands 66.5 ft tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that cover 17,000 square feet.
When I visited, I was enamored by the thick, grandiose branches that went every which way with more branches attached that spun off into different directions.
The first thought I had while witnessing this beautiful, natural treasure was, “This is life.”
Like the old-standing tree, life is not linear. Where life takes us is unknown, no matter how much we like to think we’re in control. So how come we expect our lives to only grow up and only up and never sideways or ever branch off into an entirely new directions?
I started to look at the Angel Oak tree as an antonym to the idiom “climbing the ladder,” with a meaning that once seemed aspirational and now has become inhuman and unlively.
In August 2021, 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs.
After I visited the Angel Oak tree, I sat down to write some thoughts, which led to a 3,500-word essay on why I quit my job in 2020 and why I suspect other HSPs — especially millennial HSPs — are quitting as well.
I want to emphasize that I understand the essay is only 0.1% of the bigger picture — it’s only one personal experience out of millions. And even though it’s personal and truthful, I also didn’t even get to the deep stuff, such as the “passion paradigm” that has manipulated an entire generation into pursuing “passion” work and sacrificing personal needs.
And of course, when we change the plot based on race, class, and gender — it becomes palpable how complex the reasons “why” people are quitting are, and can’t be solved or fixed overnight. But we can make steps towards change when we start to speak our truths.
However, it is safe to say the pandemic is a global crisis that led to many people reexamining their roles at home and at work due to the spotlight brought upon many truths.
Related journal prompt
Why do you work?
What do experience, growth, and fulfillment have to do with it?
What is the meaning or purpose of life?
What is the relationship between the individual and others?
Where do your views on work and life complement one another, and where do they clash?
❗Tuesday’s oopsies & newsletter changes
So, about last Tuesday …
You might have received an old email from me.
The mistake occurred because I’m making some BIG changes to the newsletter. For the most part, the newsletter content will stay the same: a short essay, journal prompts, and the latest articles, social posts, and podcast episodes.
Here’s what’s changing:
The name! The Moon is now known as Valid Feelings
Valid Feelings will be sent bi-weekly on Thursdays
Rather than scrolling through your inbox, you can catch up on all the latest content and access the newsletter archives all in one place. Check it out »
Want access to premium resources? Become a paid subscriber!
In addition to everything that comes with being a free subscriber, for the price of a latte, you get access to:
Premium emotional intelligence coaching content for HSPs ($800 value)
Monthly book cliff notes of recommended reads
A supporting digital workbook ($100 value) for podcast listeners
Access to community discussion threads
The emotional intelligence coaching content is the same resources I use during private coaching sessions and are designed to help you identify, label, manage, and express deep emotions as an HSP.
Click the button below to become a paying subscriber today!
✍️ Do you have a highly sensitive child?
The Inside Out Club is a wonderful non-profit organization that teaches kids and teens character skills that help them problem solve, express empathy, and cope with challenges in a positive way.
If you're a parent or teacher and think you might have a sensitive child at home or in the classroom, I share some insight on what it means to be a highly sensitive child (HSC) with IOC. Check it out »
For evidence-based strategies on how to parent an HSC, click here.