Today I took a rather large and uncomfortable leap- I put in my notice at the bank.

It's a decision I've been ruminating for awhile, one based on my desire to find balance. Working and going to school full time is a challenge, and I'm proud to say I met that challenge and ended the Fall with a 3.92 GPA. However, everything will change this Spring. I'm transferring back to Lyndon, which means commuting and set face-to-face courses; no luxury of online.

However, even with online courses I'd come home from work mentally exhausted and my evenings would be spent sprawled on the couch doing homework. Of course I was able to have fun, but I'd always be worried about assignments, or dreading having to go to work the next day when there's so much to be done at home. I then recalled the Fall of 2012 at Lyndon when I ended one class with a C- the lowest grade of my life- due to the hectic schedule I worked to accommodate my classes. But I was only enrolled in four classes then. In the Spring it will be six.

Then I had a flashback to 2011.

My senior year of high school I felt the same as I do now: confused and overwhelmed. I was unsure of what to do for college, and with a full load of AP and Running Start classes as well as two internships and work, I wasn't balanced then either. The summer prior to I thought about quitting my job at Polly's Pancake Parlor, and much to the chagrin of my parents, I did.

It was the best decision I could have made.

With that time I devoted myself to my studies and maintained highest honors. I occupied those vacant hours with the Littleton Courier, which resulted in experience, a paid position, and an exemption from Journalistic Writing at Lyndon. Additionally, I researched scholarships and was awarded nearly $15,000 worth after thoroughly following the application process. I was doing what I love by taking Independent Photography and interning at Rodeo & Co Photography, and seeing my name in print was also rewarding.

As this is my senior year of college, I want that again. I want to have plenty of time to focus on school and still have a life. I want to learn. Sign up for workshops at WREN, the Little Herb Shoppe, and AHEAD. Have flexibility in my schedule that would allow me to visit my grandparents, do a day trip with Hannah, or go cross country skiing.

But what about money?

I live with my parents, I have no student loans, but I do have a car and I like to have fun. Imagine all the things we would do if money weren't an issue. But because it is, the decision I felt was right was a difficult one to act on. My parents- just like before- weren't in agreement when I presented them with the idea. After all, I was just promoted to my current position only six months ago.

But when I reminded them of where I was two years ago, they understood. Although still ambivalent, they know what I accomplished then and what I aim to accomplish now. I'm a wicked saver and have many ways of generating an income. I made it work last time and I can do it again. Angelina Jolie admits, "People will always say that you're going the wrong way when it's simply a way of your own." This is my way, and I know it is right.

After processing my decision, I wrote my notice. Mom edited it, though the only area of correction was with the formatting. I walked into work today and sat down at my computer, composed an e-mail and attached the letter, and then sat there. I thought about money and responsibility. I thought about how impressed people are when one says that they work and go to school. And then I thought something like this: "Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony" ~Thomas Merton. Why is the mantra of busy promoted more so than peace?

I immediately clicked send and when the e-mail flashed off the screen, I felt free. My mind was a feather, so light and breezy. I dreamed of where my 25 hours a week will go, of everything I will do and the experiences I will have. Dolly Parton said, "Don't get busy making a living that you forget to make a life", and I have every intention of making mine. Of finishing school, of expanding my photography business, of pursuing my dreams, and finding the path I want to be on.

And I don't think I was meant for a desk job.

Meg BrownComment