the lame reason why i quit my full-time job

This is from a shoot I did a few years ago and it seemed an appropriate graphic.

One day, while working in my elaborate home office (aka my fancy shmancy standing desk smooshed against my bed) I heard a loud thump followed by my four year old child screaming in pain. I ran, opened my bedroom door and there he was with our child care provider: crying hysterically, sporting a fresh bloody gash and a large plum sized knot swelling and taking up a large amount of real estate on his tiny forehead.

As I gathered the blubbering boy into my arms, I one-handed slacked my (super star and very understanding) boss that I had to rush my son to the pediatrician to see if he needed stitches. And after that, I rolled him, in the stroller he had outgrown months ago, a few blocks to a plastic surgeon with not so great bedside manner with my kid (“Sit still! I have to look at that nasty laceration! Ya gotta sit still, BUDDY!” Which meant that, once again, I had to take time off from my job as the shittiest program manager in the history of program managers.

Just before Covid hit New York City, my husband and I purchased an apartment in New York City. I said “Adios!” to my life as a working actress and was ready for a steady income to help support my family. I was ready for the change and didn’t mind that I quit acting, the thing I’d been doing my whole adult life.

In February 2020, I was balls to the walls working my tail off at a tech company. I really enjoyed it, I learned new things every day, loved my office mates. But most of all: I had dignity, (I had a heavy dose of attaching my value to the amount of money I brought in). The years of being an actress were very good, but now that we were GROWN UPS and HAD AN APARTMENT, I decided to be a real woman and bring home the bacon.

A month into my new job, our friend COVID-19 made her grand entrance to New York City and immediately killed over 15,000 people. 28,000 is where we currently stand in NYC. Luckily I kept my job but after a year, the pandemic took a toll on me, bla bla I couldn’t function, completely exhausted and in a fog whilst my little son went completely off the rails.

I looked down at my little guy and thought: “Wow, we are two steps away from Child Protective Services whisking him away to a better mother.”

The gash on my little guy’s head was a wakeup call. An inner voice (with a Southern, Alabamian accent) said kindly but firmly said: “Honey child, you need to change things up, PRONTO!”

I gave notice. The knot in my heart vanished. I no longer felt like I was being split in two.

After one week of me being a newly “fully-present mom” my son went from being a hyper, horrid gargoyle wreaking havoc on our entire family and transformed into a sweet, funny, talkative little boy who wanted hugs and kisses. Additionally, my older daughter, hated me a lot less and was 10% less embarrassed by me.

So that is the boring story about why I quit my job.

What are my next steps? Spending less. Brown bag lunches. Eating, exercising and sleeping soundly. I have so much more energy and my attitude sucks much less than when I was working.

I’m gingerly reacquainting myself with being a loving wife and mother (“Babe! Holy *$%#$^&&!! You let the kids stay up HOW LATE? Get your ass in bed!”) and taking it one day at a time.

A few months before I quit, my old talent agent emailed to see if I was open to working with him again. I was like: “I’m working HAM AT MY JOB. How DARE you email with such a preposterous query. I DON’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO WRITE THIS EMAIL TO YOU!! GOOD DAY, SIR!!”

UPDATE: After a month of quitting my job I reached back out to my talent agent. And so, just like that I’m yelling: “Game On!” in the middle of a suburban street, dragging the hockey net back into the middle of the street after a car passes our play area.

I signed with my old agent and a new manager…so I guess I’m back to being an actress again.

AND SCENE!

Author: Natalie Kim

Thanks for stopping by. I'm Natalie Kim, a creative writer, performer and artist living in New York City. I like sharing my creative process & I believe we're more alike than we think.

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