Today I put in my resignation at work. This is a big deal. I thought this would be my job until I retired. But there is no room for growth and since my last supervisor left, I have become more and more of a scapegoat for my department. Admittedly, I make some rather repetitive mistakes, but I am a dedicated, hard working, perfectionist who does a fairly solid job most of the time. After a mid-year evaluation that had absolutely no positives written in it, I knew it was time. My husband makes enough to float us for a while and I am going to make a go at freelance editing and writing full time. Maybe monetize several of the podcasts and blogs that my husband and I have going. Even a little bit of money from ads and Amazon is better than nothing. I may pick up a part time job. Maybe not. The real goal though is to get a book published. I've written several middle grade and young adult books. I used to have an agent, but she sucked so I need to find a new one. I know that if I just have the time to write, I can get things done. But working a full time job, especially one that has become super stressful lately, means that I have no mental energy to write at night or on the weekends. I just want to sleep and veg and paint miniatures.
As I do, I ran the idea of quitting through several friends and family before actually doing it,each person bringing their unique perspective and questions to the table. Husband is analytical and knows our budget, but seems confused by my fear of failure. My mother is always super supportive and thinks I should do what makes me happy. My best friend has never had a solid career of any kind so he is more prone to suggest you quit if you aren't happy.
One friend, *Kelsey knows about my deconversion and is the one I have written about in the past who considers herself "spiritual" which loosely means she calls herself a Christian while making up her own religion. To quote her (as best I can remember), "I know you don't really believe in God anymore, but perhaps this is what you are meant to do. Maybe this is God leading your path even though you don't believe."
I reject this notion of divine intervention in our lives for several reasons that go beyond me not being convinced there is a god. The first is simple, If this god cared so much about what our jobs are or our general happiness as humans, then he is doing a really shitty job of it. South Sudan is one of the first examples I think of. A country, predominantly Christians is ransacked by those from the north who commit war crimes that rival the Nazis. Women aren't just raped, their breasts and lips are cut off, mutilated for reasons that are mind boggling. You don't think those women didn't cry out to God? Those who survived began to walk. Without food or water, thousands died along the way. Once they arrived in their neighboring country, they were turned away. So they walked on, many dying of starvation and dehydration. You don't think those cried out to God? Once they did arrive, they became stateless, refugees in a country that could barely support them, living in poverty that many Americans can't even comprehend. You think they didn't cry out to God? And you are trying to tell me that that God, the same one who those South Sudanese refugees cried out to, gives a shit about me quitting my job and "being happy". This idea that the Christian god cares about its followers and their happiness is born purely out of a place of privilege and wealth. If you look outside our own culture, the evidence is clear, if there is a god he does not give a single shit about the happiness of his followers, let alone those who don't believe in him.
The second reason I reject this idea of divine intervention controlling my decisions is because it takes away all agency and responsibility. This was a decision that weighed on my very heavily. I researched for months how to start my own editorial business. My husband and I crunched the numbers several times, looking for the right time financially for me to quit. I talked to my family and friends, particularly those who had run their own business. Heck, I even went to lunch with my former boss to get her perspective on this. Pros and cons were weighed and at one point I even pondered the implications of regret. What would I regret more....quitting and perhaps failing or staying in this dead end job? I decided the second would hold bigger regrets for me. There are some scary things in this too, like the loss of a retirement plan so that too had to be considered and a solution found. To suggest that none of this was hard or shouldn't be hard because there is a divine being controlling my actions and will probably maybe might help me out, takes away any culpability on my part which isn't okay with me. I made this decision, the consequences are on me. This may or may not work out. I'll work hard and fight to keep afloat, but that is on me and I am okay with that.
Besides this world that Christians like to talk about where this god of theirs actually cares about people just doesn't match up with the world around us. It may match up for the middle-class white people going to Evangelical churches, but most of the world doesn't live that way and it takes a lot of hubris to suggest that everything you have is because of a god, because by default it means the people who don't get special attention must be doing something wrong.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.