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  • npela002

"I quit my job and flew to Japan"

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

I know what you are probably thinking: "this title is totally clickbait" or "typical millennial move", but I can assure you it was probably the most spontaneous (and hardest) decision I have ever made in my life.

Before I give you a little backstory on what my occupation was at the time, and why I chose to make such a rash decision, I want to add that I am probably the most indecisive person you will ever meet. I'm sure you have a family member or friend that takes forever to make simple decisions, like at a restaurant or at a store or even while online shopping. Well, that's me times 10 (although I have gotten a little better throughout the years, if I don't say so myself).

Anyways, my previous place of employment was at a psychiatric ward (also known as a mental health crisis center, inpatient crisis unit, mental health hospital, and a few other names I can't think of right now). And yes you read that right (cue the scary suspense music). I got this little odd job after completing my bachelors degree in Psychology. I wanted to gain some experience in a "psychology-related" job and the opportunity to work at a crisis unit came up, so I fearlessly took the plunge.

I am not going to sugarcoat it, interviewing that first day and telling my (first of many) boss(es) that I was ready to take the challenge was both the truth and a lie. I strongly knew I did not know what I was getting myself into but I saw the opportunity for growth and I never back down from a challenge.

My position there had many names: single point of assess, acute services counselor, counselor, assessor, I honestly lost track but for the sake of this post let's stick with the name "assessor". As an assessor, I pretty much did all the basic paperwork and assessments you do when you get admitted into a hospital: get the backstory on the patient, any previous mental health information (if any), medical history, allergies, etc. etc. Sounds easy right? Well to be honest, the work was not rocket science but the patients were definitely "unique". If one thing is certain, I saw and learned a lot while working there.

I had every type of patient you can imagine, Schizophrenic, Bipolar, Depressive, Antisocial (aka psychopath), and even those that had committed murder in the past. Now, I don't want to scare you because although this information that I am presenting to you might seem scary, I can assure you I was only truly scared less than a handful of times (bedtime stories anyone?).

I remember when I first started working there, a coworker told me to not get attached to anyone because they would quit in a matter of weeks or days. After just a few shy weeks of working there, I began to see just that. In a matter of three years, I had over five bosses and more than 10 coworkers come and go. The same week I got hired, the lady who interviewed me (the boss at the time) quit. The coworker with the fastest "quit-time" lasted around one shift (8 hours).

I could go on with many more stories, but I will leave those for another post.

A few years go by, and some "new policies" take effect.

*I do want to note that before these new policies came around I had consulted with my supervisor about a trip I booked across the world.*

Anyways, all of a sudden there were some "blackout dates" implemented for "all" employees, meaning there were several days in the months of June, July, December and January that we were not allowed to take off. To my luck, it overlapped with several days of my already-booked trip.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I know that this policy exists in other companies and there are true reasons for it. The reason why I am letting you know this is because this "new policy" was truly not an issue for me. I spoke to my supervisor about several ways I could make up this time and a coworker had agreed to cover the scheduled shifts for me. Sounds fair right?

Well unfortunately she did not buy it and I was forced with a decision in my hands (and there was no way I could change the trip).

At this point, you already know the decision I made, but trust me I tossed and turned in my sleep for a long time (remember I hate making decisions).

I developed so much anxiety towards making this decision that I told myself I would be politically correct and turn in my two weeks and then fly half-way across the world.

Instead I went to work like if nothing was wrong and the day before the trip (literally), I woke up and quit my job.

Looking back, I could of done the responsible thing and formally leave my job like we are all taught to. I could also look at my decision as a #yolo moment but I learned a very valuable lesson throughout that whole experience. If you do not take matters into your own hands, life will.

I am writing this several months later, so I have a better head-space about my decision. Sometimes I think about it in retrospect and question myself how could I commit such a selfish act? It is really not like me to be that "wild" and spontaneous (I have played it safe my whole life people!). Other days I feel proud because the satisfaction of walking into work and saying "Konichiwa b******!" felt so good at the moment. But in all, I want you to take my story as an experience. Whether you see my decision as an "honorable" or "dishonorable" one, I want you to ask yourself this: would you quit your job today and fly across the world tomorrow including all the uncertainties in the world? (minus COVID-19 of course ;))

Now, a real blog post would not be official if it did not have some cool "instagrammable" picture in it, would it?

I present to you my top 10 moments from my trip to Japan:

(in no particular order...)

  1. Meeting the khaleesi of Japan (all hail Pikachu).

2. Exploring an "abandoned" arcade. #strangerthings

3. Celebrating Noche Buena at the Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe in Osaka. #ridingnerdy

4. Visiting the Hokanji temple in Kyoto at night.

5. Walking through the infamous Fushimi Inari Shrine (when they say a thousand gates they mean it people! #riplegs).

6. Eating Snoopy chocolate. #happydance

7. Venturing through the teamLab Borderless digital art museum in Tokyo. #trippy

8. Drinking coffee at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo. #willtherealcoffeeloverspleasestandup

9. Playing with Shiba Inu dogs (brb still crying).

10. Joined the local tradition of "hatsumode" (aka visiting a shrine or temple after New Years to ring in some luck). We visited the Zojoji temple in Tokyo. #namaste

If you have any questions about the locations I mentioned, feel free to send me a message!

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