I have two more full days of work at my job before I throw away my 37K+ salary, medical benefits, and fairly generous discounted tuition for (hopefully) temporary unemployment.
I'll say that the two weeks since I've made up my mind and given my notice have been pretty great. I haven't felt the need to tip-toe around my boss, I've been generally productive and busy with the administrative tasks I actually enjoy doing, and I've checked-out mentally enough to not feel guilty for coming in every day at nine instead of eight-thirty. (Trust me: the extra half hour of sleep is worth it.)
I actually have a good chunk of money in my account, so I'm not too terrified about being unemployed for a while, since I plan on temping anyway since sitting around in my hot apartment doesn't sound very appealing. Of course, I get to go on a free vacation to the Outer Banks, so I get that week to avoid the real world while reading books and swimming in the ocean.
And you know what? This is the first time in the three years since I moved to Chicago that I wasn't freaking out about what to do with my life. Ever since I graduated I've come up with about ten different plans, all with very detailed goals spanning from weeks to months to years. I'm rather surprised myself that I'm so uncharacteristically optimistic. I came to the decision that my only major goal for the rest of the year is to find a job that I like enough and will let me keep hanging out with the friends I love in Chicago, and maybe allow for trips to visit some friends in other cities, too.
I think there's some nice timing here - I moved to Chicago on August 6, 2005, after all. In the three years since I've spent several months miserable from unemployment, underemployment, being underpaid, and being lonely. I came out and had a shitty relationship and a really good one. I've fallen in love. I've gained some skills. I lost my father and two grandparents. I've made a lot of friends. It's hard to imagine that it's only been three years here because I feel like I've done so much, and it's probably the reason why I don't feel like I'm in a hurry to do anything right now.
When I turned 22, I thought I had to "make it" and be successful by the time I was thirty. It's an arbitrary number and a subjective goal, as I don't even think I knew what "success" meant to me three years ago. Now, on the cusp of turning 25, I realized that I'm a lot smarter than I was then (and still, I am aware of how silly it is to think one is smart at 25). I've learned a lot about myself since I moved here, with every positive and negative experience giving me something to think about. I'm not really in a hurry to do anything; I just kind of want to sit back and enjoy things as they come.