Growing up we sixchix had our classic movies, the ones where my sisters and I still know all the words. On an afternoon in Italy while her kid napped, Mal and I found ourselves at the dining table pounding Jelly Bellies and singing every word to “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast as if we’d watched that show yesterday and like we were six-year-olds.
While on my way to a drug lunch in South Lake Tahoe earlier this week I called my sister Whit. As soon as she answered I said, “Help me. This will sound weird.”
“There’s this movie. And there are two guys and they are talking. I know this sounds stupid.”
“I’m with you.”
“And one sings, ‘I—I quit. I quit. I quit. I quit, Mr. . . . ’ First, what the hell movie is that and second what’s the name of the Mr.?”
“That’s an easy one,” she replied, “It’s That Thing You Do and it’s ‘I quit, Mr. White.’ You should have known that. It’s a Peterson classic. I think you’re getting Alzheimers in your old age.”
Here, the clip she sent me as follow-up:
Why did I call her to ask about the movie? Well, I quit.
I had slivers of that flick clip knocking around in my noggin because I was thinking about quitting my drug job.
I got hired into drugs a month before I turned 23. In two weeks I turn 33. For this venture, a decade was enough. I've sold 15 different drugs for 12 different disease states. I’m done.
Jim has been encouraging me for months to leave pharmaceutical pedaling and pursue stuff I love. My drug job has had benefits galore, and though there have been lots of things to appreciate about it, this career wasn’t what I chose for myself. It was what funded the other choices, and with my marital situation what it was, that job was what I had to do not what I wanted to do. Instead, the three “jobs” I did choose for myself—art, words, and yoga—traditionally have the lowest fiscal yield in the history of ever.
But Jim says he wants to support me in doing what I love, and because, well, I tend to be pretty good at whatever I do and I’m a dedicated little thing, he knows it’s not like once I leave pharma I’ll be sitting at home wearing Old Navy flannel pajama pants and watching Netflix all day. No, instead I’ve got lots of plans, things I’ve been wanting to do and trying to do but haven’t been able to ‘cause the day job was really effing demanding.
So add Exceedingly Supportive to Jim’s ever-lengthening list of perfect traits. You wanna write, Megan? Stay home and write! You wanna learn how to be a better yoga teacher and then teach the hell out of yoga? Do that. Make pretty pictures. Wear jeans and flats. Screw pharma. Go be you.
As the option has become more realistic to me I’ve worried some about what this does to my lil’ identity. In talking to my dad about moving on from the drug years I asked—honestly starting to tear up—“But if I’m not this, what am I?” I’m the things I’ve always been, just without the inhibition of the pharma career. Jim is enabling me to be what I want. He just gifted me 40-some-odd more hours in my week. As if I wasn’t in silly in love with the guy already.
I’m also looking forward to being able to be more available to him and the kidlings. Honestly, I haven’t had time for a damn thing that wasn’t work or yoga. Some days I would leave at 8AM and get home at 10:30PM. Now I can work on the food situation around here, organize more, and slim down our fat, fat dogs. (Enough already with being so bashful about Gus’s sausage middle and the fact that we can’t find his ribs whenever I take him to the vet. Poor boy.)
It’s all a little bit scary and a lot bit exciting. But as excited as I am I think Jim is twice as thrilled. Homeboy loves that I quit. Pharma schmarma.