During the first months of 2021 and all the way through 2022, a huge phenomenon in corporate America and in different countries around the world happened. The Great Resignation is a continuous trend where employees voluntarily resign from their job to seek better conditions, time off, or a change in their career. The coronavirus pandemic gave people time to reevaluate how they were spending their time and if the routine they were following in their workplace was a routine they wanted to keep following in future years to come.
The Great Resignation, also known as a Big Quit, shows a global phenomenon where active people in the workforce acknowledge there are aspects in their lives that are not working, and that they are willing to do something about it in order to improve their living conditions.
The Great Resignation acknowledges there is an ongoing trend of dissatisfaction. People who are unhappy with the rising cost of living, the lack of growth in their professional careers, their lack of benefits or their toxic work environment.
The Great Resignation focuses on the discomfort and displeasure in our professional capacity. But maybe we hav
Resign to let others choose the way I should live my life.
Be smart. Be courageous. Be kind. Be strict. Be polite. Set boundaries but be flexible. Be committed to your work but give yourself personal time and also have fun with your friends and family but also be successful and financially stable. This is when we start to realize that there are certain expectations of how we are “meant” to live our lives. There may be some sort of supervisor in our lives being imperative about achieving X, Y and Z. Perhaps it was a family member, or a thought we’ve been carrying for a long time about how we should live and be in order to achieve something.
“If I lose weight, I’m going to be able to buy pretty clothes and this is when people would be interested in dating me”.
“I should get what my parents call a “real job’ before pursuing an artistic career”.
It can be challenging to resign to these thoughts, as these have become inextricably linked to who we are, what we think and how we feel. We may be dragging these expectations from our childhood or from our early years in high school. But when in doubt of why there seems to be a lot of frustration in the way our routine is structured, and in the way we relate to the people around us, it won’t hurt to ask how much are we doing this because we truly want to, and how much is about expectations that became part of our lives, but that are part of a contract we did not sign up for.
Resign to carry a heavy armor that covers my feelings and emotions.
In a world where people are expected to be happy all the time, and be forever grateful for what they have, it may seem odd or out of place when we are not feeling this way. Because following this logic, if the individuals around me are having a great time but I am not, it’s me automatically who the problem is.
No surprise that Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero became an immediate global hit with the lyrics: I’m the problem, it's me. Looking for ways to verbalize our discomfort can be challenging, when emotions different from happiness, and excitement are punished and encouraged to be hidden.
We read and hear that mental health is important, but it almost seems as if being “mentally healthy” is a synonym of having things under control. Looking at the news, and the world around us, things have never been under control throughout history. So it’s cruel for ourselves to believe that we can always have things under control.
Many times we don’t talk about our feelings and emotions because we know they won’t be acknowledged or they will be misunderstood by others. Pretending to have things under control is exhausting, and can be devastating for our health. So taking the time to acknowledge how we are feeling and what we are thinking is a good first step when resigning to this heavy armor we carry to cover emotions and feelings.
We may never feel comfortable crying in the workplace, or telling straight to people’s face how hurtful or triggering their words and actions may be towards us. But if we give ourselves a chance to take this heavy armor when we are just with ourselves, we may be able to get things through.
Resign to gender expectations
Not the most innovative thought but still one that seems to be particularly challenging in a time when women in politics are not being taken seriously, and there are almost no female spiritual or religious leaders and young girls can follow. Men are still expected to be strong and aggressive and hide their emotions. So when we see studies that men die at a 3.88x higher rate than women to suicide, we can see how our world still encourages men to shut down their emotions instead of confronting them and understanding them.
Gender roles are complex and sometimes it is hard to identify which gender roles we follow because we naturally and almost unconsciously enjoy following, and which ones have been inherited and with time became part of a not-so-enjoyable routine. Gender roles are way deeper than wearing pink or blue. Gender roles are about what you aspire to be, and what limitations you think you have in life just because of your gender. These limitations can be: a job title, the idea of making a family, starting a new business, having interest in a certain hobby, or a certain sport, knowing or not knowing how to do something, and the list goes on and on.
Today we verbalize the need to resign to the expectations of gender roles because they are harvesting frustration, remorse, and insecurities among people of all ages. When a boy gets frustrated when he can’t hit the ball in the baseball game while his friends and his family are expecting him to do so, we need to resign to gender roles. When a girl stays quiet during a boy talk about robots and machines, because she was told pretty girls shouldn’t be nerdy and know about these topics, we need to let go of gender roles.
Resign to try to be happy all the time.
During 2020, the coronavirus pandemic shaked our lives in many ways, permanently. In the middle of these months of uncertainty and fear, the philosophy of irrational optimism grew significantly. Irrational optimism happens when people try very hard to see the positive side of things even when the scenario is devastating. Irrational optimism is refusing to acknowledge how bad things can be, by diminishing sadness, anger, and frustration, while hoping things will be better soon.
There is a huge danger in irrational optimism, because by pretending that things are good, things will not be automatically good. We can’t keep hiding the mess under the rug and claim that the house is clean, because at some point, things will blow up.
We must resign to this idea that we should be happy all day every day. Phrases like “don’t cry”, “it’s not a big deal”, or “don’t get mad”, are not fixing any problems.
Resign to seek for validation
Despite being excellent, outstanding and doing every humanly possible thing to connect with people and create meaningful interactions, communication is a two way street.
No one will ever fully understand what is going inside our heads. Sometimes it is even very challenging for one to comprehend one’s thoughts and feelings.
But it is perhaps our inner child who is waiting for someone to tell us that we are doing a good job.
We may be winning the football game, getting straight A’s in school, climbing the ladder professionally & effectively. But sometimes we need that reassurance that we’ve made the right decisions and we are doing a good job. That reassurance often comes with the voice of a friend, a parent, or a partner, but it is also likely that it doesn’t come with the frequency or the intensity that we’d like to hear it.
This doesn’t mean that what we are doing is not great. Validation is not always the only sign that we are choosing the right path because the right path is not always a yellow brick road to follow. It is what makes sense for us in the right moment at the right time. This can be hard to understand for even the people we are the closest to, but we cannot expect they will always fully understand and agree with our thoughts and decisions. We can’t keep stopping and changing the route when there is no validation. This might not ever come but life needs to keep going.
And there are perhaps other and more profound aspects of our lives we can consider to resign to. Beliefs, life philosophies, life goals and thoughts that don’t belong to us and don’t represent our authentic selves.
Political Fashion’s mission is to better understand the world around us and the power and richness in the visual aspects of our world to be our authentic selves.
When we feel comfortable with the life we are living, and with the way we are feeling, this often is shown in a spectacular, presentable way that makes us feel even better about ourselves. It’s a spiral situation where our inner self is being heard, connected, and aware of what is happening. Then, our external self is clean, is shaved, has makeup, has clean and nicely pressed clothes, smells good, has everything we like about ourselves. The process to work on this is challenging, and it can also be very political. But the very first step is wanting to make a change. We are already on the right track and the best is yet to come.