I submitted my letter of resignation. Had thought about it for a long time, and I believe it is the right thing to do. Despite having been through tough times, I am at peace with thanking the organisation for my time with them. I leave gracefully, and face the unknown with courage and hope.
During this sabbatical, I had a long think about what I wanted and what I could do. I felt I could not go back to that kind of corporate life.
After my cancer diagnosis and treatment, I had rushed back to work, so I could get back some semblance of normalcy and sense of self-worth. Looking back, it was a real mistake. My body ached and I suffered from fatigue and insomnia for most days. For my efforts in saving millions for the organisation and sacrificing my health, I was rewarded with a 3% increment and a pat on the back.
The truth is that work is just work. It’s pretty unlikely that anyone from your workplace will be there at your deathbed, and you will be quickly forgotten by colleagues and bosses. The only ones who will be there for you in the end will be family and to a certain extent, friends. These are the relationships that I treasure.
Another factor for resigning is that I am able to say I have enough money. Income greatly exceeds my expenses. In fact, my investment return in 2020 has been more than three times of my annual employment income. This mitigates the fear from running out of money. I’m not sure if I will make the same kind of money consistently. But I feel more confident that what I’m doing is working and I have good instincts. If I ever don’t do well and drop below $800,000 in liquid assets (still a fairly large sum), I’ll go back to work.
The fear of death is also a good reminder to make the best use of my remaining time. While I’m ok for now, the nature of my cancer is insidious. This is what I pulled out myself from the available literature:
Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is an aggressive malignancy with local recurrence rates in the 37–48% range and metastases occurring in about 50% of the cases; prolonged survival despite metastatic disease is not uncommon however. Retrospective series report survival rates at 5 years of 82–90%, at 10 years of 65–70%, at 15 years of 58–60%.
The 5 year survival rate looks pretty good. But it keeps going down as the chances of recurrence and metastases (meaning spread through the body) are high, around 50%. The most common area for it to spread is the lungs. I’m at the 3.5 year mark now. It’s not just about survival either. The cancer can still occur anywhere on my body or organs, and I’ll have to cut it out again. This could mean anything from being crippled or disabled. The 15-year survival rate doesn’t look too hot either.
Faced with this kind of statistics, I think it makes sense to want to spend more time with my family and on my health. I need to build up some good years to prepare myself for the bad ones.
I had struggled with the decision for a long time, and in some ways I still am. But I am learning that we don’t need to be afraid of the unknown. We can try something new, and have faith that things will work out. And it’s ok not to always be earning as much money as possible. There are more important things to think about.
What resigning means for my readers is that I will keep pumping out blog posts as much as I can. I’m having a semester break now, and will be finishing my masters in Apr/May 2021. Posts will depend on the intensity of my classes, which I don’t know as of yet. But I’m preparing several pieces of work in advance, and I’ll be sure to keep posting on my stock transactions and portfolio. There’s still a lot I want to share regarding insurance and investments, and I’ll like to take it as far as I can.
Thank you all.