A week ago, I announced my resignation from leading the Philippine .NET Users Group, after an 11-year run.

I wasn't really committed into making the announcement at that specific time, but I made the decision because making it official was the only chance for me to detach myself from the role. In those 11 years my name became synonymous to PHINUG. I didn't intend it to be that way, but I cannot blame people who told me that it was for thinking that.

After all, most of us, when asked who we are, tend to answer with what we do.

"I'm a software developer", I would respond. "I lead the Philippine .NET Users Group", I would continue.

Honestly, I've been thinking of quiet quitting in the literal sense: I thought about simply letting myself slip into silent obscurity, just keeping mum until people started asking "whatever happened to PHINUG?" However I received questions about the group recently, and that was my cue to make the ending official.

Boy holds a white flag in the snow. 

My siblings don't typically light up with joy when I ask if they can be a subject for a photo of mine but on this day, my little brother was more than willing. 
Maybe he's warming up to it??
Maybe he just wanted me to shut up about it???
(thanks, Jace. Love you)
Photo by Jackson Simmer / Unsplash

Quitting publicly was harder than I thought; I grew up as an "achiever" type, and I grew up believing that quitting is for losers. You persist and persist -- until I realized no one told me when to stop. I honestly believe the burnout that a lot of people my age suffer comes from this stigma from quitting. It simply was not done by the generation of our parents, at least not until retirement.

Another dimension to the stigma had been my recent shift in job role. Due to circumstances, I left behind my Principal Developer role last year, shifting across to becoming a Technical Business Analyst. With this my new job involved dealing more directly with custom client projects, API integrations, and talking with third party service integrators. I still code, but not as much as I had before. However, I'm significantly happier and less stressed than in my previous position.

This change had come after a lengthy ordeal of dealing with mental health issues, and the same stigma from quitting delayed the decision to seek help. Thankfully, that process helped me learn how to detach myself from what I do.

Today I'd like to remind you that you're a lot more than what you do; that your positions do not define you, and that you could find happiness beyond the positions that you hold, and the title attached to your name.