Do you know that “dog ate my homework” excuse that’s been in play since time immemorial? Well, you won’t believe this, but weeks ago, I wrote this blog post and lost it when the power went out. It was so thoughtfully crafted, I didn’t know how to recreate it. But I realize how I left you all hanging with Part I – I planned to write a Part II and a Part III all in quick succession. But alas (did I just use that word), time just ran away from me and here I am.
I’ve been told at least a few times in my lifetime that I am an expert in walking away. While there is some truth to that, there is also some context that needs to be explained. Yes, I am the type of person who wakes up one morning and says, “what was I thinking?” And then just like that, I never look back. But those mornings? They’re a result of endless nights of trying and trying until my brain switches off and all ties and emotions fall away. And so, yes – I have walked away from friendships and relationships that no longer brought me joy. I’ve had people call, text, write saying “wtf just happened”. I’m like that guy in the New Guy movie that lights a match and walks away, behind him a blaze of fire (I’ve always been dramatic).
But this one. This one was untypically difficult. Sixteen years of my life devoted to this one job, this one place, this one family. And when it all went up in smoke – I spent four months wallowing in sorrow, trying to figure out my next steps. And when I couldn’t accept the way it went down, the way it went against everything I had stood for, against everything I’d built for that company in the past few years – I switched on the Linked In button that says “confidentially searching” and the rest is history.
The prospect of leaving something you’ve grown so accustomed to is so daunting, it becomes debilitating. You can’t move. You can’t think. You want it all to go back to the way it was, and you believe so much that it can. If this didn’t happen to me – if I didn’t wake up at 4 am each morning to cry, or if I didn’t lose ten pounds (don’t worry, I’ve gained it all back) – I’d still be in the same place, convincing myself that this was all that I could be. Making the decision to look outside of my comfort zone brought me three job offers! It healed my broken spirit, re-instilled my confidence, affirmed that what I had worked so hard for wasn’t in vain. And so, in taking that bold step to stand for my conviction, even if it meant walking away from the ones I loved and who I thought loved me (some still do).
The courage doesn’t come easy. In fact, so many times did I think of accepting things as they were because it would allow me the time to focus on my writing. But that’s not the way I look at things. My career, it comes first for me. I need to be happy and fulfilled and challenged. I need to know that every single day of my life is spent taking a stand and following through on convictions. When something no longer inspires you or when people no longer are who you thought they were – it’s just time to move on.
Tomorrow is my first day at this new job. I hadn’t had a first day in sixteen years. I’m not sure how it will go. I’m going to have to prove myself all over again. But I know that I can sleep with myself at night. That I can hold my head up high, knowing I have done the right thing.
Stay tuned for Part III – Starting Over.
And then we get to all the good book stuff. I promise.