A Year Can Change A Lot: Part 5

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A Year Can Change A Lot: Part 5

Missed Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, or Part 4?

Last week, I showed you the post that started to change the way I thought about my career. Actually, it wasn’t so much writing the post that started to change the way I thought, but it was some of the amazing comments that you left for me. I also remember getting several emails from some of you offering your own personal stories and a ton of encouragement. For the first time, I had hope.

This comment, by Limberskimbers, struck a chord with me:

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason… so these experiences are making you stronger and teaching you something along the way. When the time comes to make a change you’ll know.

About 4 years ago I got a promotion at work that was ultimately the worst thing that could have happened to me. After about 4 months of dreading going into work and then being miserable all day once I got there, I got fed up one morning and went home in tears. I had just bought a house but was so unhappy that I wanted to quit. After a long talk with my bf I calmed down and went back to work with the intention of starting to look for something else. The next day I got fired!

In the end it all worked out. Getting fired was the best thing that could have happened to me because it put me on the path that I am now and I can honestly say that I’m happy.

Sooner or later you will find that happiness too.

I read it over and over. Sooner or later you will find happiness too. Her words gave me hope that I wouldn’t always be in this situation. That it was possible to have more good days than bad days.

I started to think that, yes, I too deserved to be happy with my career. I was also starting to realize how much I was being taken advantage of.

This comment from Erin was a ray of hope:

My advice, Take it one day at a time, and when the days of unhappiness are beginning to affect who you know you are then I hate to say it but it’s time for a change. The motto, “It all works out” has helped me have the courage to risk it all for my dreams! I hope this helps!

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Emerson

I loved this sentence, “When the days of unhappiness are beginning to affect who you know you are then it’s time for a change.”

I teared up when I read that sentence because I knew that I was not the same person anymore. Eric could see that I was not the same person anymore.

I was losing myself big time.

Winter 2009:

My commute over the winter got worse. I remember one day it took me 4 hours to get to work in a brutal snowstorm. I had called my boss that morning asking if I could possibly work from home and she told me, No, I was to come in. I remember being so filled with anxiety as I left the house that morning. We had already gotten over 30 cm of snow, and it was only getting worse outside. As I drove to work that morning, I called Eric sobbing.

My car was sliding all over the road and I was risking my life….and for what!?!! Eric was absolutely furious that I had to go into work and told me to stay home, but I felt obligated and left anyways.

Make a Plan And Take Small Steps Each Day:

I decided to take small steps each day that would help me achieve a happier situation. I am not impulsive by any means and I knew there was no way I could just up and quit a secure job without a plan. I knew that I had to have a plan to succeed.

I spoke to a financial advisor and made a plan. I opened up a high interest savings account that I could not remove money from even if I wanted to.

I was able to save a good chunk of my income as a security blanket should I ever leave my job. Every two weeks, I put a portion of my income into savings.

I highly recommend speaking to a financial planner. It is amazing how clear they make things seem and how they can help you cut your current costs to allow for savings. I stopped going out to eat, movies, bars, etc. I didn’t spend any money on myself. I cancelled my cell phone plan. I brought my lunch to work and never went out with co-workers to buy tea or coffee. I carpooled when I could, etc. All of these sacrifices added up. It was not a happy time, but just knowing that I was taking steps made me feel better.

Having money in savings gives you the power of choice.

I also started to research other job options. I applied for jobs steadily throughout the winter. I had very few calls, but I persisted on. I also started to research starting up a bakery. It was more of a fantasy at that time, but it was fun for me to learn about the industry and if it was right for me.

At the start of 2009, I set a ton of goals and resolutions to distract myself (one of which was start an online bakery oddly enough!). It kept my hopes alive and kept me dreaming. No matter how unrealistic I thought my dreams or goals were, I knew that I should never lose sight of them or I would be giving in and accepting unhappiness as a way of life.

One of the biggest lessons I learned was that I was often my biggest hurdle. My mind was my biggest hurdle. I was filled with so much stress and doubt that I didn’t have much confidence in myself to pursue other aspirations. Let me tell you this: I never ever thought that I could start up a business, let alone leave my job. That was something that other, successful women did…not me of all people.

My moment of impulsive clarity:

And then something happened that I now call my Moment of Impulsive Clarity.

I had a really, really bad day at work.

I’m talking worst of the worst. I can’t go into detail of course, but it was bad.

I remember being so anxious that I felt like I was going to have a panic attack (something that has never happened to me before). I was sick with anxiety over it. I was also angry, very angry. I was being blamed harshly for something that was not my fault.

And then my boss called me angrily and told me to come to the meeting room.

Picture this as I walked down the hallway:

My heart was pounding…

I wiped away a tear that streamed down my face…

I was almost shaking I was so upset.

The walk down the hall felt like a mile.

And you know what I did?

I had a moment of clarity.

I finally saw what my job was doing to me. PHYSICALLY!

I sat down in the office and got yelled at.

And you know what I did?

I told my boss that I was leaving.

Yes, I QUIT.

Me, the people pleaser of all people pleasers found the courage to quit. My hands were shaking like a LEAF when I told my boss. And embarrassingly enough, I started to CRY. I wish I could say that I was strong and I just walked out of there, but I didn’t. I cried. In front of my boss.

I was so overwhelmed.

I was also mortified, but the tension had been built up inside me for so long I just couldn’t compose myself.

And you know what? I was finally being true to myself.

I am a very sensitive person. I had denied my feelings for so long that eventually something will give. You can only deny who you are for so long before something snaps.

I told my boss that I couldn’t do it anymore and the stress was just eating me up inside. I was finally honest about everything. I couldn’t stop talking. It was as if a trigger in side me was released and everything just came out.

My boss’s jaw literally hit the floor when I said I was leaving. It was one of those surreal experiences where you feel like you are outside of yourself watching a bad movie or something and you can’t quite look away. I wanted to crawl under the table and die.

I told my boss I was giving my two week’s notice, officially. She tried to persuade me to stay for a couple months to tie up loose ends, but I knew I couldn’t. I stood up for myself.

After our meeting, I walked down to my office in a haze. I was still shaking like a leaf. I was in shock.

I walked into my office, closed the door, and told my coworker what I just did. I was still shaking and sat at my desk in a haze.

And little did I know that my final 2 weeks would be amongst the unhappiest of all…

Stay tuned for Part 6.

Angela Signature thumb8   A Year Can Change A Lot: Part 5 

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. ~C. DuBois

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

~A. Cohen

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl October 5, 2009

So thought-provoking – thank you for this.

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Amy October 5, 2009

I quit my job last week. I’ve been there for 4 years. I cried too so I know exactly what you mean!

But, I’m excited to say that I’m pursuing my dream to make healthy eating and food my career. After finishing my training as a natural foods chef, an opportunity came up to work with Whole Foods as a Healthy Eating Community Educator. I’m so excited that I’m going to be able to make my dream a reality and can’t wait to get started at the end of October! Of course, I’m still nervous about giving up a secure job, but I just knew that I’d regret it forever if I didn’t take this opportunity.

Can’t wait to hear the rest of your story! Of course, I know it’s all working out for you now and I’m using that as my guidance as I go through this crazy time as well :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

Congrats!!!!

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 5, 2009

That is great!! congrats and good luck on your journey!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 5, 2009

I have been waiting for this!! You seriously are inspiring me to make life changes!!!

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Bridget October 5, 2009

Wow! That was a very courageous thing to do (telling your boss you quit) especially under the situation you were in.

It’s amazing what you have accomplished since then. You are fulfilling your dreams and doing what makes you happy :) Yay!

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Angi October 5, 2009

I could feel myself getting sick to my stomach as you talked about your anxiety.

I fear you are bringing me to moment of clarity of my own.

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Sarah October 5, 2009

This is such an inspirational story. So poignant. I’m in awe. It’s such a beautiul thing to discover the strength we all possess inside at the least likely of times. Thank you for gringo your experience and encouraging us all to pursue our dreams!

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kay (eating machine) October 5, 2009

i haven’t been reading your blog for too terribly long, but you always seem like such a happy, upbeat person-it’s crazy to think you were having such a negative, stressful time less than a year ago! you should be proud of yourself for making all those changes!

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Deb October 5, 2009

Angela-

So enlightening for me to read about this part of your journey. I can hardly wait for Part 6.

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Meghan@traveleatlove October 5, 2009

Its been very interesting following these posts. I like the bit about making small steps each day. Even though I am at times miserable with work, I know that in my spare time I am making small steps toward working in a field that I will be passionate about.

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Milca October 5, 2009

Wow, this was the best post yet. Very touching and unfortunately I can say that I was in your shoes one day. I remember crying in front of my boss and thinking, Stop Crying.. Don’t look so vulnerable but I couldn’t help it. Everything that you write hits really close to home. Thank you for opening your heart to us.

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Janine October 5, 2009

OMIGOD! Why do we do this to ourselves! I endured a job I absolutely loathed for 15 years! I was the one sacking and “disciplining” people. I’m a very compassionate person, so I bled inside everytime I had to do it, because it was my role to carry out these tasks on behalf of the nasty mining company I was working for. I made so many people unhappy, and I was a mess. I made myself extremely ill, and now since I was forced to leave my job over a year ago due to being nearly dead – I now realise how stressed I was. Why do we wait until we are desperate before we make these decisions? My life and health has been seriously affected by ‘hanging on, and toughing it out’. So for goodness sake, if anyone is doing that – please stop now.

Happily now, a fair bit of credit to your wonderful blog, I am now about to start studying Nutritional Medicine. I’m very excited.

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 5, 2009

Reading this makes me want to stand up and cheer: WOOOO GO ANGELA!! You are so brave!! And honestly, whenever I think about goals for myself, I sometimes think of you and how just not too long ago you were in a job you didn’t like and were brave enough to say, “no, I deserve happiness.” And now you have an awesome bakery and wonderful blog that helps and inspires so many. It is awesome!! I try to remember stories like this when I think to myself, “oh, I could never do THAT…” whatever THAT may be at my present thinking. Hope this makes sense, just worked 12.5 hours in the ICU!!

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White Rabbit October 5, 2009

I have been in a situation like you described with your boss. I vowed after that job that I would never stay in a situtaion that made me so miserable. It’s just not worth it. I think it takes a while to learn that lesson but once you get it, then it really stays with you. Good on you for making such a brave decision… I am dying to read the next instalment.

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Jolene October 5, 2009

Angela – you are one strong woman! I am inspired by you, and I look forward to part 7 :-)

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Jil October 5, 2009

Angela, that quote by Alan Cohen (I Googled it to see who it was…haha)is just…so fitting to my own life. I read it and was taken aback by how perfectly it fit.

The one thing I love about the blogging community (aside from how supportive everyone is) is how it truly does help an individual see that they are not alone. I think every person thinks, “Oh gosh, I am the only person who feels this way…” and that’s part of why bad experiences can be so isolating…in turn making them worse.

Thank you so much for sharing your story — you are so brave!!

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Erin October 5, 2009

Thanks for quoting me Angela! If I had not listened to my gut instincts, I would be severely unhappy right now. Instead I am doing something I am passionate about and enjoying, even though it’s out of my comfort zone. I picked up my life, moved to a yoga center to work and LIVE, and although it sounded crazy, it sounded right, and hey sometimes crazy is alright:-)

I’m very proud of you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

Thats so awesome to hear that it worked out for you!

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Katie (A Running Start) October 5, 2009

This series has been so enlightening! I have been thinking about the people pleaser I am and the hindrance I create in my own dreams. Isn’t it sad that the person we sell the shortest is so often ourselves. :( I’m so happy that I know this story has a happy ending :)

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leatitia October 5, 2009

It is such a powerful post. I love this serie. I can’t believe this was happenning a year ago. Amazing journey.

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K October 5, 2009

You are such an inspiration! Everything you have to say is so true too- life is too short to spend it hating your job. You should totally be a motivational speaker (or write a book on it)…
-K

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Paige@ RunningAroundNormal October 5, 2009

What a powerful story! That was so courageous of you, Ange!

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Bree October 5, 2009

“If you don’t take a chance, you don’t have a chance.”

;-)

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Anne P October 5, 2009

Great post. I have totally been there, too.

I love that last quote – I actually had that posted on my wall last year while I was in Prague teaching English!

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Rebekah October 5, 2009

I am truly enjoying your posts. I like to think that one can do anything one wishes to do. If you really want something you’ll make the necessary changes to make it happen. I had the chance at the best job I could possibly have ever had but I threw it all away. I didn’t want it enough to make the necessary changes. I guess you can go with the whole, “at least you tried and you won’t regret it” but I disagree. I wish I had never tried because then I would have never failed. I agree with the person who commented about when it begins to affect who you are. Perhaps I shouldn’t regret it when I know that is exactly what was happening to me. Thank you for sharing this.

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Maureen October 5, 2009

4 years ago I was working for the “boss from hell” and literally had enough so much so that I took a job I knew in my gut was not right for me just so I could quit. I could not quit without another job to go to. However I had reached the point where I just could not go back. Well I believe there is someone looking out for me as 2 weeks into the new job which definitely was a mistake I got a call for a great job for a company where I had a great boss and a challenging position. In this economy though I have had to change jobs again but I strongly believe that if you believe in yourself you can create opportunities. I now have a really good position in a company that offers great opportunities. I think what has helped me is that I truly love what I do and I try focus on what I have learned in a given situation and take that with me on my journey through life.
You are the same age as my oldest child and I find what you have accomplished is inspiring, I also believe that people should follow their passions especially when very few truly have one. I cannot wait to read part 6

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

So glad to hear this :) Good for you. I think every experience, even the bad ones, teach us things. For me it just took a few hits on the head for it to click. haah

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Gillian October 5, 2009

I totally would have cried if I were in your shoes at that point also. I am known for letting my emotions build and build inside me then just opening the gates and letting what I need to get out actually OUT! We might be strong ladies most of the time, but I think every once and a while its good to let our feelings show!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

I totally agree…
And even though it was embarassing, it was also liberating. It was like, you know what I’m not this hard shell of a person…and I’m glad I’m not either, that was the best part to realize.

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Whitney @ Lettuce Love October 5, 2009

That was a great post – thanks for sharing! You are truly inspiring. I am learning so much from you story and your experiences. I agree that everything happens for a reason and the world has a way of working things out for each of us. I am looking forward to reading part 6–can’t wait!

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Emily October 5, 2009

These are your best entries yet, Angela. If there was an “Oh She Glows” award this series would be the winner!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

haha thanks for making me smile! ;) Glad you enjoy

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Trish (GirlatGym) October 5, 2009

I have had horrid jobs before – ones that made me so unhappy. When a job is making you feel that bad, it’s totally time to move forward in a new direction. I quit and knew it was the best thing. Of course, I had plans in place, I didn’t leave myself in a pinch.

Now I am lucky now to be blessed with two really great jobs. I love, love my day job. And my night job is a good second job.

And loving this series! :-)

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Kris October 5, 2009

Hooray for realizing your dreams and for having the courage to take the plunge! I knew you could do it! I am so happy that you wake up and enjoy your career now. I have seen a huge change in you since you left your job :)

WAY TO GO!!!

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Heather October 5, 2009

These stories are all so amazing! I recently quit my 9-5 job and while it was just that: a job and NOT a career, it was still liberating. It was causing me so much unneeded stress and the damage it was causing was NOT worth it. I’ve traded it for the stress of being a full-time student again, but at least that will get me somewhere. Congrats to you for standing up for yourself and for figuring out what you really want to do with your life!

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels October 5, 2009

I have never given two weeks notice and had it actually been two weeks. I am also a people pleaser and I always let them talk me into more time to “tie up the loose ends” that your boss was begging you for. Good for you Angela. I’m waiting for part 6

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

Oh boy do I ever hear you!

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ReinventingSandyB October 5, 2009

Dear Angela,
You have inspired many tonight, especially young women like you. Congratulations girl, congratulations.

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Tracey @ TropicalHappiness October 5, 2009

I could actually FEEL that angst and fear and unhappiness as you told your story! It takes SO MUCH courage to quit like you did and follow your dreams! Congrats to you for doing it. And even bigger congrats for doing it RESPONSIBLY… when you have a plan in mind, and some money saved up.

One of my favorite quotes is totally appropriate for you… “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2009

oh I LOVE that quote!!!!!! Gives me chills actually

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Priyanka October 5, 2009

Thanks for sharing this Ange!!

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Lena October 5, 2009

Thank you Angie for this great post… it came very timely. i am in the midst of a turning point in my life. and i am not sure if i have made the right decision, i recently told my boss i was going back to a part-time load, which means giving up a stable income, having to look for several jobs and working harder. but i knew i had to even though i am unsure of the income and what will happen next year but i was getting unhappy at work more than the no of times i am looking forward to work. i like the people i work with but the nature of the job is killing me, i don’t really know how to explain.
moreover, i find myself not really knowing what to look for. In anycase, your post is a great comfort and reminder that i made the right move. I must look forward and try to be more positive and pro-active in searching for what i want.

Thank you again. :) Have a great day!

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Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 5, 2009

Angela, I love this series that you’re doing. Although I’m in a different situation, in most ways it’s completely similar. I feel like I’ve been searching for my “calling”, my “dream” for years. I’ve been unemployed more often than not the past year plus. It’s so frustrating, and I wish I could change, just pursue something, make some dream come true. However, I also don’t have much padding/ financial security because I never really got into a career/ good job post-college. I tell myself everyday that one day I will be employed, by myself or others, and that it will be something that I love. It’s great to see stories like yours to further my positivity that life will turn around. :)

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Jessica October 5, 2009

People pleasers and worker-bees: If you know you’re doing a great job and your employer is not, fire them. Take your greatness elsewhere.

It’s inspiring to read your story. It is so important for people to work where they are passionate, especially considering how much of our lives are given to a job. Good for you for realizing your worth. A month ago, I was in the lobby of my building, realizing that I was going to wake up everyday feeling as bad as I did coming to that place. I went upstairs, printed my already typed and saved letter of resignation and gave my notice. Yesterday, I accepted an opportunity with a company that I would never have thought possible.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2009

Awesome!

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Shannon, Tropical Eats October 5, 2009

We all must do what we love, and love what we do. Thank you for this post Ang. Work should never equal pain. We need happy things in our life to keep us going! Can’t wait to read the next post in this series.

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Tamara Lea October 5, 2009

Your story is inspiring, and it reminds me of a time when I was in a career-identity crisis. I am a big believer that if we do (for a living) what we love, we will be happy and the money won’t matter (but inevitably enough money will follow). It took 5 years to fully make the change, but I am now in a job I love and my prospects for the future look great. And I make more than enough money despite my fears of being a bag lady. :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2009

I totally agree with that too. Now that I enjoy what I am doing, working the long hours doesn’t matter. Its a whole different ballgame.

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Rachael (La Dolce Vita) October 5, 2009

I am at the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment…

Your post reminds me of the time I quit my very unhealthy and unhappy job. You are such an inspiration, I can’t wait to read all about how you got where you are now…

I LOOOOOOVE your blog, it’s one of my absolute favourites :)

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