Be sure to check out Caitlin’s huge giveaway for Operation Beautiful! I donated 20 variety pak Glo Bars for the contest. There are also tons of other great prizes to be won so check it out and submit your OB notes!
A Year Can Change A Lot: Part 5
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.
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.
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.