Last week I wrote this:
Exhaustion + Stress + Pushing Too Hard + CRAMPS + Did I Eat Something I Shouldn’t? = 1 ½ Sick Days for Me.
I should have stayed home Monday through Wednesday this week but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the burden of work on someone else.
Over the last few months, I’ve spent more time crying on my boyfriend’s shoulder, saying “oh, fuck it” about eating healthy, and waking up in the middle of the night worried about work than anyone should ever have to do. I can’t even think of the last time I’ve endured this much stress and weathered it nearly so well.
It wasn’t until Monday when I started getting the anxiety pains I used to get in college that I finally acknowledged what I was doing to my body though all of this. While I care very deeply about the quality of my work and about making sure things are running as smoothly as possible at work, I come first.
I’ve been making half assed attempts to apply elsewhere but haven’t found anything that I thought was a really good fit just yet. Suddenly, though, I’m taking this more seriously because I realized that I’m pouring my time, effort, energy, and everything else I’ve got into building the life that my boss wants for him and that I’m doing at the expense of mine.
And, I realized that I just plain wasn’t okay with that.
It seems that the universe is really speaking to me about this right now, or that I’m just finally paying attention because connections and opportunities have suddenly popped up. Nothing’s gone anywhere yet but it’s an encouraging start.
And then, this morning, this popped into my blog reader from Seth Godin’s blog:
You’re not lucky to have this job, they’re lucky to have you. Every day, you invest a little bit of yourself into your work, and one of the biggest choices available to you is where you’ll be making that investment.
That project that you’re working on, or that boss you report to… worth it?
Investing in the wrong place for a week or a month won’t kill you. But spending ten years contributing to something that you don’t care about, or working with someone who doesn’t care about you… you can do better.
It’s true. I work really hard for my company and I care about what we’re doing to a certain extent but my company doesn’t care about me. That’s become apparent over the last few months when the atmosphere at work went from tense to inappropriate.
And then this happened:
Over the course of last weekend and this week I realized that I was never going to be valued at my company and that I was never going to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve put in since I started there.
It felt so much like many of my relationships from years past where I was fighting to be loved and valued. The problem with that is that it’s not about me, it’s about them. I cannot change my company but I can change the company I work for.
So, I gave notice and am looking for a new job.
It’s nerve wracking. I woke up at 2:00am last night (aaaaand finished this post…) thinking, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!” but I made the right decision.
In a few weeks I’ll have no income and no health insurance but it’s a risk that I’m willing to take because I deserve better.
So, what now?
I don’t know. I’m scared.
But I’m also confident that I’ve made the right decision.
I am really good at my job. I’m the girl that knows how to get things done, how to figure things out, and how to make things work. I’m the person you want on your team. Yet, I’ve been applying these skills toward someone else’s goals. I can’t help but step back now and wonder why I haven’t applied any of this to my own goals.
As I thought through this, it quickly became apparent that the answer was I don’t know what my goals are anymore. I have no idea where I’m trying to go or what I’m trying to do. My life has been turned upside down in so many (mostly good) ways since I last had a clear vision of what I wanted that I just plain don’t know anymore.
About six years ago I finally realized that I didn’t want to be a missionary but I was afraid of what I did want. I wanted to perform. I wanted to be an opera singer but I couldn’t say that out loud because I was so scared of it. So, it kind of got lost amongst simply trying to live.
I’m training with a teacher now, but I wonder if that is still what I want professionally. Will that actually fulfill me? Is that enough? And, how do I make a living in the meantime?
My world became so consumed with serving my company that I lost my sense of what I want. So, as scary as it is to not have an income, I’ve walked out the door in the hope that I’ll be able to clearly see the next door that opens and whether or not I want to walk through it.
I’d say “maybe I’m crazy,” but we all already know that’s true.