Monday, April 8, 2013

Suddenly, Sadness

People, I'm not going to lie to you: I'd been looking for a new job for a while. Not because I hated working from home, because I didn't. Except, of course, for the part where I could successfully -- and that should be in air quotes, like "Successfully" -- go several days without speaking to another human being in person.

That seemed like a problem.

There were other problems, too. Like when one of my favorite people got fired suddenly.  Like the fact that I didn't have benefits and probably never would. Like the fact that I was working between 11 and 13 hours a day, every day, for a company I didn't actually own. Like the reality that I would get a "nice job" on a regular basis and continue taking on new responsibilities, but hadn't had a raise since 2010.

You know, stuff like that.

If it sounds like I'm complaining, I don't mean it to. That was the deal, all of that stuff, so I dealt with it.  For about four and a half years, it was totally fine.

Then I just burned out.

I don't think anyone was surprised.

So I started looking for another job. It took me quite some time to find one. The good thing about looking for a job while you have a job is just that: you have a job.

The bad thing about looking for a job while you have a job is that every job that you don't get an interview for is a reminder that you're stuck somewhere that's making you increasingly unhappy. I think it would be like being a zoo animal in a cage that sits on its natural habitat. I was a giraffe that could see other, happy, free roaming giraffes through the bars of my enclosure.

This did not make me a happy giraffe.

I don't like to live in negatives, so I found the things in my day that I did like and tried to work with those. Dance parties in the office! Hanging with the Bean! Writing! Anything that could help me to be positive and hold on to the shreds of my sanity that hadn't already flown out the window.

Eventually, I found a new job.

Released. To go play with other giraffes.

This was clearly awesome.

But it also made me a little sad, and I had to think about why.

I took that job -- the one I was leaving -- when I was at a low, low point in my life, and I was convinced that I wasn't really ever going to be good at anything again. I quickly discovered that I was wrong -- I was REALLY good at that job. I got promoted several times during my first year there. It was exciting and affirming in an "Oh, hey, apparently I am not worthless" kind of a way. It also gave me the opportunity to travel on my own, which wasn't something I had really done before and which was an amazingly positive thing for me.

Some people go to India and find themselves. I found myself in a computer screen and the airports of America.  While that's not going to be a bestselling memoir, it worked quite well for me.

So I stayed. Through turmoil and changes in ownership and mismanagement and lack of money. I stayed and I worked through it. My employment with that company lasted longer than the marriage that ended in divorce that caused me to go work for that company in the first place.

It makes sense that leaving would be a little sad. So I was.

But today? Today I start something totally new -- and that's not even a little sad.

That's just exciting.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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