It has been 30 days since I left my last job and aside from almost forgetting the one-month mark, I feel like it’s been 84 years, just like the old lady in Titanic.
I left my job for a myriad of reasons, the prevailing being I was moving across the country and didn’t have remote capabilities. I was also, however, ready to go and the timing of me moving and me being ready to leave my job was perfect.
Another, darker, reason was simply that I had become a self-fulfilling prophecy of the negativity that would often grip the entire office. I was told that I was failing so hard at my job that I just started failing so hard at my job. Even now I have a hard time coming to grips with the amount of stress and the difficulty with which I performed what were once simple tasks in my job description.
I still sometimes feel like it’s all my fault I was moved to three different positions during my 18 month tenure. I still sometimes feel like I was never good enough or experienced enough to work there in the first place. As inconvenient as these thoughts are now that I’m removed from the situation, they don’t match the negativity and stress I felt while working. It’s only a month on that I realize that even a relationship with your job can progress from taxing, to stressful, to full on toxic. My mind dug deep to get me through. It went so deep that it was not until I saw a photo of myself one month into my job that I realized how much suffering was inflicted by staying on.
I could physically see how a 20 pound weight gain took hold but also how it concentrated in my face, which I learned, is because of stress!
Now that I’m out, I can see the stress leaving my body. I can also believe myself when I say that it was never just my fault, solely my responsibility, and that my role was not my niche and that it’s not as easy to find your niche as it is for other people. Other people faced their challenges, too. I think with any major life achievement, be it marriage, doctoral degree, a major promotion, there’s a lot of hard work involved, and some luck. There’s also many people out there at many different stages and I would hate to see a world where everyone just got the perfect job right out of college and lived happily ever after. Where’s the fun in such a uniform experience?
My life feels more meaningful now that I moved on. I learned many lessons which may appear in listicle form in a later post. I still feel wary of joining another work culture, another company, another game of office politics. I’m very fortunate that I can work outside, in nature, while I figure out my next steps in my career. It provides a shelter away from the fast lane. I can enjoy my talents and apply them to pursuits, like writing, that were neglected in the face of stress. I also get to enjoy all of the wonderful memories made with friends. New causes I took on. New experiences I participated in. It all comes together to build a foundation for whatever comes next.