When I started this blog, I went back and forth in my mind over whether to make it anonymous, thus allowing me to be brutally honest about anything and everything happening in my life, or whether to attach my real name and identifying details, and therefore have to be a bit more careful about what I said. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t want to write an anonymous blog that nobody in my actual life would be able to read, and I decided that maybe I should aim to be more positive and uplifting in my writing, focusing on happy joyful things, rather than all the negativity spinning me around.
Therefore, many of you had no idea how unhappy I’d been at my job for a long time. I’d been with the same nonprofit for over 12 years in various capacities. I’d stuck around, and been a valued contributor, through not one, but two restructurings. I’d seen my daily tasks change drastically multiple times, following the current funding streams. All in all, I’d been pretty happy, and I’d believed in our mission, and I’d felt like what I did made a difference in the world.
Until about a year ago. At that point, we lost a staff member who was amazing at her job, and just amazing at being a human being. She had impossible tasks thrust upon her with little to no leadership, and she quickly said, “No thank you,” and moved along to greener pastures. The powers that be elected not to fill her position. Guess who took on the impossible tasks? Me.
Other duties came and went during the past year, with most of the things I liked and felt made a real difference in the world diminishing, and the things I disliked increasing. We lost more staff members who weren’t replaced. I had more tasks piled upon me. I went from working directly with teachers and children to fundraising and sales. Ultimately I found myself in the miserable situation of working crazy long hours at a job I wasn’t very good at and essentially hated. My physical, spiritual, and emotional health deteriorated drastically.
I had no social life, because I didn’t have the time or the energy. I’d come home from work and crash into bed, just to wake up to the daunting task of doing it all over again the next day. I’d spend any off time I had meditating, doing yoga, walking, thinking positively, reading uplifting books, anything to nourish my soul, in an attempt to make my life okay. Then I’d go back to work Monday morning, and within hours, I was miserable again.
I tried to make it work. I had open and honest conversations with my supervisor, with her supervisor, all the way up to the CEO and the board. I complained about what was going wrong. I brought suggestions about how we could do things better. Nothing changed. It was becoming more and more clear that I couldn’t continue to stay in my job and remain a sane, ALIVE human being.
I’d been half-heartedly applying for jobs for about nine months, and then as the pressure and misery increased, I spent every off work moment I had scouring job listings and applying for everything I could. You guys, I went so far as to start frequenting a metaphysical shop in town, talking with these women about what I could do to bring about this change. I purchased candles, books, essential oils, stones, anything I could get my hands on that couldn’t hurt, might help. I’d cast spells by the dark of the new moon, imploring the Universe to bring me relief.
Eventually, I had two people I respect immensely separately come to me out of the blue, with two separate job propositions. Right at the same time, I got an interview, and then a second interview, and ultimately an offer for a job with the state. Any one of these jobs would have been a vast improvement over my current situation. All three of them were for less money. I didn’t care.
As I sat in those interviews, I was astonished to find that these people wanted to hear what I had to say. These people respected my education, experience, and opinions. They were kind. They were calm. They were reasonable. They unquestionably wanted what I had to offer, and they were thrilled that I would even consider bringing those skills and credentials to their offices. It was such an astonishing difference from the environment I’d spent the past several years in, it brought me to tears multiple times over the past few weeks.
I made the decision about which job to take based upon several factors, including salary, benefits, daily tasks, and let’s be real, how fast they could have me start. Because I needed out. My life depended on it. I’m not being dramatic there. It’s the truth.
I accepted the offer to work for the state, and I gave my notice at work. So, Friday was my last day at a job I’ve held for essentially 12 years. My living room is piled with boxes of files and personal items I’ll take with me to my own greener pastures in a few days. My head is spinning. It mostly doesn’t seem real.
I’m so used to going to bed stewing and worrying and waking up in the same kind of panic over my job. It’s going to take me a few months to recover and adjust to a new way of living my life. I’ve had conversations with several people who have left the organization over the years, and every one of them tells me my entire life is going to change for the better in the coming months.
I believe them. And just in case it might help, I’m going to go light a candle now, and maybe watch Office Space.