realisation

Quite the title and I am sorry if the post that is following it is underwhelming… or maybe not. Who can or will judge? It’s all a way of personal perception.

In my last post, I mentioned that I quit my job. It came as a surprise to most and was not relatable to most either.

But here is what happened… to explain it, I need to go back about twelve, thirteen months.

In March 2021, I had shoulder surgery. I was working at a nursery, a job I loved, and that was really fulfilling for me. Of course, I was not always happy; there were the usual riffs and misunderstandings when thirteen or more women are working together. It is what it is. But the work, yeah, I loved that. The surgery went more or less well, but in my recovery, I had some complications and setbacks (still am not back to 100%…), so much so that my surgeon decided that I could not go back to work at the nursery. I had to look for another job. And one came about rather unexpectedly. You see, before I had surgery, I was told that the worst-case scenario would be that I could not go back to my old job, and I sent applications and had interviews, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that I didn’t want to quit the nursery. I was not ready. Anyway, one of those interviews was very interesting, I did not get the job, but they forwarded my application to another department without my knowledge. A couple weeks after surgery, I got a call. It was early April. I was invited to an interview, and then and there, on the spot, I was invited for trial days. On the second day, I was told that the job was mine. I was elated because I had a future to look forward to. It was a foster home for pregnant teens and underaged mothers. When one of the setbacks meant staying on sick leave for another month, they told me they wanted me badly and would wait for me. Isn’t that an ego boost?

I was enthusiastic when I started the new job. I knew that I had every skill needed to do something good for these lost girls. But, it turned out that my shoulder was still acting up after physical work – we took care of the babies and toddlers when the moms were at school… But that was not all. There was negative energy at that place that drained me. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you certainly noticed my mood and depression being bad. I was unhappy. Deeply sad and affected by the negativity I encountered daily. As if I was soaking it up, and at the same time, I was fighting it off. After all, everyone told me how good I was supposed to feel about my job, how lucky I was to have found something that fitted my character and skills so well. I always smiled politely, but inside I was torn. Why was I not happier, and why couldn’t I simply adapt. Why did a job like this – a dream job really, make me miserable? I can and will not go into more detail about what happened at work that added to this. I know it would help you understand better, but I am not allowed to go into detail, and I will not talk or write bad about this job.

Slowly, I decided that this new job was not for me. I needed things to change. I didn’t like myself anymore, and it became a bit dangerous on a very personal level. (self-harm, self-sabotage, self-neglect…).

In February and March this year, I sent out seven applications. I was invited to six interviews.

I was positive that one of these interviews would turn out the way I wanted it to. I had two preferences but didn’t dare to dream. On the other hand, I felt so confident that I would be offered one of these jobs that I decided to be transparent with my boss, and I told her that I would leave and resign in mid-April. I was invited for a meeting with the head of our department. She wanted to know why I was leaving and if there was anything that could be done to make me stay at the company. She even told me that people with my skills who can do it all (work with teens, babies, know how to operate a computer, and have an overall grasp of the work that should be done) are very hard to find. She went on to say that they were very lucky to have found me. It was very nice to hear all that. But my mind was made up.

Last week, I officially quit the job – I have five weeks’ notice. I did not have a new job at that moment. Nothing was offered. I felt unsure and insecure.

Add my husband to the mix, who was entirely against me quitting, saying that I should stay on until something new was more concrete. I understand where he came from, but I couldn’t. It was killing me. It sounds dramatic, but I felt that way. We did not fight, but he did not hide that he was disappointed that I was giving up.

And then, everything happened at once. On Friday, I officially quit. On Monday, I had three job offers, amongst them the job I had favoured from the start. I took the job, sent everything they needed to write the contract, and I will sign it in two weeks. And I will start a new job in mid-May. There won’t be nightshift, no work on weekends or on Holidays, a more routine way of living again. And I am looking forward to it.

This morning, I had a realisation about this entire story: I think the job I just quit was sort of a rebound job. I had to quit the job I loved, and I did something I liked about didn’t love for a while. It was/is not my job. Not my team. Not my dream. And I had to let it go. I had to let it go and accept it, even if there was an uncertainty in my life for a while. Okay, that while could have been a lot longer than it was in the end, but still. I have a mortgage to pay and other responsibilities. I have three kids who deserve their mom.

Since I resigned from my job, I have been filled with energy. This week, I am off. It was a planned week of vacation. I didn’t expect it to be such a productive week for me. And it is only Thursday. But I actually got up every morning and did stuff. I went shopping, cleaned the house in a way I hadn’t done in a year (it’s almost embarrassing to admit, but it is the truth), and I feel hopeful. For the first time in a while. I feel relieved. It is as if I am retaking control of my life.

But I also feel selfish. I am moving on in my life without asking for permission. I am doing what is right by me and for me without taking others and their needs into consideration. When everything fell into place for that new job on Monday and Tuesday, I told my husband right away. I share everything with him, apart from my deepest sorrows. I don’t want to burden him with that. Anyway, I told him, and he did not even congratulate me. No “well done,” nothing. Only just a “you need to sign the contract, or you will be without an income.” It dampened my mood and my joy about the entire situation. It still does. If he cannot be happy for me or proud that I did so well in such a short time – I don’t know. I need that. I need someone to be proud and happy.

I told my best friend, and he immediately called and said congrats and how proud he was. He said that he knew that I would get the job because I am intelligent and clever and have skills. And I just wished my husband had said these things. Maybe he can’t, I am not sure. Maybe he doesn’t really care anymore, I don’t know. Maybe he can’t show his emotions anymore. But really, we have been together for 22 years, a little praise should be feasible. Why can’t he support me? He never even read one of my books or my poetry. It’s as if he doesn’t take me seriously at times. I won’t go into that now. As you may notice, it irks me. And still – I am proud of myself. For everything I achieved. With the thought in the back of my mind that my start in this life (childhood and adolescence) wasn’t easy, and that I fought for everything I have. Nothing was ever handed to me.

I was miserable for entirely too long. It’s time to move on. To be who I can and want to be.

Maybe this all sounds sad or disapproving, but let me assure you. I am quitting my current job, knowing that I learned a lot. I changed lives and I did the best I could during that time. It was an experience that helped me step forward and therefore, I am grateful. That is something that will never change: I am always grateful for experiences, lessons, and new knowledge. I met interesting people and people I don’t like, but that’s just how life works.

Life and love work in mysterious ways.

4 thoughts on “realisation

  1. There is no need to ask permission to take care of ourselves. You could have just as easily named this post resilience and you have every reason to be proud and joyful for taking action. Resigning without another job in hand was a message to yourself that your worth it. Nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I identify and empathize with so many of the things you wrote about in this post. For much of my career, I’ve had similar inner conflicts that affected how I felt about those jobs, often to my own detriment. Still, it’s disappointing that your husband could not share, or at least acknowledge, any joy about your getting a new job. People who do not suffer from depression, anxiety, or the kinds of internal conflicts you and I experience, cannot seem to understand what we go through. They often have the attitude that we just need to ‘buck up, get over ourselves, and deal with it’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it… “Just go with it!” But I cannot do that, because I feel how wrong it is to me. I feel selfish, but at the same time, I rarely do what I want without taking others into consideration. I need this. And maybe this new job is not what I expect it to be and maybe it is not the job I keep for years to come, but at least I tried.
      In my adult life, there are 4 things I did solely for myself:
      -Seeing Her Name is Calla in Brussels and having a life-changing hug
      -Publishing my poetry in paperback books, knowing full-well that people would be condescending about it
      -Travelling to the Netherlands all by myself and spending the weekend with strangers
      And
      -Looking for a new job and taking it…
      Those are the only things I ever did without asking anyone for permission or feeling the need to explain myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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