Yes, I’m multi-lingual. (Confession: I’m using Google translat
So today I’ll be discussing the second major crossroad I’ve encountered in the last few years. This crossroads took place in 2009.
Having recently quit my long time
boring desk job office job in 2008 as a business analyst at a well-known insurance company, (No names please!) I found myself working for a small business owner….for less pay….as a receptionist. *face palm*
I made the transition from a place of desperation. The business analyst work was boring. It was a newly created position and I spent long hours “finding work” to keep me busy. Not cool. So like I said, the move was a desperate one. Sure it was less pay, but I’ve always maintained that the money didn’t matter as long as I liked the work. SPOILERS: I didn’t like this work either.
In fact the old saying Jumping from the frying pan into the fire pretty much summed up that experience.
8 months in and I was so incredibly depressed I began contemplating my demise. On my drive home at lunch I thought about ramming my car into the median so I didn’t have to go back to work.
Yup, that’s how bad it was.
I started therapy. It was my second round in 7 years. This time I was completely focused on how much I hated my job. (The first revolved around my parents divorce and a rather rocky relationship with my ex-mother-in-law) The psychologist was blunt with me – just how I like it – and asked “Why don’t you just quit your job?”
HA! Quit my job? Without a backup plan? Yeah right! Easy for a psychologist to say. She probably had LOADS of money stashed away for “emergencies” or what not. This girl had a grand put away for a holiday in England but THAT WAS IT.
But she persisted. I went home after my session and told Brandon (we were just dating at the time) about my psychologist’s advice. Needless to say he was less than pleased that she was trying to convince me to stop working. I could see him calculating how we’d pay the bills. And then I told him about the driving-into-oncoming-traffic thoughts and my concern that if I didn’t leave the toxic environment that I was working in (my boss was verbally and mentally abusive) that I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d be around. You know…like breathing and stuff.
I was scared. Brandon was scared. So we agreed that I’d quit the next day.
You might think that was the crossroads, and I guess in a lot of ways it was. But really it’s what happened after that I want to focus on. I spent the next 3 months unemployed. I was finding myself. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
I cried. I journalled. I began meditating. I started drawing with charcoals and pastels. I felt better. I found that having a positive attitude was helpful. It wasn’t easy, but I pulled myself out of my depression and began thinking clearly.
It was right around this time the whole making-money-job-thingy raised it’s ugly head. I was no closer to figuring out what I wanted to do. I contemplated going back to school but couldn’t decide what to study. All the while I was applying for (pardon my language) shitty office work to help pay the bills.
But a part of me – a rather large part – knew office work wasn’t the answer. I wanted to use my creativity. I wanted to use my hands. I dreamed of becoming a successful author and artist. I called these my if I had a million dollars dreams. About as likely to happen as me living in a castle.
Because for me – in that moment – there seemed like no other way to earn money doing what I loved. And when it came down to it, that’s all I really wanted. To get up each morning and do the work I LOVED!
I secretly wanted to follow my heart but DAMN was that SCARY. So the fork in the road appeared and I took the easy, familiar path. I was offered an office job (OH NO!) with the federal government and took it. The pay was awesome and I figured if I could make any office job work, then it would be this one.
Boy was I wrong.
2 1/2 years in I started getting that same itch. The one that kept coming up. The one that just needed to be scratched. But that story is best left for part three 😉