I’ve been a little light on posts lately, opting instead to start 2013 with a bit more book learnin’ and shutter snapping. I have been taking photos almost every day, but on top of my self-imposed reading assignments, I have been learning new software which has slowed me down considerably. Additionally, I have been having some fun with my creative writing again and reviewing my 2012/making new goals for 2013.
2012 was an incredible eye-opening, freedom-inducing, self-love promoting and difficult-decision-making year for me. It began with a stark realization: I had been in an abusive relationship for almost three years. Not with a significant other, but with my boss. For the first several months of the year, I refused to leave. I thought that if I could just prove to myself – or to him – that I could cut it, then his behavior toward me would change, I would have grown as a professional, and all the $hit he put me through and self-torture and hate I put myself through would have been worth it.
This wasn’t the first time I had been bullied in a workplace, so I was beginning to think it was me, which was one of the reasons I was so willing to put myself through the torture of trying to change to fit the mold those around me wanted to shove me into. My perception was that they (mainly my boss) thought I was weak, incompetent, dead wood for the organization.
My low point was when I began to believe that I was dead wood. Isn’t that what abusive relationships do to a person? Beat them down until they actually believe the pure effing nonsense that their abusers project onto them? Thank heaven for supportive friends and family (you know who you are!) that pointed out this abusive behavior – over a YEAR before I began to believe it! Even though it took me so long to believe it, without them I would probably still be there, beating myself up for every mistake and missed target, and for not being Miss Organization.
In February, the fire in my belly began to burn. I began to remember the person I was and the professional I am. And my confidence grew. What happened in February? I had my annual review. Each year, my review had been glowing and constructive – always a surprise to me because of the way I was treated. In 2012, however, I was given a solid, professional handshake with one hand while being punched in the gut with the other. Three long paragraphs – one of which briefly described how I kicked butt at exceeding several goals, and two of which nitpicked me to death, taking jabs at me for incredibly insignificant ‘shortcomings’. I guess it was difficult to find anything with substance to pick on.
Then a perfect opportunity came up…and I almost didn’t apply. It was lower pay, part-time, but right up my alley. Just before I left with some girlfriends for Cabo San Lucas (photos NEVER to be shared with the public )…and I mean just before I left at 2:30 a.m., I pushed the “send” button on an email which contained my resume, five references, application and a writing sample. I could always turn it down, right?
I didn’t, and in June I freed myself from my oppressors (including, to some extent, myself). It took until about the end of August for me to break free from the negative self-talk surrounding competency in my career. I no longer felt weak and incompetent, but instead I realized that the job I held was not right for me. Do you realize how difficult that realization was to make? My entire 13 year career, plus time in college, only to realize that my chosen career path WAS. NOT. RIGHT. FOR. ME. Perhaps this was another reason for my delay in leaving. But the more time that goes by since leaving that position, the less I care about that. I am happier and better off without my prior career. I have even found that there is great value in knowing what does not work for you…if only I had recognized it while I was still in college, right?
I started this blog in October, primarily as a creative outlet. It was one of the best things I did all year (thanks to Amy Irene at Xenogirl, who encouraged me to start a blog). Thank you all for your support – it is truly appreciated!
So, the big story of 2012 for me was leaving my job, but there were several other, more personal but just as pivotal, decisions I had to make in 2012 toward loving myself and filling my time with things that are important to my soul. It is still a work in progress, but at least I am finally on the right path. Here’s to an even more rewarding 2013!