Have you ever stepped away from something after doing it so long and realized that you were boxed in and didn’t even know it?
On July 4, 2012 I was terminated from a job I thought I loved. I had poured all of my time and energy into this career, then…POOF! After nearly ten years of service, I was let go. I was at a loss. I had never been fired before!
On my way home I talked to my wonderfully supportive husband and let him know what had just happened. We were planning for company that evening…to cook out, maybe see fireworks or play games. He asked if I wanted to follow through. After I thought about it, I decided that we should move forward and celebrate. I knew I’d need a drink anyway, better to drink with my friends.
I called my mom. I felt like a failure. No surprise, my mom was what she’d always been in my life. She was the rock that I leaned on. She told me that she thought it was a blessing in disguise. She then pointed out all the things I’d sacrificed on the altar of my career. Since 1999 I have not been able to go back home for Christmas. My husband and I have talked about having children but I’d always been so busy working that by the time I got home I was exhausted. And after all I’d given my employer, they rewarded my loyalty with a termination. She was absolutely right!
Then, my sister called. She’s one of my best friends, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold back the tears. I shouldn’t have been surprised when she repeated my mother’s sentiments. And then she added that she didn’t feel my job had respected me or my time very much. She sited my wedding day, reminding me that I was out of state, on vacation, and they’d called me twice. And then she asked me what I wanted to do. That was the million dollar question. She thought she had the answer.
“Remember when we were younger? You used to write all the time! You were never without a journal. You’d be writing poetry or stories. I always thought it was what you were meant to do! I never, in a million years, imagined you giving it up. Music was in my soul the way writing has always been yours! And you’ve always loved to sing, but haven’t done that either!”
I felt like she smacked me in the face. She was right! Music was a part of our lives; a part of our family. But writing was my soul! Somehow I sold it for a job. Not counting some journal work, I had only written maybe a dozen times in nearly ten years.
Since losing my job I’ve made a promise to myself. Never again give up my work life balance. I can’t look in the mirror again and not recognize my own heart. I’ve started writing, already completing two poems and starting on two potential projects, one being an erotic romance. I have also joined a choir, filling my joy of music. Music fills my heart and writing fills my soul.
I’m never giving either up again. More importantly, no job is worth sacrificing time with my family. I’ve finally found my way back to me.