"Be there for others but never leave yourself behind." Dodinsky
I think it appeals to me to annoy myself with using a quote at the beginning of a post. It's like I'm poking myself, causing a slight discomfort so that I will move along. People don't move unless there's slight discomfort and I'm people.
The whole point this week has been about moving out of discomfort. I'm moving on from a job I've held for 16 years and that I'm rather freakishly good at. The rather freakishly good at thing probably stems from that I have been allowed to really shape the documentation and the processes surrounding the authoring of it myself, almost to the point that it's been a little too void of input.
I am the queen of technical documentation in the company I'm leaving but I've just abdicated to become a servant of making it easier for project managers and technical writers to communicate. I'm transforming into a communicator of a different kind and I shall no longer be held to explaining in words and pictures how to deal with a technical device.
It feels great, it feels freeing, and it's really scary. I've jumped ship to join a new crew and they're running a much tighter ship than I'm used to. I'm moving from writing and running a department to project management which is in my mind at least a lot more of a lose concept. I'm looking forward to testing my skills in this new environment and to see how much I can actually grow from it. You don't grow sitting in the same place (except maybe if you're meditating - that is possibly the one exception to that rule).
But it's bitter sweet. A large portion of my life has been spent with some people I truly like and love and I'm leaving them behind. There's a feeling of being safe being and working among them, and there's a certain comfort in knowing I provide them with what they need to do their jobs. I support them and they support me.
I have had a fundamental problem in my life and that is that I'm far more ready to be there for others largely neglecting my own needs and wants. I was brought up that way and I embraced it wholeheartedly. I was good at it. I even took pride in it. I became a martyr because of it, and had there been a cross free I would probably have crawled up it and nailed myself to it. It took time for me to realize that I was doing it because I had a serious issue with self esteem and assigning any sort of value to myself.
The whole process of getting this new job kind of started accidentally. It fell into my lap and I applied half heatedly with a resume that could have used a lot more polishing. I had no real hope of getting anywhere with the application and I applied because there were people who were encouraging me to. I was surprised when the call came and I was even more surprised when I was invited for a second interview. Imagine my surprise when I was offered the job a few hours after the second interview especially since I knew they were still looking at other people and that they usually hold more interviews before the make up their minds.
Suddenly it was real and it meant something. Suddenly there was something at stake.
I have been incredibly invested in the job I'm leaving. At times it was the only thing that was working in my life but it was also the thing that ended up breaking me. It was the place I stayed in to heal because it was important to heal there so that I wouldn't feel like I had run away. When I had healed there was nothing more to do but doing the work and it started to feel empty. I tried to assign importance to being of service to other people but it kind of failed, and now my transformation is crowned off with a glorious "I'm leaving this job for a better opportunity - I'm leaving this job for me."
I've left myself behind more times than I can count. I've been pretty consistent with it all the way through my life. This time though I'm taking a risk on something that I'm doing only for myself. I'm taking this job primarily to road test the new me. It sounds odd and frivolous perhaps but that's essentially what it boils down to.
I've stopped buying in so much to the thing we do with having careers and being successful, and I think that success for me now would be to go into the new job in January and be as authentic as I can possibly be. That would be a victory and that would be success to me. I want to show up, be seen and be accepted. That's the ultimate success to me.
I think that when I felt a need to kill this blog a month or so ago it was because I had a huge need to move on. It's interesting that it manifested in another area of my life and in a much bigger way.
The weirdest thing of all is that I'm not panicking about making the move. I do feel a sense of panic but it has to do with becoming stuck again because it seems that I've learned in the past year that the most harmful thing I can do to myself is to preserve the status quo because I think others need to do so.
Sometimes the scariest things in life are the ones you force on yourself not what the world throws at you.
I'm just saying.
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