Saturday, November 14, 2015

You own everything that happened to you

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better." Anne Lamott

By Goddess, I hate when people start their posts with a quote, it's like they can't create their own launch pad for the thought rocket they're about to send off into the Universe so they use someone else's. It's lazy, and I have done it twice in the past week. I also hate when people say things like "by Goddess" because it seems bloody pretentious and stupid, and too big a demonstration against patriarchy. Or something. 

I'm a bit moody this morning. Apparently.

There's big change looming in my life and while it wasn't like it just pounced on me unannounced to cause chaos in my life, it still manages to make me feel a little like I'm sitting in the dark on a train track, unable to move, hearing the train coming hurtling towards me from somewhere out there in the darkness. I'm being a scaredy cat because I followed a scent trail and my life is about to change a lot as a result.

Changing jobs isn't supposed to be that scary but sometimes it is. I've been at the same company for 16 years which is insane in today's money. Ambitious people change jobs all the time nowadays and people who lack ambition don't. That's how it feels anyway. For me though, when I took off for the second interview for a job that is a much better version of the one I have, it was probably something that served me well. It shows I'm willing to hang in there and am worth investing in.

I haven't got the letter of offer in my hands yet but I should have it next week. The medical history sheet I have to fill in scares the crap out of me because it asks if I've made any injury claims with previous employers and it asks if I've ever suffered from depression and anxiety. What can I say? I hit the jackpot.

A friend tells me I'm about to leave the abusive and toxic relationship I'm having with my current employer. I'm about to leave and hopefully enter into a better one with a new employer. All the skills my ex boss (see, now we are getting to the part where the quote at the top is starting to tie into the story) told me I lacked where the ones they loved in my interviews. I'm saying I have them and I'm saying my ex boss used to tell me I didn't. It's a little dichotomous. Maybe I'm a little dichotomous. Maybe I have a split personality. Help!

My new boss (at my current job) said to me yesterday, after dragging me into one of his impromptu meetings in which he wanted me to form a "vision of success" for my tiny department, that "you tell me that you're a technical documentation specialist", to which I replied "no, I never did" because I'm a stickler for words and I never said that,  and I thought "wow, can you be a bit more offensive?". I tried not to think about how I might be resigning next week and how that will make me feel, and how it will cause chaos in his job. I tried not to think about how much relief I will feel when I do, and how sad I will feel leaving my illustrator alone to report to this guy, and how it will feel to leave all the other good people I love at my work behind. I really need to get out of there because it's making me feel bad being there, and more importantly it's threatening to kill off what little confidence I've managed to grow. I really want to be in a place where I can feel appreciated and real.

But, the reason for the quote at the top.... 

I was thinking about how many stories I've told about the place where I work and how when I leave I don't have to hide it quite that much. I was thinking about how I feel I have a right to tell those stories because they happened to me, and how I've checked, checked and checked with others that I haven't exaggerated anything in relation to them. I was thinking about how they now have a real chance to be part of the past and how it really makes me feel thinking about going somewhere else to work. If the building and location is any indication then I've hit the jackpot. If the impression I made on the four people who've interviewed me is any indication, well then I've hit the jackpot. I was thinking about how I must stop telling myself stories about my current job when I leave it so I can leave it all behind and move on to a happier place and space.

It's not about letting go, remember how we talked about that in the last post, but rather about looking forward into what has to be a brighter future, and about not having any regrets about having stayed too long because I stubbornly held on to the concept that I had to heal in the place that hurt me because that would make me even stronger.

Maybe I was on some level hoping that the people who are the cause of the culture in that place would open their eyes and embrace a better way but they never did because either they're not capable of doing it or they just didn't want to try.

So, I reserve the right to tell the stories I'm telling about them. Anne Lamott is right, if they wanted me to speak warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

I'm just saying.


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