It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. In that gut check, what is important to me, we get one shot at this whole doing life thing kind of way. It’s been eye opening, hard, amazing, and most importantly I was in a place that I was able to really get IT!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always known, in that deep down secret place within yourself that we all have, that we try to gloss over, and we try to squash because we’re doing what is expected of us, that I wasn’t meant to work for someone else.
I fought it for years, and tried my level best to make it work in the corporate world.
Think about that for a second. What is expected of you? What is it that you think you have to do to be successful? What do your friends expect of you? What family expectations are you laboring under?
Have them in your mind? Heavy aren’t they? Why the hell do we put that kind of pressure on ourselves?
I can hear what you’re thinking :: Kate, I have to pay bills, I have to feed my family. Well no shit. Those responsibilities and obligations aren’t what I’m talking about. EVERYONE feels that pressure, that’s just a part of being an adult.
Dig a little deeper than that. I’m talking about the yard sticks that we’re measuring ourselves against. The voices that say “well, in order for so and so to like me, and be my friend I have to ______”, “My family expects _________ of me”, “what will so and so think of me if _______”, “to be successful in my industry and business I have to do ______”.
Again, I’m not talking about the basics of being a decent person. I’m not talking about the hard work and the behaviours that you have to put in to get to where you want to be.
I’m talking about the bullshit lies that we tell ourselves. I’m talking about the standards that you *think* you need to hit in order for others to view you in a certain light.
I spent damn near a decade trying to live up to what others thought I should do, thought I should be, thought how I should dress, how I should act, how I should talk to customers, and listening to people who in some cases were horrible human beings, tell me why I wasn’t doing it right.
Throughout all of that, I was hitting every bench mark that on paper showed that I was achieving pretty remarkable successes in my career.
I was miserable. And over the last couple years that I did everything in my power to shoehorn myself into that world, it didn’t just take a toll on me creatively. It affected who I was. It made me physically sick. And I couldn’t even see it.
I had co-workers asking me when enough was going to be enough, and I maintained the same thing. “I’ll know when I know.”
That night came one winter, when I watched this woman who had recruited me to work for her, (so you’d think she wanted me to be there right? after all, she approached me about working for and selling for her) added that one final straw.
She tore into a coworker who’d stood up for me. That was it. That was my breaking point.
Six minutes into the next morning, I resigned.
After I’d worked out my two weeks (undoubtably the longest two weeks of my entire life) and left the office for the final time, I crashed. There was no free-ing feeling, there was no relief that I never had to go back again, what I instead felt was simply an exhaustion.
Three months after that night, as I was just starting to feel like I was starting to show glimmers of who I really am, we packed it all in and moved across the country.
The growth that you experience when you dive head first out of your comfort zone is amazing. AMAZING. So-freakin’-hard-can’t-stop-ugly-crying-flirting-with-the-edges-of-pulling-the-covers-over-your-head-and-not-coming-back-out kind hard.
It is 100% worth it.