After receiving a call from my employers/co-workers on my day off for the umpteenth time, I feel like the people at my job are seeking my attention in a big way. Why? Well, that’s a whole other convoluted story that I may perhaps tell on this blog one day; a story involving racism, classism, age-ism, entitlement and humility. The point as it relates to this point is that my co-workers (an all-female workforce) will not let me rest. They keep hounding me to be there and do things that they themselves are not willing to step up and do. I just want to quit. I do. I am sick of being their scape goat.
It’s really really hard to explain, because sometimes you just sense things, but you can’t really define it or place a finger on it. This is one of those situations. I have been complaining about this job for a very long time, and from the very beginning people have been telling me to quit and find something else. However, they also tell me to not quit without having a back up plan. There are others who are just like “what is your long term plan?”
The weird thing is that I do have a plan…a long term plan. However, my long term plan requires a lot of free time. There are websites I want to build. There are books I want to write. I have them all mapped out in my head. These plans are concrete. However, with this well-crafted slavery spelled “J-O-B” there’s just no way I can execute this plan.
I feel like the folks at work are getting the sense that I’m uncomfortable. I mean, how can someone tell you “please do not call me to come in this week” and then you call them. I feel like…no, I KNOW that they are aggressively seeking my attention in a way that is uncomfortable. They want me to be at the forefront of their minds all the time and it makes them uncomfortable when this is not the case.
I have been wanting to walk away from this job for several months now (even over a year). My very soul has been screaming about leaving for a very long time. However, every tangible aspect of my life is begging for my attention as well, informing me that I have no choice. This is painful for me, as a child who was a victim of domestic violence. A person who was unable to escape her perpetrators. People who physically abused her yet claimed they loved her. People who perpetrated violence on an innocent who was left vulnerably in their care.
The feelings that emerge from this form of captivity are very conflicting and scary. These same feelings arise in my current job. Wanting to escape. Seeing the door wide open. However, feeling the fear of knowing that cutting your current lifeline could be your undoing. “Quod me nutrit, me destruit”, the Latin for “What nourishes me, destroys me” has become the mantra of many young women today, many of whom are intentionally starving themselves through fasting diets and extreme calorie restriction to escape the obesity that is inevitable on a conventional American diet.
The funny thing with that, and this, is that cutting that lifeline is not anyone’s undoing. Walking away from what is destroying you does not necessarily lead to another form of inevitable destruction. Perhaps it is the confusion of living a life for so long in which a thing so comforting and so intrinsic to ones very existence had been a source of poison and pain, leaves on feeling that to live and to die are one and the same.
But just like walking away from Big Macs does not have to mean living only on water (baby spinach salad, with dried cranberries and almonds anyone?!), walking out of an abusive relationship does not have to mean living without love and/or security. It may not be obviously now, but just beyond your current line of vision there may be a new security, a new source of life, that may not be recognizable to you now, because it looks nothing like what you’re used to but if you just walk through the open door and embrace the dreams faintly call out to you of safety, love and stability; I believe that you will find exactly what you’re looking for if you are not discouraged.
I’m not saying this for anyone, but myself. These are things that I know from self help books, church and wise friends; but things that I have not accepted due to the difficulty of looking away from the attention-seekers that refuse to leave my line of vision. Bosses calling me on my weak off, family members asking me when I will “get (my) life together”. Bills filling up my mailbox and bill collectors “blowing up” my phone. As much as I want to walk away from emotional manipulators, ridiculers and psychological bullies who use a paycheck as their leash on your life, all signs point to a glass house where you can see that there is a life beyond, but getting there means…well…the possibility of shards of glass piercing your body.
So, I guess, at the end of the day, the answer to getting out of the life you have currently that is unsatisfying; when the option of sticking it out until another opportunity comes along makes you want to swallow an entire bottle of extra strength tylenol so that the bullet you put through your skull doesn’t hurt as much; might be just to walk away…into the unknown…confront the uncomfortable nature of what’s out there while holding on to that vision of the ideal that chased you away from what was. All of this until you find something new that, while it may not be perfection, gives you a better understanding of what that may be.
Note: This article was painful to write, because it speaks directly to my current situation. I know that everyone in my life will hate me and think I’m stupid if I quit my job and pursue my dreams, even if my dreams cost nothing to pursue. However, I want, more than my very life, to get out of the situation I am in at work (which will never change no matter how you slice it). As I’m writing this, I know that what I must do is write a plan of how I will get back on my feet by pursuing my dream. One that involves a timeline, a budget and financial projections. I might want to present this timeline to my mother since I’m really hoping that she will house me while I pursue this dream. However, if I have this plan, then maybe I should be prepared for her to say no and present the plan to other friends and/or family who may be willing to house me and supportive of my goals/plan. Writing this post has empowered me to develop this plan (a one month strategy, hopefully) to produce something valuable without depending on others for subsistence. I guess I will try to draw up this plan today and post the redacted version for educational purposes on this blog. I look forward to sharing my exciting yet trepidatious journey with you all. I’ll be sure to let y’all know if I actually follow through…