It is somewhat ironic that I have revisited my old blog now, given the contents of my last post, and what has recently happened in my life. That canister of pick-up sticks that I was so worried would be up-ended? Well it happened, but not in the way you might think.
First, my employer relocated me, my dog and my life to the other side of the country. Then, I was retrenched.
For someone, who was very comfortable with her life as it existed, this turn of events could easily have been interpreted as “bad”, but somehow, it wasn’t. Somehow, I coped without any major breakdown breakdown. Somehow, I found myself re-employed sooner than even I wanted to be! Somehow, I realised that money isn’t everything. Somehow, I realised I was quite unhappy but like a frog in boiling water, I hadn’t realised until I was cast free.
So what did I learn about myself during this process?
- My friends and family are amazing – at no point did I find that any friends “disappeared” and in fact, they all rallied to help me stay connected in networks that might lead to a job. They booked holidays and shipped me off to a mountainside to drink red wine and eat copious quantities of cheese and chocolate. They assured me that I was worthy of employment and that being retrenched is in no way a measure of my abilities. They shared their own stories of retrenchment and/or feelings of fear and insecurity.
- I am stronger than I thought – I am not going to pretend that there weren’t tears, or moments of silent, gut clenching panic, but for the most part I felt I coped with the news pretty well. Here I was, recently deposited into a new city, with barely any networks and even fewer friends. Regardless, after receiving the news on Friday, by Monday I was on the phone contacting as many people as I could to set up meetings and flush out any potential opportunities for any kind of work. I cannot deny that this helped.
- I can drink A LOT of coffee – a natural side effect of “networking” is that most of these meetings happen ‘over coffee’. Also, the more coffee I drink, the more I like it so yes people – it IS addictive!
- I want an exciting life with lots of changes – OK this might have been a different story if I was still looking for work and running out of money. However, as it turns out, on one level I secretly enjoyed the little rush I had from not knowing what was coming next. I experienced a little thrill from the prospect of starting something new and knowing that I could completely change my path right then and there if I wanted to. And I am even more pleased to discover that I am now feeling much more open to new changes and perhaps some calculated risks in future. Watch this space!
- I am a positive person – I used to think of myself as having a slightly negative outlook. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I still do grumble, but I surprised myself with my relatively upbeat attitude through the whole process. Not only that, but having made that realisation, I now find myself noticing more and more when I am being negative, and I try to flip those thoughts. Sometimes I still need help from external parties, but even then, I am more likely to accept the “positive” counter argument instead of sticking to my guns about how crappy XYZ situation is
I also discovered that when the thing you dread the most happens, the worst moment is actually the anticipation of the thing. In the moment it happens it kinda sucks, sure, but immediately after that, comes a wave of relief. Because now the thing has happened, and you are still alive and the only thing to do is to accept it and move on and move forward.
If you had asked me this time last year where I would be, not in a million years would I think to respond “living on the other side of the country, in a new job, and starting up my own consulting gig on the side”.
So now that I know I cannot really control my future with a vice-like grip, perhaps it is time to relax a little, breathe and just start focussing more on today.