Yesterday was my last day at my current (recent?) job. I started there in Aug 2007 and so much has happened over the years. It’s weird to think a year ago I would have chewed off my own arm to get out of there and now when the final day came, I spent it not being able to say goodbye and crying. Now, I won’t pretend it was sad for everyone or that I left under some illusion that everyone will miss me and not know how to move forward. Still, there were some who meant something to me and I did to them. My supervisor surprised me with some beautiful flowers…verdict still out on if I’m allergic. They are also MUCH more purple than appear in this picture. She also brought me this AMAZING raspberry cake thing…it was beyond yummy.
Driving home for the last time, it was starting to get to me how greatly my life is about to change and how ready was I? I silently wondered to myself…what do I do next? I turned on the radio and Katy Perry loudly suggested to me “…and don’t ever look back, don’t ever look back”. Cheesy to think it’s a sign, but it was a perfect sign.
During my time there I changed in many ways. The way I always hated them for most, was how unprofessional I’ve become. When I walked in there, I knew how to dress, how to speak, how to “know it all”, I mean after all, I was almost done with a master’s degree and I had been accepted into a PHD program…and I was ONLY 23 years old. How awesome was I?
Well, I quickly learned, not everyone thought I was so awesome. My nice clothes and polished presentation set me apart from my coworkers and created a very lonely existence. After all, I was ALREADY 23, why wasn’t I married? Why didn’t I have kids? And why on Earth would a woman need a degree? Was I gay? Was I mentally unstable? Previously fat and ugly? All questions I was either asked directly, or overheard people saying when they thought I wasn’t around. Over the years I became one with the masses. I made jokes I shouldn’t, used slang, called my boss “Dude” and wore jeans or sweats to work whenever I felt like it. I have friends who comment on my current look or behavior and wonder what went wrong…yesterday I realized though, it is what went right.
My friends who look at me and say I don’t take care of myself that I am a mess and people will respond accordingly…you’re right. My question to you though…have you ever stopped to ask yourself what response I WANT or NEED? If I walked into a counseling session 3 years ago wearing and acting what I thought was “professional” or what the latest news story says is “professional” it would have been the worst session in the world. OK maybe not that bad, but close. I know this to be partially true, since nearly every single one of my clients last semester made a comment about how “real” I was and how comfortable that made them. The returning clients even went as far as to compare me to the other students, saying it was obvious they were trying too hard hard. They liked how it seemed I knew what the “real world” was like and I didn’t try to make myself “better” then they seemed.
So sadly, gone are the days I envisioned myself running a Fortune 500 company or impressing a court room (yes I used to dream of being a lawyer or business owner). I only ever pictured those things and saw people admiring me…saw the money I could make…saw the shopping I could do. I never saw myself with many friends. Presently, I can see myself happy at my job. Happy with my small little apartment. Happy with my afternoon running clubs where people don’t rank you for any reason.
I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and every person serves a purpose in our lives. I thought Comunale ruined me…but now I see, they may be the reason I become the counselor I want to be.
On a final note…new chapter of life means new look too. Here I was on 12-30 at 8 am and 8 pm. Aside from not pulling my bangs back…which I really should never do…although I got about a dozen compliments…my hair is 6-8 inches shorter. Wish I could have donated it );