There’s nothing better than to finally be in a place where you can look back on what was one of the worst days of your life and be able to say that it was for the best.
Choices are amazing things. If I hadn’t chose to start a blog/project and lose weight, I could be sitting here 40 lbs heavier (or more).
If I hadn’t chose to take a nap earlier this evening, perhaps I wouldn’t feel so awake right now and inspired to write at 2 am (and missing out on precious sleep since my baby actually decided to sleep for more than 4 hours in a row for the first time in over a week… and I’m totally missing out).
I had tried to go to bed a little over an hour ago, but my head is just going in circles with thoughts and I got on a thought train that had me rehashing choices and mistakes of my past.
It all started with the fact that it was my step-sister’s birthday yesterday. It would have been her 33rd birthday, but unfortunately she left our lives 12 years ago. I thought about the tragedy of it all. If she hadn’t chose to drink that night with friends in a foreign land, she wouldn’t have been in the altered state it took for her to accidentally fall from her hotel’s 9th floor balcony.
Thinking of her death always connects to me to where I worked at the time. It was my first adult job out of college and where I ended up spending 8.5 years and the majority of my 20’s.
Her death was the first bereavement leave I’d ever taken.
And once I think of that job, my mind immediately jumps to the day I got fired for choices I’d made over a year before that (they went digging into my emails) and these memories overpower anything else I was thinking about beforehand.
There is no worse day in my life than that one (and to this day and this very night, all of that day’s events pay in my head on a loop once I’m reminded of it – like what I was doing when my boss came up to my cubicle to say “I need you to come with me” and me having NO CLUE what was about to go down, sitting at the head of the conference room table being handed my letter of termination and the comments being made to me, the vision of me packing up 8.5 years of decorations in my cubicle as my boss watched or the car ride home when I called my friend who was still at work to leave her a message telling her what happened and I started bawling… these memories haunt me, anger me and even 4 years later still bug me even when I know the good that has come since… but the degree to which I am bothered is lessoning at least as the years go by.)
What happened went against everything I thought about myself and really, everything even my employer thought up until then (responsible, great worker, nice personality, dependable, etc).
I made the fatal error of becoming too comfortable with the things I wrote in my work emails to co-workers that had become my friends over the course of 8 years. My venting apparently went too far, but it was how I dealt with the corporate bullshit I’d become allergic to. It was how I could stay friendly with bosses who were assholes and do such a great job at my job – I’d vent, write some horrible things, have a laugh and then feel better and get back to work. It was a form of cheap, easy and quick therapy and the reason I could be such the “good employee” I was.
So I’d written too much and got busted on a fluke (they were actually looking for dirt on a different employee, but one email linked them to me and the rest is history). Nothing like getting in trouble for something you’d essentially been doing for 7.5 of the 8.5 years you worked there.
What followed was the worst year of my life. 2009 might as well never have happened. I was depressed, lost, unhappy, unproductive, gaining weight and had zero self-esteem. There are months I’ve blocked out and what’s worse, I hardly have recollection of being a mom to my then 3 year old, but we’d taken him out of daycare and he was home with me every day and I barely remember that. It took me a year and a half to break out of that depression and by then I was in a different state, different house and my hubby had a different job & I was no longer looking for one.
But if I had never been fired, I wouldn’t have my sweet, beautiful 12 week old baby girl right now. No really, I wouldn’t.
Let’s say a certain someone never went prying into my old work emails and I never got busted and fired. I definitely would have stayed working at that company (where else could I find a job that gave me 4 weeks’ vacation, 40 hours of sick time, 2 personal days and let me wear jeans every day? Nowhere.) After we had our first child in 2005, we never felt financially secure enough to afford another one and my hubby had gotten fired in late 2006 and ended up at a lower paying job of which he really didn’t like and it even had a longer commute. Things were not looking up for us, so having another baby wasn’t in the plans.
Having stayed in touch with one of my friends and now ex-coworker, about the time we started planning to get pregnant (because my hubby now has a job he excels at, actually likes and he’s been making enough money that we’ve been making it by on his one salary for 4 years now) I learned that the company was being bought out and there were worries about people losing their jobs.
Then when I’d found out I was pregnant was just about the time the new owners informed my ex-coworkers that they would be losing their jobs as they were going to close the office, but please keep working business as usual (as if).
If I’d been working there still at that point, NO WAY would be have been activity trying to get pregnant. I would have been in a total freak out (kind of like my friend) wondering where my next paycheck would have been coming from since I was making 50% of the income for our family.
But being fired before this time had made us financially destitute and inclined my brother-in-law to offer a recommendation for the job my hubby now has because I was basically unemployable, not to mention the economy had recently tanked and no one was hiring. That same job he was recommended for probably wouldn’t have had an opening that many years later, so who’s to say what the hell we would have done.
So we packed up, rented out our house (because we couldn’t sell it due to the market), moved 1000 miles south and started over… in a state I never wanted to visit let alone live.
Funny how things work out. My current happiness and best financial state my family has ever been in is all in part because I lost my job. I even have gotten used to weather in the south and can’t ever see moving back north.
For those first 2 years after losing my job I used to hope for the day I could look back and say with honesty that it was all for the best.
Seeming that company was bought out, the office was closed and no longer exists in name, I can sure as hell say that yes, it was for the best and it makes me feel better knowing that even if I hadn’t been fired, I still would not be employed there anymore anyway. But instead I got out early and was able to secure a life somewhere else and when all of my ex-workers were frantically looking for jobs and filing for unemployment, I was pregnant and happily decorating a nursery and enjoying not having to work.
Seriously, all of the happiness I have right now would not be if I hadn’t lost my job on that fateful day.
It feels really good to know that. Things happen for a reason they say. It’s great to realize when they happen for a good reason.
So the choices we make are powerful… maybe not immediately, but they will catch up with us eventually.
Tonight, I made the choice to leave my bed and start writing on my laptop. Baby is still asleep and she’s going on over 5 hours now. Not fair! But this was worth it. Sometimes I have to actually write out the thoughts in my head in order for them to stop repeating and keeping me awake.
OK… now I’m yawning… I guess I should attempt some sleep… just in time for my baby girl to wake up I’m sure.