Breaking free to find me
By LiLee on February 11, 2013
2 careers later .... still miserable!
How can this be? Did the world trick me as a child? Was my dream of leading a happy fulfilling life and career a fallacy? Or was it just me who was cheated out of everything she desired?
To understand my dismay, I had to take a look at the life I had built and the beliefs in which I operated upon.
I grew up believing that:
Any job with a moderate salary and pension for retirement = the only safe way to live.
If you're unhappy = Stay because you need that financial protection for retirement.
And if you do what society expects of you = you will be happy.
And so I started my work in public service. But about four years into teaching, I found myself UNFULFILLED, trapped, and unhappy. I thought to myself, "I want to break free of the classroom and get into the real world ... but how can I do that and still have a stable pension?" And I career switched to another stable city job at a police department, comfortable knowing that retirement was only 20-25 years away. I just had to get through those 25 years... THEN I could truly be happy.
About six months in, I knew that the police department was not my endpoint. But I couldn't just quit! How embarrassing would that be to say I failed? Plus the money was good!!! So I talked myself into staying. But my inner voice kept talking to me.
Around year three I decided I would just put out some feeler resumes to see what my options would be if and when I decided to make a move. I applied for a few jobs online, but never heard back from any of them. Then it became a challenge. I WILL get offered at least SOMETHING!!!! I have a college degree and work experience! I deserve at least an OFFER! And so I applied for 10-20 more jobs. All with zero success. I tried federal, I tried state, I tried local, I tried national, I even tried applying internationally. Nada. I applied internally, externally. I interviewed 8-10 times inside and outside the department. I spent nights on the computer filling out application after application .... Writing new cover letters and creating different resumes with each job I applied for. I was becoming desperate for a bite.... SOMEONE TO VALIDATE my graduate school education and experience. Someone to SAY I WAS VALUABLE inside or outside my department.
Eventually I even began knocking on doors and walking in to businesses to meet business owners and say, "Hey, can I fill out an application?" ....And still nothing. I was driving myself insane and in utter disbelief that a person "with my credentials" could be so absolutely UNQUALIFIED for LIFE. I became a victim of the economy, of life, and of my career. I began to see the world as a hopeless life-sucking place that I was forced to exist in.
And then I took a step back and could see ... the world was only giving out what I had been giving in. Negative energies + negative energies = Negative results.
Deep inside, I knew these prospective employers and HR reps were on to something. I barely believed in myself anymore - why would anyone else? I wasn't living life on my own terms - and I was deeply confused. How could I present my best self at an interview when I didn't even know who I was anymore? I had become so lost and entrenched what I thought I was supposed to be doing and what I actually felt good doing that I completely lost touch with myself.
Call it the rough economy or call it divine intervention. I was denied time and time again. I was not meant to find the next "thing" just yet. And so it became my challenge to either accept my lot in life ... or not. But either way, I wasn't meant to find the next career to head dive into just yet.
And since I am internally programmed to be "safe", I stayed in my department. And my stress began to grow heavier. I began to feel offended at the slightest jokes made by my coworkers. I began to feel useless or like a waste of space and money. I began to feel that I was no longer serving a purpose and began dying inside. I began resenting people I worked with who appeard to have happy lives. I became jealous of them and nasty. Stress started to take a toll on my skin, my hair, my attitude, I became a professional victim of life, slave to the pension, and miserable drone.My inner voice grew from a whisper, to an outloud statement, to a pounding throughout my soul.
And finally, around four years, my inner voice began crying, shouting, kicking, wrenching and twisting inside of me. Finally, it became too much. I burst. I combusted. I exploded in unhappiness at work and at home.
My inner voice was saying: Stop ignoring me! This is not it! You don't have to be unhappy just for the sake of money!
Afterall, if I'm doing something that makes me miserable for the sake of money, then I might as well be the people I am arresting... because money is what motivates most crime anyway. Thefts, drug sales, prostitution ... really... whats under it all? A DESIRE FOR MONEY!!!!!
If we are making decisions prompted by motivated by monetary gains, or by the fear of monetary loss, then we live with shackles around our arms and legs -- unable to break free and roam!!! We are living in our own personal jails.
Well my friends, I am not a cattle or a prisoner!!! I am a wild horse who NEEDS freedom to roam.
And I realized I am the only person who is chaining myself to the fence! I have the freedom to simply Let GO.
And then I did.
And the minute I truly let go of my fears of the unknown, I believe I truly started "living" again. I felt this enormous sense of relief to know that I could in fact exist without knowing what was going to happen next. I realized that I am not defined by my career, but rather, WHO I AM.
If I trusted a higher power, I could begin to breathe. I could begin to find activities that truly ignite my soul. - Activities that I enjoyed, that I was good at, and that I could be compensated for. And so I took a break. And I don't know the next step. But I have faith that if I listen to my inner voice, I will find the lighted path in the darkness.
I thank God everyday that I am free. That I have free will and that he gave me the courage to use it to my own benefit. Afterall in the end, its not about living a long miserable life, but rather, a beautiful, joyous life of an undetermined amount of time.
And so my new quest begins ... to seek only "internal wealth" and to live simply and joyously. And to accept me for me ... without any paper trail to back me up ... No jobs or humans needed to validate my strengths.... And to trust that with God as my fuel, I will be propelled into a positive and more appropriate transformation.
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