Starting Over…Yet Again
As I write this from my work computer, I have just submitted my two week notice of leaving my job.
A job I prayed for for years. A job which when I finally got, I knew my life was set. I truly believed that my best chapters had begun, all the uncertainty and self doubt I had experienced during the extensive job search were left behind, and that my dreams were finally coming true… but technically, nightmares are dreams as well aren’t they?
I am not sure at what point I realized that working at this job was all wrong. Yes, I was weary that all of my coworkers are older men and in fact the only other woman besides me in the building is the cleaning lady. Yes, I did not like that my coworkers were constantly asking me to hang out one-on-one with them outside work, which was forcing me to come up with numerous creative but polite ways to say no. Yes, I was uncomfortable at their open discussions where generalizations about women were cackled loudly and often “jokingly” directed at me despite my refusal to participate in non-work related conversations. And, of course I hated that I, a 30 year old woman, was constantly referred to as “that girl”. But I honestly thought that by working my hardest and proving my competence, I could deal with whatever the testosterone-filled office environment would bring.
I am not even a sensitive person. I funnily owe that to my self-absorption, which lets most hostility directed towards me just roll off my back. But going to work everyday and constantly being told I am not good enough has taken its toll on me.
I have been expected to be a psychic who just predicts what needs to get done without being told, and yet in the same realm has been told to “know my place” when I take any initiative.
I have received zero acknowledgment at the work I do because my immediate supervisor takes all the credit, which has in fact led to my role being questioned by other colleagues because it comes off like I do not do anything at all. Yet, any mistake made is taken to be completely my fault despite just following my supervisor’s instructions.
The fierce anxiety when it is time to get up for work has been daily, as I wonder which man is going to belittle me that day. Is my supervisor going to yell and threaten to fire me again over a mistake that he made? Is the head of the organization going to ask me once more to make tea during a meeting despite me (the only woman) being there as an attendee in the same capacity as the other men in the room? Is it another day where the new guy in top management is going to unfoundedly ask me if I only got this job because I am in a relationship with someone on the hiring committee?
At some point it had to be enough. I know my worth. I am an asset. I have two post-graduate degrees. I have drive. I am hardworking. My moral code is something I pride myself on. Being at a job where none of this is appreciated, and is actually sometimes brought up to insinuate that I think I am better than the others, just cannot cut it anymore.
With the 2020 Corona pandemic though, the job market is a disaster. More unemployment has come about than anyone could have imagined. Companies are straight out declaring that due to the pandemic, they are going to be on long term hiring freezes. But still I cannot stay… My decision to leave a job with the way things are now has been strongly questioned by family and friends, especially as I have nothing else lined up . And yes I do not have a plan for what to do next. But I do know that I have to respect myself enough to know that I have to walk away. Yes, the timing is horrible, but should the fear of the unknown warrant me to stay in a situation that is tearing me down instead of building me up?
I am leaving a job I prayed for, believed for, manifested for, to go back to the heaviness of unemployment. But I am at peace with the knowledge that for everyone life is just a series of chapters closing and chapters opening. That is the journey of being human. So without any outline for the next one, this particular chapter has now closed for me. I am starting over…yet again.