Yesterday, I was fired. I was working in the hospitality division at one of the most esteemed colleges in the country and after just a year, I was let go. “We decided to go a different direction and today is your last day.” I keep replaying that moment over in my head with disbelief that there was no warning prior, no concrete reasons as to why just, “Today is your last day.”
Anger took over. As soon those fateful words were spoken, I said nothing in response, turned away from my (former) boss and started calmly shutting my computer down. He also said nothing further- no thanking me for the long hours and 6-day work weeks I had put in, the myriad of successful processes I had created, the team of nearly 80 people I had built from zero, no tidings of good luck in my future, no offer of a reference even- instead, he left the room. I placed my badge and keys on the desk, said, “Wow, really? Really???” to the HR rep, picked up my purse and walked out.
I didn’t even clean out my desk, just left all of my personal effects behind and exited the building for the final time as fast as I could. Now, here I
wallow sit in the feelings that remain: anger, sadness, disbelief, rejection, worry, shame, humiliation just to name a fun few. But, on the other side of this new hurdle I can see a glimmer of relief that it’s over and excitement for what’s to come.
I am also taking stock in a lot of the lessons I’ve learned in this first 24 hours of being let go and I admit I didn’t listen to my instinct- I really hated that job from the start. Even after a year, when I would explain to people what I do, they would say, “Sounds horrible! So sorry to hear that!” Over my time there, I leaned into the things I was grateful for- I liked my schedule, short commute, total autonomy, very simple work- to just get by everyday. I put up with a great deal of stress given constant understaffing, absence of communication, insubordinate employees, malicious gossip/rumors, supply chain, and faulty equipment issues yet somehow still showed up everyday with a smile on my face, and now here I am- unemployed and dejected. (At Will Employment at its finest- am I right?!)
But, like I said, I hated that job. Because of that, I started the Yoga Teacher Training program in order to bring something to my life that brought me joy as my (former) job was only providing the exact opposite- my work took oh so much more than it ever gave back. The constant drama and stress resulted in my resting heart rate raising, frequent bouts of insomnia, and such a drain on my mind, body, and soul that I was left with no energy for my family or friends or exercise 5 days every single week for over a year. I was beyond exhausted and realizing that something needed to change but I was truly struggling to make that change successfully.
I thought if I just start putting myself first while keeping work boundaries in place, but I just couldn’t do it- I couldn’t stop giving to work and start giving to myself, it’s something I have always struggled with and obviously took a toll on my professional life. I now see- and actually feel thankful- that this significant problem has just been solved. (In a super shitty and abrupt, out of the blue, completely blindsiding me kinda way, yeah, but hey- getting fired sucks no matter the circumstances!)
And now what do I do? Well, a lot more yoga that’s for sure! I am sure I will start running again as well as blog more, make more memories with my husband and kids, and reach out to all the friends and family that I was too stressed out from that stupid job to spend quality time with this past year. I also know even more clearly what I need from a job and what satisfies my soul- that place never gave me what I needed and I am not sure why I was hopeful they eventually would. Work is a means to an end. Work is not where I need to find my identity- that happens outside of work, on my own terms.
Getting fired is giving me that exact push I needed to go full throttle towards the pursuits that I love and that lead me to a fulfilling life that is balanced and peaceful. This push was little more aggressive than I expected but that’s where true resilience and strength is built- in the getting back up. I’ve been pushed down before, and every time I have gotten back up.
This time included.