Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Over It

They say it takes as long to get out as it does to get in. Nine months to add the pregnancy weight, nine more to lose it.  It’s a round-trip theory.

It turns out the same logic applies to clearing your mind of a bad work experience. I started this blog around the time I was leaving a job that was a terrible fit, and I was miserable. I held that job for just over a year, and last week marked my one-year walking-out-the-door anniversary. I just re-read my posts from a year ago, and wow, what a difference a year makes. I thought I felt better right away. In hindsight I see that I felt both liberated and terrified. But I still had a lot of healing to do. 

How do I know? Here are a few changes since last year:

almost good as new...I think I'll add legs

  • I’ve let the stuff into the house.  There’s a shipping crate that I saved, because I thought it was a nice box that I would repurpose some day. And then I brought it home and wouldn’t let it past the back door. This week I brought it in, painted and upholstered it, and voila - the playroom has a new storage stool. Peeling off the shipping label with my museum address was like ripping off a Bandaid. Underneath, the wound is healed and the box is good as new.
  • Today I can read about the place I worked without emotion. Articles in the newspaper, online or on television used to paralyze me with anger. I’d read into every word or comment, digging for hidden meaning.  There have been a few articles lately, which I skimmed and moved on. I’m just not that interested anymore, and I haven’t got the time for hidden meanings.
  • The dreams have stopped. I used to have work-related dreams every few days. I’d wake up stressed and still tired.  And just the other day I realized I can’t recall the last time this happened. They slowed, and then they stopped.
  • I wore the dress. This one is especially ridiculous. Ilene Beckerman's book (and Nora Ephron's play) Love, Loss and What I Wore links life events and wardrobe, and in a stupid, superstitious way so do I. There’s a black dress hanging in my closet that was my go-to dress for much of this year. Forgiving fit, wrinkle-free, layers well, easy to pack…in a year marked by low professional self-confidence, this dress was as good as it got for me. Just seeing it hanging in the closet reminded me of a year of increasingly unpleasant encounters. Oddly, I didn’t get rid of it, but I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. Until last week. I met an old friend and new client, and needed a dress that would look good after a long drive. I put it on without a second thought, wore it all day and…wow, I still like that dress! It’s back in circulation.
  • And the anniversary passed with no fanfare.  Amelia and I are in the midst of Camp Mommy – a month of together time in between summer camp and the start of school. I know what day it is because we’re trying to fill them, but August 3rd came and went and it was only at bedtime that I saw the date and thought oh yeah, it’s been a year.  Interesting.

A few days ago I ran into a former colleague who told me nothing has changed. Same oppressive, stifling air. Same people running in the same circles. Same culture of secrets and games.  The conversation reminded me of reuniting with a bad boyfriend only to remember on the first date exactly why it ended in the first place. Because nothing has changed. 

But I’ve changed, and finally I’m over it.

Want more Mess? Drop by A Crafty Mess at Charlotte Parent, or visit my Etsy store, Made by Mommy. 

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