Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday night musings

Oops, I guess it's technically Monday morning. But you get my drift.

It feels sort of surreal that I can now begin my "last two weeks at work" countdown. I have exactly 10 days left as an employee at Hewitt. When I leave on the 26th I will have worked there for 8 years and 2 months. That's more than a quarter of my life. A part of me is still in denial. Tomorrow will be my last direct deposited paycheck. I will get a check in the mail at the end of the month for my last two weeks plus my vacation. I guess that after scheming about leaving for so long I am having a very difficult time accepting the fact that it's really happening. For years and years my main objective in life was to quit my job. Isn't that strange? I look back now and I can't understand why I put up with it for so long. I also can't understand why I was quite so miserable. Nowadays, thank God, I've been at a really nice place in my life, in touch with the things I love so I can't relate to being utterly miserably anymore. Yet miserable I was. On many Sunday evenings like this one the familiar feeling of dread would be taking over. Tears would involuntarily come out of my eyes. The caged bird feeling would set in. I didn't know what it was that I wanted to be doing. All I knew was that I didn't want to be doing my job. In reality I was unhappy about many things about myself yet I decided to focus all of my critical energy on the job. The job became a scapegoat. It stood for everything that was wrong with me, for all the wrong decisions I had made along the way. Over the past year things finally started falling into place with me. I was finally able to appreciate my job in a strange sort of way. I was thankful for it. Thankful that it had been my haven for this time. It had provided me with the material goods that I needed in order to make some other goals come to fruition. I could no longer say I "hated" it and really mean it. I had simply outgrown it. For months I knew that I was done with it. That I would likely not do well if I underwent another review cycle. That I could not keep up the facade much longer. And slowly some of the ties started unraveling. And the little part of me that always believed that I would get out some day became stronger and more confident. "You'll be fine" said a voice inside. I wanted to believe it but still had many doubts. It wasn't until last month that something finally snapped and I decided to just go for it. Apparently my decision was perfectly timed. Just last week an announcement was made at work that all of the benefits would be curtailed. I had spent a nice amount of time fretting over the 1000+ sick hours I was leaving behind. I wasted my time worrying about it because the sick hour pool will be done away with in 4 months along with many other things. The one advantage that the company had in terms of work environment is being done away with. I was there to see the look of dejection on the faces of all those staying. I spent a lot of time reading posts on the Vault in disbelief. All the changes are terrible for those staying and I really do feel for them. Yet a tiny part of me is relieved because this was almost like a sign. The last push I needed to be sure that I am making the right decision. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for me to return.

So now I'm standing here near the end of the road. What I wished for so long is finally coming true. At first I felt victorious, elated. Now there are some feelings of melancholy mixed in there. I'm at peace with that place now. While I'm still there technically it's all starting to feel like a memory to me. I have so much work I'd like to finish before I'm gone. Yet I'm already gone. How will I survive the next two weeks?

Guilt and Fear. I'm still battling these paralyzing feelings that have haunted me for so long. They're not very strong anymore but they're still there. How can I just throw away a good job? Whatever am I doing? Will I really succeed? How about if I ruined my life? But I know this is normal silly talk. I don't think that anyone doing what I'm doing would not feel any fear at all.

For so many years I was the friend that always needed advice. I'd tell my tale to whoever would listen and beg for advice at the end. Now that I've taken this drastic step of quitting my very comfortable job to be a broke student and start a brand new career (and picking up a new instrument in the middle of it all),I'm suddenly a hero of sorts. I'm touched by how many people have come to tell me that they admire what I'm doing. Some even tell me that they wish they could be like me. Wish they could be like me??!!? Since when does that happen? It had always been the other way around. I feel flattered yet dumbfounded. How quickly things changed. I'm gone from being the utterly confused one to being an inspiration. I'm happy that I'm no longer the one that needs help because maybe now I will be able to offer aid to others. That is one of the best rewards. I want to succeed not only for myself but because perhaps I can somehow be an inspiration in some way some day.

But I have to admit that I am indeed scared. I've gotten used to breezing by by doing the least amount of work possible. Now I will have to whip myself into shape. No more excuses. My success will be directly proportional to how much work I put in from now on. No more leaning on my more motivated coworker. No more relying on cram sessions at work. I will have to be very disciplined with my time and my assessments will be based on my work and my word alone. The things I am working towards now mean the world to me, they are things I truly want to do. That ups the ante. Sure, I am more motivated now. But failure will actually hurt now. It would break my heart. I must not allow it to be an option in any of my pursuits. The cure for all my fears is effort. Study hard. Practice often. Love deeply.


Waterfall said...

Making a major life change is scary, so you're right to feel scared. But it's also exciting, and you know you're doing the right thing (the curtailing of benefits--that's just part of the synchronicity, of God saying that you're moving in the right direction).

I am so excited for you, particularly since I've been in a similar place this past year. The financial part of it has been a tough adjustment, but nothing can replace the joy of pursuing your own dreams. It sounds like you're in a very good place. Good luck!!!

dulciana said...

Study hard; practice often; love deeply - I like that very much! Sounds like a formula for success to me.

oceanskies79 said...

I am cheering for you.

Yes, like you say, I wish you the motivations and the discipline to study hard, practice often and love deeply.

It isn't easy adjusting and it might take longer than you would like. press on anyway.

If it helps, please just keep doing what is true to your heart. Stay silent if you would need to, to hear the messages from the heart. I wish you all the best.

Hilda said...

Waterfall, I know that you can relate to escaping from Cubicle Land! I'm glad that you're happy on the other side. I hope to join you there soon.

Dulciana, glad you liked my little thing at the end. I think I may start using it as my motto or something!

Pei Yun, glad to have you back! Thanks for the good wishes. I will definitely need patience on this road. That may be one of the most trying things for me. But I will pray for that. And you're right that the heart has the answers.