Departure from Corporate America
I think I came out of the womb with an over achiever personality. I can't remember a time in my first 40 years when I wasn't competing to be the best. That means I became a little adult way too soon and never really learned to play. It means I learned to place unwavering value in things like grades, titles, income, and status. It's all I ever worked for, until it stopped working.
It's been just over a year since I took the leap and left corporate America. I thought it would be for a few months at most. Now I don't know that I'll ever go back. I am happy. I am joyful. I am rested. I am connected.
AND, today, I feel like I have failed. How is it that after a year of rewriting my mental tapes, of learning that I have value just because I'm me, how is it that I can still get pulled into the racket? Here are the things that have awakened the old beast this week:
1. Randy started a new job. I am traveling with him because we hadn't seen each other in 2 weeks. And because I. Love. To. Travel. I've been watching as he gets up-to-speed. I see both his excitement and his fatigue. We talk about problems I know how to solve. I do not want this kind of stress again. I don't. I don't. I don't. But, I could be bringing in a big check. I know how to lead and solve problems. Who am I to decide I don't want to work? How can Randy really mean it when he says it's ok for me not to work? I've already had a year; I should have it all figured out by now. But, I don't.
2. While in Florida with Randy, I went into the office with him one morning. I made breakfast as a way of introducing him to the new team. I stopped to speak to one of the leaders. Without his blatantly saying so, he told me I was just a pretty little trophy wife. He used his words to beat on his chest and tell me how powerful he is. He then asked what I would be doing that day…”going to the gym?” On the surface, it was innocent enough. I was in fact going to the gym. But I was and am doing so much more. I am not just sitting in a hotel room watching TV and eating little delicacies. I'm not strolling through designer stores. I am finding out who I am! I am choosing to see the world differently. I choose Joy. I would love to put him to a challenge. Mr. Unnamed, I dare you to take away your title and your power suit. I dare you to look at yourself in the mirror and try to find out who you really are. Find out what courage really looks like. I promise you it's so much more than reporting outcomes to other men in suits. I promise you, it would bring you to your knees!
PAUSE...So I wrote this a few days ago and waited to post because I wanted to be sure of myself. Having talked to Randy and reading through this, I realize I need to make an amendment here. See, this guy did make me angry and it's ok for me to express it, but I also want to own my experience. I can't make this all about him. What do I do with the feeling of “being small?” If his attitude hit me, it's because at some level I believe he's right. That's MY work.
3. While I've unplugged from the business world for the most part, I do still log into LinkedIn periodically. I like to keep up with who's been promoted, who's changed jobs, and to stay apprised of other relevant information. I logged in this week and saw that a dear friend recently got a promotion. She now has a SVP title. Go Bobbi! I am so freaking proud of you! Bobbi joined the company several months after I left. I was miserable. She, on the other hand, is thriving. I wonder what on Earth is wrong with me! Why couldn't I thrive there? Why didn't I just stick it out or find another job and work my way to a title like that? Again, I don't want that life. I don't want it. I don't. But I could be bringing in a big check...You know the drill by now.
I'm writing to let the angst out. I'm writing in hopes that someone else may be able to relate. It is through our vulnerability that we connect at a heart level. So here I am, heart wide open. Showing up as Sarah Joy. Showing up as Sheer Joy. Telling that 40 years old beast to go back to sleep!
Sarah Joy aka Sheer Joy