The chain of events that lead to this moment most likely goes back to January of this year. And as the city I reside in is smothered in a gray haze and smells of strongly of horrible smoke due to massive fires destroying lands far away, I realized that it is a metaphor for how the Big Guy of the Universe has warned me of the dangers around me, in my own life. If I smell smoke, see smoke, there is fire! The signs were there. My life was too close to the fire, but not one that could hurt my body, it was a fire that would kill me; mind, heart, and spirit.
My employer whom I looked up to and adored turned into someone I barely recognized in what could be considered a very short time; six months. Six months ago is when they lit the fire of darkness. This employer is barely happy anymore:
-complaining all the time to anyone who listens to them, over anything that is bothering them.
-gossiping... and yet there is a policy where that is not allowed in the workplace I am at that they, the employer, created.
-argues with their own family members right in front of staff and you can even overhear it frequently though they set a bar on professionalism in the workplace and have seemed to snuff out their own torch on upholding that.
-more frequently tells others of how they should be living their lives, and it seems quite closely related to the way they like to live their own life.
-behave like a martyr, and that the world is against them.
Furthermore, there are some staff members who are on equal par with them on the level of this behavior; and one in particular who we will call, “Oh my goooood,” girl who was the worst (imagine that with a snotty and slightly whining tone)….I swear that’s the only thing she knows how to say. They all sat together, and began to fan the flames of darkness, and it brewed the smoke of negativity.
When the employer and some staff began to behave this way, I thought it perhaps was a passing thing; I sympathized and chalked it up to stress and listened to their woes, and even recommended on ways to help relieve tension and what we could do to solve any issues that arose. Instead of grouping together and getting proactive to fix things, all it became was complaining… then more complaining… the tones of their voices and the words they said were hard to hear as all it became sounds of whining, anger, and disdain. Instead of a group of people adding water to the fire, and one team adding dirt, and another group raking to make mud to smother the flames... they added more paper... more wood... "Oh my goooood," girl even added kerosene.
To hear it every day for weeks while seeing routines, morale and work affected in a negative way, (well, I speak for myself I should say I shouldn’t presume to know how others felt or what they perceived as happening) it felt like an assault on my ears and it felt hard to breathe because the negative atmosphere was like thick smoke. Though I kept to myself and tried to stay away from it. The smoke was now everywhere, the fire would soon try and get me too. I could feel them wanting me to become as they were, and because I wasn’t I felt ostracized. I wanted no part of it. I have seen through observations of others in my lifetime of how I don’t want to behave, or the type of person I don’t want to become; there was never a doubt that I would definitely not go down the path they were on. Furthermore, I was not going to continue to go to work for just benefits from the health package, vacation times and pay cheques. It was not a happy place! I felt no joy! I was carrying the feeling home with me and it affected my personal sphere in a number of ways. When I realized that several weeks later I was developing signs of being burned out, feeling sad, even a little depressed which is a pretty foreign (but not totally unrecognizable) symptom to me … It was time to move on. And! Spend time with my loved ones who have been through so much in the past two years. It was time to take a nice long break and reassess my life... and save my soul.
I initially felt the shock of realizing I had to leave and wondered all those questions:
-Am I doing the right thing?
-What about the people I serve in my career? How can I leave them?
-What if I don’t find another job?
-What if this is all a mistake?
-What if I end up penniless and homeless?
-Can I really visit my old rural homes with my family for a long period of time and keep my apartment in the city while I find myself again?
In a very quick period of time, I know I have made the right decision! And with every day passing getting closer to the last day, the reasons and reality of just how right it is for me is clearer; even right for my loved ones (my family and friends greatly benefit from this change). I don't want to die in a fire that is now roaring. The signs that it is never going to go away is due to the smoke that is now black; covering the sky so no cloud is seen but for a red-coloured sun while the smell is burning the nostrils. I am safe from the fire, and am at the lake wading in the water, getting ready to swim across in due time. Especially when I see that, "Oh my gooooood," girl that left the work I am at is returning; that my employer continues to yell and complain; that staff are still sitting around the fire encouraging it to grow.... though now it is outside the circle of the pit...now and then somebody notices, stomps at it, and then ignores again.
They have ignored the warning signs for too long, and fire, is never as easy to control or contain as humans like to think. Its fire after all. It burns, all it wants, is to burn!
Copyright 2014 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made It To Her Thirties.