What a difference a year can make
Friday, April 01, 2011
One year ago I received a call that I no longer had a job. My boss told me over the phone while I was driving home on a Friday afternoon from the Bay Area to my home in Fresno.
I knew it was coming and I had already formulated a plan to move back home once the news came. I was given the option of taking a demotion but held on until the last minute to let them know. This acquired me a week's off with pay plus an additional week's pay since I told them on a Friday. This was on top of my severence package. I basically ended up with a month's worth of pay for doing nothing but packing my belongings and getting the hell out of California.
I knew the minute I set foot in my Fresno office that I had made a huge mistake in taking this job. My region manager looked at me and said "If you cannot be like (insert another analyst's name) then you are of no use to me". My heart sank to the floor. I only had one year exeperience in the company and this was my first day doing this new job. There's no way I was going to be able to compete with someone who had been there for 8 years.
As I was shredding my 1.5 years of P-Card statements today, I was not at all shocked by the number of pages with copies of fast food receipts on them. I was on the road 5 days a week and ate out 3 meals a day during this time. Yes, I could have made a LOT of better decisions on what I ate. EVERY hotel I stayed at had a fitness center. It was my own fault I gained 25lbs.
As I made my 5 day journey home to Connecticut, I vowed to get healthy. I started at a gym nearly the day after I got home. It took me a while to get the hang of it but once I hired a personal trainer, I felt 100% better. I have struggled with balancing calories in and out for nearly a year now but I am down 25lbs from when I really started getting into a healthy lifestyle in July.
Not only have I lost weight, (i'm about 50lbs away from my goal) but I have seen a lot of emotional and personal growth in myself in the last year. I have made a ton of new friends, realized how INVALUABLE my old friends really are, and am in a generally happier state of mind.
I am so greatful for the people in my life who know me and love me any way. I have learned so much from them in the past year and it's made me want to be a better person. I was a COMPLETE mess when I got home. I was jaded about working, fighting the demons that haunted me to the end of this job like so many others, I struggeld with making heads or tails of my "bad" qualities. I was so angry for putting so much effort into a job that "got me nowhere". I never took time off, I treated myself and others poorly, and I was just so unhappy.
Ever the fighter and survivor though, I couldn't give up. My entire life has been made up of people giving up on me and not seeing me through to the end. My accomplishments have been so much more meaningful knowing I've done them all mostly on my own. I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without these struggles.
I have signed the paperwork to participate in my first 5K run. I have yet to mail it out, as I know that means I HAVE to commit to it. I have never had any interest in running before but lately, I just can't seem to get anywhere fast enough when I'm out on a walk or in the gym. Running will get me "there" faster. I'm so nervous to start but that will be a different blog.
I am still unemployed and looking everywhere for a job. I know there's still more lessons for me to learn in this journey of unemployment but now, a year later, I'm so nervous about running out of benefits before I get a new job. I try to deal with this stress by exercising but sometimes I'm afraid of my own success in this area. What will I have to struggle with if I meet my goals? I've always had to battle for everything in my life and I don't know who I'd be if I wasn't struggling with something. I realize these are not rational thoughts but it crosses my mind from time to time.
I hope my fellow Sparkies can look back at the last year of your lives and see all the changes that you have made. I hope seeing how far you've come will inspire you to keep going and realizing that you CAN do this and you WILL make it!