Monday, September 29, 2008

Coming Home

I filled up my tank at 6:45 a.m. this morning and was in complete awe of the view. I mean, I was amidst all the hurry, hurry work-a-day people trying to get their commutes started but a simple glance up to the sky and I noticed an amazing array of fiery colors just before sunrise. What made the view even more breath-taking were some storm clouds that rolled in gently off the coast. The clouds were huge with wispy bottoms as the rain fell off in the distance. Closer to our local mountains, electric orange etched the very tops as the sun began to make it’s seeming ascent. I wished so much that I had remembered to stick my camera in my bag this morning but no such luck. So, I stopped what I was doing and made a mental picture so that I could hold it in my mind’s eye at will for recall later in the day if necessary. I often do this when I want to remember a beautiful view.

I got my girls dropped off safely at daycare and headed for the office. I turned up Faith Hill in the CD player and sang along. I knew it was going to be a stressful day and I wanted to drink in as much peace and joy as is possible while commuting on the Southern California Freeway system. Luckily, that wasn’t too difficult as the cars moved in perfect time, courteous and diligently! "Amazing," I thought. The closer I got to the office though I noticed that the anxiety was beginning to stir. I pulled into the parking lot and looked at the first building to my right. A 5 story building with a mirrored exterior. I used to work in that building. I left a year ago to work in another across the parking lot. My current office I refer to as a dungeon. The building is a massive one-story building and there are no windows except for the Western face of the building. Inside its a gray and dreary sea of metal cubicles. It’s really quite a depressing sight. My office even worse, small and no windows. It’s like a cage and I’ve hated it since I first set foot in it.

I had to change jobs a year ago. I couldn’t fight a negative system that had set in, a change in terms I faced with great distaste at the same time I was battling "mama drama" and rapidly surfacing issues with my new spouse. I was crumbling from the stress so had to make a change. The job was the quickest fix so I put my career on hold and took a position with lesser responsibilities. I hated leaving the people I worked with. I worked so hard to build a good reputation, excellent working relations with executive management and everyone else as well. But I had to leave them as I simply felt that I had no other options available to me at the time. I’m grateful they understood. But today it dawned on me how fast a year went. The mama drama now simmering at a very low and weak hiss…the new spouse is now nearly an ex-husband and now I’m ready to go back. Lucky for me, a job with the team was available…only the team had moved to a new company within the larger umbrella of our organization. I’ve been planning a return for a while but had to wait twelve months due to company policy. It’s a good policy. As I hiring manager, I fully support it even when it keeps me from what I want. My current position has been fine. I have an excellent staff and a really nice boss but the work is not challenging enough. I need my old work and I’ve so missed the people I used to work with. Today, it was agreed that I would go back. My former boss told me I had built a solid reputation with the folks I used to work with and that I had a lot of friends there. That made my day. In one area of my life, I get to go home.

Now, home won’t be easy but the people are great and I respect them so much. I had to resign from my current position today and that is what was creating the anxiety. I know how much my current boss needs me but this opportunity I passed up once before. I won’t pass it up again. I long for the familiar…the faces, the voices, the work ethics, the challenge, the politics, the government, all of it. I’ve missed it terribly and count myself incredibly lucky to get to go back. I’ll be doing something new but I’ve learned a lot while I’ve been gone. Namely, how much I appreciated what I had and it was so unfortunate that I had to leave it at all. The folks involved in my need to leave are gone and doing other things for another company. It’ll be good to get back and in just a few short weeks, I’ll be back. October will be a phenomenal month for me. The divorce will be final and I’ll be back where I belong with the people that make me excel and strive to be the best.

I’ve felt so derailed this last year. I’ve felt defeated, overwhelmed and oppressed. But, these were things I just had to go through. I had to get my head and my heart clear so I could once again excel, get my career back on track and strive to move up as I’ve always wanted to do. Tomorrow, my current boss will know that I’m resigning. I’m a little anxious about tomorrow but so excited to get back to my team that it just doesn’t matter. I’ll sleep like a baby tonight knowing that at least in one area of my life I will have that solace and familiarity that I crave. I’m thinking once again about the storm clouds and rain from this morning…a little tension built up in the clouds, much like my anxiety and then once overwhelmed the rain fell and release was observed. That’s how I’ll feel tomorrow when I talk to my boss about the memo I sent. I pray he’ll be supportive but he has to be how he is and I’ll have to deal with the consequences and strive to cooperate to the best of my ability. Tomorrow will be another sunrise and I won’t forget my camera. I intend to snap a few pictures of another gorgeous sunrise and maybe get one posted in my article. If you see it, you’ll know I remembered to post it.

I guess the moral in this very long story is that you need never give up on what is truly important to you. Like a game, there are times you may need to sit on the sidelines to recover, to heal and maybe to think. However, you can always go back provided you didn’t burn any bridges. You can remake yourself every day in a new way if you want to. It took me a while to get there but that’s what I did. It took me a year to heal and get over the frustration and anger from many sources. The patience I held paid off. The faith I had paid off. The hard work I put in in days long past and the friendships I’ve built have paid off. I set myself up to succeed even though at the time I felt like I was losing something. It wasn’t a loss, it was just a break. Now, in a few short weeks, I'll pull up in front of that building on the right once again, take the elevator up to the fourth floor, walk into my office with a nice big window and I'll likely wipe away a tear or two of joy at my coming home!

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