Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Today’s blog is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride, so please do fasten your seat belt and should you need anything please press your call button and one of our cabin crew will do all they can to assist you……
I woke up just after 6 am this morning with this sensation that I had an annoying passenger inside my brain that kept pressing their flight attendant call button that had been pinging for quite some time before I was able to answer their call. It’s been just over two months since I left my job, and if I’m honest I’m still no closer to deciding what direction I want to take, which is frustrating me.
I’ve spent a lot of time inside my head recently, and whether this is healthy reflection or not I’m not too sure, but I’ve been thinking about the jobs I’ve had and what I want from my next one and in so many ways each one has felt like a relationship.
1) The Fling
My first job in Paris was a CDD (temporary contract) teaching English to student nurses. It was really fun, but unpredictable hours, and each day I’d be in two or three different hospitals often spending longer traveling on the metro than teaching. This was the fun, exciting lover who definitely keeps you on your toes but you know it’s not sustainable and the excitement soon becomes a durge – but definitely fun while it lasted!
2) The First Great Love
That buzz you get the first time you’re in love is unforgettable. Your lover can do no wrong, everything they do is amazing and you take at face value what they are offering, without ever questioning their motive. I was working in a buying office helping American clients with stores source products from Europe and I truly loved this job in the beginning. It was all fresh and shiny and new. I met some of the best people I’ll ever know in my life. Having this job meant we could afford to have our dream wedding and honeymoon. It was very fast-paced, I got to travel and learn so, so much and I loved that, but I didn’t have any experience in this field and it’s one of those jobs where if you make a mistake you’re not going to feel the effects until six months down the line when the shit has already hit the fan and all you can do is try to clean up as much as possible but it always leaves a stain or a faint whiff. You forgive each other and try and move on and for a while it improves, but then the cracks start to appear again, you lose interest in each other, stop putting the effort in and through some misguided sense of loyalty to each other you stay together longer than you should because it’s comfortable, but all the while you’re really just passing time until the next shiny new love comes along because you don’t want to be single, because being single looks like failure. Because you’re very concerned with what the world thinks of you.
3) The Knight in shining armour that turns out to be just another prick in tin foil
Looking back I know my head was totally turned by the offer of a job that I thought was the answer to my dreams. I was just about treading water at the buying office, and along came this job which I thought was my rescue boat, so I very quickly climbed aboard! It was an incredibly attractive – in fact, positively bulging package (steady on). But once on board I soon realised it was not the right one for me, nor was I the right fit for the team I was working with. I think we both had good intentions but approached things in completely different ways and just couldn’t make it work. They (or one person in particular) thought the way to make me a good, faithful and loyal employee was to try to break me and beat me to submit, to make me fear them so I’ll do as they want and not question them. I’m certainly not saying everything was bad at the OECD, but I knew in my gut it wasn’t right, but was still too afraid to be on my own. Fast forward 12 months and dry land was suddenly in sight, but it was uncharted territories. I was given the option to stay on board and things might get better or they might not, no guarantees. Or I could leave and explore new land on my own, without a map or compass. Where I might flourish or be eaten by cannibals. I finally decided that I needed to be on my own for a while and maybe in this new land I could build my own shelter and not be reliant on someone else to save me or make me happy.
4) Remembering who you are and rebuilding the relationship with yourself
This is where the real hard work begins if truth be told. When you move countries, you have to start your whole life from scratch, and everything that was a reference point before is no more, the rules of my past life did not apply, and somewhere along the way I kind of forgot who I was, some days I look in the mirror and I know exactly who I am and quite like the woman I’ve become. Other days my reflection is really faint and ghost-like. I know there’s some kind of substance there but it’s like someone turned down the brightness on the tv or turned down a dimmer switch behind me. I have a meeting this afternoon with someone who is hopefully going to help me gain some perspective and help identify what makes me tick so I can focus on what I’m good at and enjoy doing, and then find that sweet spot in the middle where I can bring everything together and make money from it. Everybody has bills to pay, right? At the end of the day we all go to work to make money, we spend a minimum of eight hours a day working, why shouldn’t I have something that is engaging and challenging, that makes me think and learn and grow and contribute to with a smile on my face at the same time. It’s not too much to ask for, is it??? Like in all successful relationships, you need to love yourself and know yourself for who you are before you find your true love. This is what I’m focusing on at the minute.
In the wise words of Ru Paul “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else – can I get an Amen up in here!!”