Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I Learned When I Almost Lost My Job

I was reminded recently that my job is supposed to be hush hush; I am not going to go out on a limb, but I will speak of my experiences being mindful of the above.

I have never felt secure in my job, so the possibility of losing it, was not a surprise. What was a surprise was the reactions of people around me and my own inability to stand up for myself.

The latter is something that has plagued me for a long time; when I was being sexually abused, I just let it happen, as if I couldn't do anything about it. There was an unspoken rule of silence and I towed the line. I had thought, that over the years I had improved.

The situation surrounding my job hanging in the balance felt eerily the same. I was backed into a corner, but there was little I could do. Helplessness covered me like a cloud and I was barely keeping my ship from sinking into depression.

I found out quickly who was interested in my success and who wasn't. Outside encouragement from others however, is not a balm to the soul, when you can't outrun yourself.

I accepted that I was not a victim, I had played a role in the event and I was cognisant of my responsibility. I had completed my part months before and now I waited for a verdict. I was like a leaf on the wind; would I soar higher or would I fall to the wayside and be washed down the drain?

I used music to soothe my inner turmoil and soldiered on, after all, an air traffic control is supposed to perform well under pressure. I had my own expectations of myself, to live up to, not to mention my responsibilities at home.

That being said, when the ball was played into my court, I honed all of my power, energy and skill into hitting back across the net. No room for error.

I won that match in a straight set victory, but it felt hollow. There was nothing to be won, I had already lost everything. The biggest causality was my passion for my job.

I went on to complete my training. I did well, but I was dead on the inside. I looked at things differently. Being with my co-workers who would only have been memory, had things gone the other way, was surreal.

It took me seven months to come back to the land of living and it is only when I cracked my first real smile that I was able to see that I had been faking everything before that. It took even longer to be able to look back and see the good of being in such an ugly situation.

I learned that I was generous and protective; I was timid and introspective. I could regurgitate a textbook on command and wear a strong face even when I had no strength left.

I learned that pass the despair and the helplessness, there is a woman of honour, intelligence and heart. And that even when all else failed me, even if I had lost my job, that I would always have one thing that would set me apart from the crowd: My pride.

Pride is some times cried down and with good reason; but my proud spirit refused to bend even when everything else in me had all but given up.

It stood against my own inner self-doubt and castigation and forged ahead. It disdained talk of what I deserved, and months later it refused to care why, or how it all came to be. This pride allowed me to seize the ray of hope and drag a sun-flare of new beginnings into the darkness.

The light in the tunnel was not at the end; it was inside of me and had always been.

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