I remember reading a list of things that Audrey Hepburn put together about beauty tips. There was one point that struck me, not necessarily because I thought it was accurate, but because I thought…how can I do that?
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anybody.”
In principle I agree with this. In practice…well, not so much.
I won’t go as far as saying that I’ve thrown people out, but I have walked away, distanced myself, parted ways, drifted apart, and unFriend-ed (oh yes, I went there) a whole lot of people throughout my life.
I don’t feel bad about this because I have limited space and time in my life for people who are no longer part of my life. There are friends and acquaintances for moments (that 3-day seminar you are taking), seasons (the fellow student who you partnered with in Intro to Philosophy in first term), and for years (your best friend forever in high school..that you have not had contact with since graduation).
I was friends with this one girl and she was fun. She helped me get out of my comfort zone, introduced me to new people, and helped me find my backbone. Unfortunately, by doing all this, the dynamics of our relationship changed – I was far from the DUFF, but my role was definitely meant to be supportive and of the sidekick variety. When I finally came to realize this and, more importantly, realize I was not okay with this – things changed and we drifted apart.
And this idea works for the relationship you have with your employer.
There are positions and jobs that are meant to teach you something – good or bad – before you move on. You will always remember it, the people you work with, and the lessons that you learned, but you do not need to re-connect with them weekly or creep their Facebook page. You just need to move on.
So this is where I am now. Moving on.
I came to my current employer broken. I didn’t realize the extent of this until I was here a few weeks and noticed that my neck no longer ached, that my eye no longer twitched, that I hadn’t had a migraine, and that I was laughing. Actually laughing. My friends and former colleagues saw an almost immediate positive change.
I had gone through an experience that was not a good fit for me and I paid the price for it. Word to the wise – do NOT ignore the warning signs during your interview. You will regret it.
My current role has let me rebuild my confidence, allowed me to find my voice again, and given me hope that despite all the bullshit that HR can encompass, there are people who truly do want to make a difference. I have been working with people who have been supportive, who have challenged me, and who have accepted and liked me for me.
So, it seems strange that I would say all this and then announce that I’m leaving. However, like those other moments in my life when I’ve parted ways with people, there is a reason. Staying will not improve or strengthen my relationship – in fact, it puts it at risk. I would not want to go from appreciating to resenting someone, because of my own personal changes.
I’m also at a point in my life and career when I can step forward and do things for me without worrying about how it might be taking away or impacting others. Ah yes, the familiar parental dilemma (and yes, I did say “parental” and not women, because it’s friggin’ 2015 and if you think that some fathers don’t feel this way then go back to thinking Mad Men is a reality show).
So now, just like that high school friend, I’m faced with the fact that my supportive and somewhat of a sidekick role needs to evolve and because of this – I have decide to make a change.
I always stayed on good terms with that girl – when I saw her from time to time over the years I was happy to say hello and find out what was new in her world.
Sometimes that is the best that I can do in terms of not “throwing people away” – it’s not up to me to “restore, renew, revive, reclaim and redeem” them, but I can accept who I have become and what they have become in my life and move forward from there.