Today, I chose to read a blog by blogger pindsha21, “I’m falling (and why it isn’t so bad)” and all the comments on it. This got me thinking and taking stock of my current situation. I am in this job because of family obligation. I changed careers, moved my family, reinvented myself over the last 15 years to fulfill this mission. And to date, I am nowhere near my goal, or at least, my envisioned endpoint, where I plan to walk away and let the real professionals take over. I can’t say the journey has not been interesting. Most certainly, it has been fraught with landmines and controversy (I’m accustomed to speaking my mind openly and honestly, and I tend to call people on their self-serving, self-aggrandizing choices).
My husband tells me that I am one of the toughest messianic people he’s encountered. He has long given up on the family. But he has respected my choice, albeit reluctantly. This has made the road a little more difficult for me as I am sensitive to his sense of his environs and I’m part of it. At the same time, I cannot be made responsible for his happiness as I am not relying on him for mine. Our lives are what we make of it, as the overused saying goes. Overused but still ringing true.
What does it take for me to quit? After all the insults, character assassination attempts, undermining, sabotaging, name-calling, butt-of-jokes hurled at me and behind my back?
I have gone home some days thinking I don’t want to get up the next day and make my way 45 minutes across the bridge to work. Then I see the faces of the people I work with, how they believe in my spiel, how they cling to the hope I’ve instilled, that there will be light at the end of this dark and lonely tunnel. And I can’t bring myself to quit. I think I’m also one of these staunch optimists. Not the kind who blindly believes or who deceives myself that everything’s fine. Rather, it’s the belief that yes, things are a mess and we will deal with it and tomorrow is another chance to make things right.
I see my daughter excited in what she has started to do and it encourages me. Even inspires me. I think of her and wonder what message I’d be giving by quitting. I can hear what she would say to me. That she wants me to be happy. That this is all not worth it. That I should go where I can be with like-minded and professional people, where I can be appreciated finally, and where I can fully realize my capabilities instead of having my wings clipped at each attempt to fly, let alone soar. Heaven forbid that I somehow eclipse the inflated egos of some family members as an incidental effect.
Is it wrong to want to do the right thing? To make things right as they should be? To establish some semblance of order in a haphazard environment?
Why do I even care so much?
I went through the 9 Reasons Why Failure Is Not Fatal, appreciating what everyone had to say about failing and why it’s not such a bad thing. I think I’ll walk away when:
- I’m losing my self-respect.
- I am compromising some very heavily guarded moral principles.
- The psycho-emotional abuse is really crippling me.
- I am risking my marriage and/or my relationship with my child.
- I am no longer the person I believed myself to be.
I’m not there yet, thankfully, although sometimes, I think I’ve come close.