Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Little Puppy That Lost Her Way

There once was a little puppy. Her name was Liz. She thought she knew what would make her happy, thought she would set some goals along the way. What she didn't realize was that she wasn't considering what made her happy, but she was only considering what was expected of her. She followed along on that misguided journey for a few sad, lonely, frustrating weeks, until she confessed to herself that she couldn't do it; this person she was trying to be just wasn't her. So she strayed off the path and found herself in the middle of the jungle. She was surrounded with the twists and turns of knotted vines and no path to follow. And that's when it clicked--she had to make her own path, and get to her destination on her own time. After all, she was only a puppy, so she has her whole life ahead of her, right??

In case you hadn't guessed, I've found myself standing off the path to my goal. In more than one aspect of life. But before I get into the nitty-gritty details of it all, I want to let you know that I am/will be okay. Worrying doesn't do much good, so I'm finding the optimism in everything.

The Job

I don't think I've ever been more wrong about something in my entire life. I've been gone from Blogger for the better part of 3 weeks now, and having just skimmed back over my last post, I must admit that I was wrong. The new "A-mazing" job? Not so much. As much as I tried to convince myself that I was that person that could handle sitting in front of a computer hours on end, working on a billable hours paradigm, and not interacting with people on a regular basis, I just couldn't do it.

The last time I blogged, I was 2 days in, so I was still in reading mode, and trust me--that was more boring than anything. I almost fell asleep numerous times! When I was finally done with all my reading (by Thursday), I was given bits and pieces of tasks, no real guidance, and I would only get tidbits of training at a time. Then I would have a dozen bits and pieces of tasks thrown at me, not knowing how to prioritize these since I was so new, still no guidance/training, and did I mention it was the end of the fiscal year?? Definitely not the best time to hire a new employee.

I started realizing my doubts the first weekend--I worked at Loft all weekend, but I couldn't help but compare my fun, interactive Loft job with my face-to-face-with-a-computer-all-day-every-day job. People kept asking how it was, and I didn't know what to tell them. I hadn't done much, I didn't know what to do, and I felt like no one had the time to tell me. By Monday morning, I left the gym BEFORE 6 (I had gotten there around 5:20!) feeling unmotivated, and I sat in the car, on the phone with my mom bawling my eyes out.

For as much as parents do not want to hear their children cry, they do not want to hear that their child doesn't like her first full-time job. So as my mom started to react to the situation: "What!? You just started there--you can't not like it when you have only been there a week!!" I proceeded to hang up on her (note: not a proud moment there, but it's become habit when I'm frustrated). I drove the really short drive home feeling so alone and so miserable and fighting back the tears that came out anyway.

At work that morning, I felt more tired than ever, more run-down than ever, and generally not in a good mood. And nothing changed from the week before, except that I was given longer tasks and the one girl on my team that works remotely every other week was in the office. I kept having to tell myself that I just had to make it through to this upcoming weekend (I'm going out of town for a fun visit!). But as much as I told myself I could do it, every day I got further in, the more miserable I was feeling, the more alone, and the more tired/unmotivated/frustrated/stuck. I was even lashing out at friends and family. I was a non-stop complainer (of which I'm generally not).

By last weekend, I had let word loose at Loft to my assistant manager that I didn't like my new job. I wasn't looking to stay in my sales lead position, because I know how that works and I didn't want to be an indian taker-backer (for lack of better phrase). I had actively started applying for any and every full-time job I could last Monday, and by Tuesday morning, I already had a phone interview set up. I felt like that was definitely a sign.

I stuck it out through the weekend, and by end of business Monday (3 days ago), I realized I couldn't keep deluding myself. I may be a people-pleaser, but sometimes I just have to do what's right for me. I honestly could not picture myself working at that company for 6 months...a year. I realized that I wasn't stuck--I have control over my life. The job had me so stressed out that I was unnecessarily checking work email at 11pm, in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom, and over the weekends. I was having legitimate nightmares about it. And my training went to crap. True fact: I've only been in the gym in the evenings mayyyyybe twice since I started the job. Granted, I only skipped one morning...

So Monday night, I realized I could only be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy if I did what's best for me. In this case, that was sending in my resignation. After going into Loft, crying to my manager, asking her if she could give me some hours next week while she is on vacation. And of course she said yes. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful manager, it's not even funny. I know I can't continue with my sales lead job past the 2-3 weeks I have left to stay in it, but I know she will definitely help me out.

As for the other boss--she completely understood too. She said I was doing a great job, but if I'm miserable doing a good job, then she understands. I didn't burn any bridges, but I'm not going to put this on my resume any time soon. So now, I'm back at Square One, and I don't even have a sales lead role to look forward to. But as I said earlier, it will all work out.

The Competition/Training

In light of the recent events and the blow to my motivation, I am once again postponing my competition date. I realize and am willing to admit that I lack the motivation that I had for what was supposed to be my original competition date back in July/August. Then, I lacked the money. Now, I lack the motivation (and the money will become an issue again...student loans have to be paid back starting November!).

I met with Pleasants today and we are going to go with a bulking phase and settle for a competition in the new year (hopefully Spring--and I'll be competing alongside my friend, Toni! Although she does bodybuilding, not figure). I'm much more calm about this decision because it was exactly that--a decision. It was a conscious choice on my part, not because I can't afford it, but because I want to be my best and I think that I need to go this route in order to get there.

I think this has been one of my proudest moments in recent time. I know that everyone says that you're supposed to get a full-time job right out of college, etc etc, but I don't think that's the course for me. Yes, I would love a full-time job, but not in my field. I'm an interactive person. I'm a people person. I would rather be happy making less money than miserable making more money. And to be honest, I wasn't making all that much for the depth of work that I was doing.

I do want to do a quick shout-out: I haven't kept up with much blogs (I promise to catch up soon!) but I checked to see how Lacey's competition went the other weekend. I was so sad to read that pneumonia kept her from the stage, but her attitude surrounding the whole thing was so calming and inspirational. She recognized the work she put in (trust me, we all recognize the amazing work she put into her training!), but in the end she had to do what's best for her. I like to think that I took a page out of her book and gained the courage I needed to make my own decisions this week.

I may be that little puppy off the path, but I am still on a journey. Some journeys take longer than others, but I still see my destination, and I will make the best of the path I follow until I get there!

I have missed you, my blogging family! So glad to be back!


  1. Aw you are so sweet! It really and truly is so encouraging that someone else can find some kind of peace from my own struggles.
    Sometimes making the right decisions are the hardest. Especially when its for ourselves. You sound like you are on the right track now! :) We missed you too!

  2. Aw mama I'm tearing up reading this. Hits SO close to home... Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves to have it all figured out. But really, it's OKAY, maybe even good, to be lost :). Strength comes from moments such as these - so proud of you for doing what's best for YOU! XO

  3. Wow, love this Liz. You made the right decision for you and that's what matters. It's great that you realized that and didn't just stay and continued to be miserable and not like the job. Good for you! And yes, as you've heard plenty of times, the competitions will always be there. Take the time for yourself, you will eventually feel that motivation and determination, even if it's not in the cards right now! I'm happy for you!

  4. My favorite part of this post: "I realized that I wasn't stuck - I have control over my life."

    The right kind of job is going to come your way! I think it's fantastic that you are not settling into a job that makes you miserable. Life is all about choices and I think it takes a strong, confident person to realize that!

    Hang in there! Your blog friends are here for you! :)

  5. Thank you all for all of the kind words and understanding! It's been a bit of a touchy issue, and I find myself getting frustrated with those that ask me about the job on a daily basis. But I'm positive everything will work out how it's meant to!!