Sometimes You Don’t Know What You Have….

NaNoWriMo Pro Tip #1: Always save your work.

So I suppose the fact that I just lost an hour’s worth of writing for a blog post is my own fault.

I forgot that WordPress does not auto-save. And I’m working on my dad’s computer and keep hitting all manner of oddly-placed keyboard shortcuts that are opening up other windows and logging me out.

I suppose it’s for the best. That hour long-post was mostly me ranting about a human being I don’t like.

But it was eloquent and deep and I was just getting to my point, which was going to be nothing short of inspiring.

Maybe later, when I’m not so mad.

But I still want to post, so I think I’ll go the route I was considering yesterday:

Two and a half months ago, I left my job. It was the second job of my adulthood and one I swore I would never do because it was so boring. I actually really enjoyed it for the most part and learned a lot about that kind of work, customer service in general, and about myself.

I also learned what kind of boss I never want to be and that I’m much too kind and considerate to ever own a business.

Actually, just before I left I started typing up a very angry, bitter blog post written as a later to my soon-to-be-former boss. It’s still in my drafts and I’m embarrassed to think about it.

So it’s been over two months, and I have yet to wake up one morning and regret my decision to leave. Dad warned me I might feel that way, because that’s how he felt after he left the job that was killing him.

Yes, I do regret having to rely on my parents for support. I regret not having put anything into savings before I left, like I kept telling myself I needed to. I regret the last month of the job and how bitter and emotional I was. I regret not being able to financially help my family and pay my own way. I regret my lack of independence.

But I do not for one moment regret walking away from that job. Not even though it meant having to take care of Gram (and we’re all adjusting and things are looking up, by the way). Not even though it meant Mom and Dad could no longer rely on my rent money or me pitching in to help with groceries or my car registration. Not even though it means I hardly get out any more and I can’t make plans without checking to see who will be able to cover for me on Gram duty.

I know I handled the job departure very badly. I blew things out of proportion and developed grudges against my bosses. I admire my parents all the more for how patient and open they were with me and how they only stepped in when I went too far. Now I have come to accept the fact that every job will have those people and most likely those bosses, and that’s just life.

I particularly don’t regret leaving that job because it means I now have all the time in the world to dedicate my attention to my lifelong passion for words. Yes, I harbor many unrealistic fantasies about publication and royalties checks and being able to once again help out with the groceries and pay my rent. But though I’m not the most concise or eloquent blogger, I believe I’m a pretty decent fiction writer. Hopefully this was the last time I have to work a traditional job.

About a month after my departure, give or take, my old boss called me up. Nina was nearby when it happened, and I covered the mic and mouthed, “Ha! I knew it!” as my old boss explained his predicament: they had yet to find a replacement for me who would stay, and they needed help with some of my old tasks that had been neglected.

And he said something more than once that I will always carry with me: “Never underestimate yourself. You are a truly valuable person.”

That almost makes all of my heartache over that job worth it. In addition to now possessing the skills to talk down angry dictators and the patience to deal with people who don’t have a clue what they’re doing, I have learned something very important about myself: I have value.

And to hear my old boss say that when I had first-hand experience with his inability to praise his employees, I was again grateful that Mom and Dad encouraged me to walk away with my chin up and a smile on my face rather than burning every bridge I crossed.

So I still work at my old job every other weekend. I don’t have to answer phones or schedule jobs or even talk to people. I sit quietly at the computer filing paperwork and listening to audio books and I am guaranteed 5 hours’ pay even if I don’t work that long. That means I am able to put a little into savings every month and pay for my dog’s food and still buy my own clothes.

But more importantly, I have finally come to accept something about myself, and if I ever have to sit through interviews trying to get another job, I can declare it with all confidence: I dedicate myself to my work; I have an eye for detail; I am polite and kind to everyone because it’s in my nature to not hurt people’s feelings; I have good ideas; I have a good sense of humor and know how to laugh at myself; I’m eager to help and to please; I work hard and people often don’t realize how much I do until I’m gone.

I knew God intended to teach me something when He led me to that job. He taught me patience and kindness, toughened me up a little, and showed me that I should never underestimate myself.

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