Lessons Learned

The last month has been a whirlwind for me.  So much has happened, and I’ve finally had a chance to just sit and breathe.  I have learned so much already, and I’ve been very surprised with how differently I see things now in comparison to how I saw those same things just one month ago.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) will mark exactly one month since I told my supervisor that I quit.  Since then, I have seen God’s hand moving in so many different areas.  Since then, I have strengthened my belief that everything happens for a reason, and I have connected with an internal belief that I am who I am, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

When I turned in my resignation, the first thing I talked with my supervisor about (after establishing that I was a brat and she hated me, of course…) was who my replacement could be.  After some discussion, I had come up with my list of three people who could handle the responsibilities and expectations.  I thought that my number 2 and 3 choices could do the job, but my number 1 choice was someone I thought would do the best job.  If she replaced me, I would be certain that the job would be in good hands.  I was not the only one who felt that way.  Of course, it wasn’t easy.  My number 1 choice had vacation time planned and wouldn’t be able to interview until she came back – three days before I would be gone.  My number 2 choice had decided not to apply for the position.  My number 3 choice ended up being our director’s number 1 choice.  Before my number 1 choice could even interview, our director told my supervisor to go get my number 3 choice.  Right after that, my number 3 choice withdrew her application.  I know some of the story of why she withdrew, and there’s a part of me that feels bad for her because I think she was given misleading information by her supervisor.  But…everything happens for a reason.  Because she withdrew her application, my number 1 choice was able to interview.  Our director still wanted us to go a different direction, but in the end, I don’t think he could argue with the fact that my number 1 choice was the best fit for the team.  Even with politics involved, we were still able to get who we wanted.  And most importantly, I was able to sit with her and do a brain dump on my last day.  I see God’s hand all over that.

My last day was really tough for me – tougher than I ever thought it would be.  I still struggle with being comfortable with expressing emotion, and there was a whole mix of emotions that day.  I was also struggling with the sense that something wasn’t right with my decision.  I still knew that I did what I was supposed to do – that I did what was best for me – but something didn’t sit right with me.  It wasn’t until 4:30 that day, when I was finally leaving, that I started to realize what was wrong.

My supervisor came to me around 2:00 and told me that I could leave whenever I wanted.  Then she said, “You should probably go now or I’ll  just keep asking you to do stuff.”  I couldn’t leave yet because the person replacing me had a quick conference call at 2:00, and I still had some things I needed to tell her.  So my supervisor gave me my last check and said to give her my badge before I left.  I worked with my replacement until about 3:30, and then started getting all of my stuff together to leave.  There was a part of me that was having a hard time saying a final goodbye, and I ended up just sticking around because I didn’t really have time to go all the way home since I had agreed to go out for drinks with some people.  Finally, around 4:30, I took my badge and set it on my supervisor’s desk.  She was on a conference call, but she muted herself so she could say goodbye.  She asked me if I was sure that I didn’t want to just keep my badge and then asked if she could have a hug.  After telling me that she would forward open job postings to me, she said something that has played in my head over and over.  “Good luck with whatever is next, and I hope that it fills the void.”

It was such a simple statement, even though I had never really used the word ‘void’ in any of our conversations.  But it really struck me, and I was fixated on it.  I realized that it was the reason something was feeling ‘off’ about my decision.  I do have a void.  I’ve really always known that.  But it didn’t have anything to do with my job.  My job was just the easiest thing for me to blame.  The void was inside of me, and no matter what job I had, I wouldn’t ever be happy in it until I was happy with myself.

I’m not normal.  I never have been.  For all of my life, I’ve tried to be normal.  I didn’t want to be different.  Somewhere along the way, I learned that being different was bad.  For the first time, I’m okay with not being normal.  I kept thinking that I wanted to do something creative and relational.  In my learned ‘black and white’ thinking, I immediately decided that it meant I couldn’t do anything analytical.  The two could not coexist for me.  There’s a lot of reasons for that, but it finally hit me that the two are not mutually exclusive, and they are both a huge part of who I am.  So it’s about finding balance, not about replacing one with the other.  I need both to truly be who God created me to be.

So I’ve thought a lot about what I want to do, and I don’t really know what’s going to happen next.  But I do know that I have to figure out how to balance the two sides of my personality.  I never thought that I would ever say this, but that may involve taking another job at Blue Shield.  There are no doors that are closed to me right now, and I see my job at Blue Shield in a completely different light right now.  I see myself in a completely different light.  There’s a part of me that hates that I had to quit to figure some of this stuff out, but I understand why it had to happen this way, and I know that I would not have gotten to where I am right now if I had not quit.  I am who I am, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Such a simple concept, and yet it has taken me so long to truly understand and believe it.  I’m still going to struggle for a while, but I feel like I’ve gotten a good foundation started, and I’m ready to step into anything that God has for me simply because I understand that God created me this way for a reason, and it is up to me to be happy in that.

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