Things have been pretty crazy for me in the last month. I started back to work a month ago yesterday. When I left, I didn’t know what God had planned for me, but I knew I was doing what was best for me. Once again, I am convinced that God has a sense of humor. Never would I have expected to go back to the job that I was so eager to leave. Everyone’s initial reaction when they find out that I’m back at Blue Shield is something to the effect of, ‘So, it’s a different job, right? A different department?’ I can’t help but laugh because I’m back in exactly the same job that I left two months prior. Some people have questioned if it was the best move. Why would I go back to a job that drove me crazy? What changed? I usually don’t have answers that satisfy anyone’s curiosity, but that last question – what changed – is an easy one. I did.
In a lot of ways, it feels like I never left (though there are some people at work who don’t let me forget that I did leave…), but I see things so differently now. And people are seeing me differently. Most people can’t really put their finger on what exactly has changed, but they know something has. In the last month, I have had several people ask me if I’ve lost weight. According to my scale, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Some people don’t believe that, but it’s true – at least physically.
I haven’t had a lot of time to think, much less write, in the last month. Other than my first day back, I’ve only worked one regular eight hour day. Though my budget is very happy with the extra money, the extreme introverted aspect of my personality is struggling with being surrounded by people without having a balance of downtime. My weekends have been filled with rehearsals for my favorite show. I love working on that, but it takes my time. There’s not a lot left for anything else other than sleeping. But tonight, I’ve had a chance to breathe a little, and with that came a realization. I have lost weight.
The week after my last day at Blue Shield, I secluded myself in a hotel in Tahoe. I knew that I needed some time to reflect and just listen for a little bit. I was freaked out by the idea of quitting my job and having no income, but I knew that God had a plan, and I needed to find out what that was. Somehow, I was able to get past my control issues and intense desire to have everything planned out, and I managed to start listening just before I walked out the door of Blue Shield for what I thought would be the last time. Before I had even gotten home that night, my world had started to change. I understood why God wanted me to leave, and my upcoming trip to Tahoe had completely changed. I no longer felt the need to figure anything out. I needed to see things from a different perspective, and I needed to let go.
I had a great week in Tahoe – in ways that I don’t even think I can put into words. When I left on Friday, I felt different. I didn’t really know why or what, but it felt like I had left something behind. Since then, I’ve noticed things changing – some small, some not so small. I know what the changes are, but I hadn’t quite understood what was making the difference for me. Why did I see things so differently? Why was I suddenly so aware of how I felt; what I wanted; what I needed; who I am?
I’m starting to understand now. I have lost weight. I did leave something behind in Tahoe. Some really heavy baggage. I spent so much of my life building walls around myself. I refused to let anyone in. I refused to be hurt anymore. If no one could get close, no one could hurt me. At some point in my journey, I realized the wall that was supposed to protect me was holding me prisoner. I tried so hard to break down that wall. Every time I felt like I had broken through, I’d only find another layer. Layer after layer. Suitcase after suitcase. I’d find one answer, and it would only lead to five more questions. I think that’s the real reason I quit my job. I was tired. I was burnt out. I had lost most hope of ever really breaking free, and my last resort was to completely trust that God was in control. When I left Tahoe, I left the final remnants of my wall behind. I still have some baggage to sort through, but a lot of that was attached to the wall. It’s sitting in a hotel room in Tahoe, and I’m a lot lighter. It’s amazing how much an emotional wall can physically weigh. So maybe the next time someone asks me if I lost weight, I should just say yes. I am no longer a prisoner of the wall I built.