Learning to Let Go

January 20, 2017 was the day my life flew off its trajectory and took a totally new direction.

The day, like many other life-changing days, started as boring as any other. I got up, drove to work, clocked in and walked back to my office. Being Inauguration day here in America, my coworker and I live-streamed the Inauguration on a computer and joked about the end of the world. By the afternoon, we were counting down the hours until we could go home and start the weekend. That’s when it happened. I got the call saying I was needed in H.R. Thinking this was related to a recent injury, I closed out of my Google search on Black Bloc and headed to the front of the building.

Upon reaching H.R, I noticed I would not be alone in this meeting. The head of the building was there. I immediately panicked. What had they caught me doing? I rarely used my computer for non-work related things. (Certainly much less than many of my coworkers.) My attendance wasn’t that bad. The majority of the supervisors, leads, and managers liked me. I don’t generally get involved in office politics or drama. Why was I being singled out?

In the meeting, I was informed that my department was being downsized. It wasn’t much of a surprise. We hadn’t had much work in our office in months, possibly even years. There were four people with my job title and they really only needed two. Being the second to last hired into this position, I was one of the first on the chopping block. I was given the option to either take a demotion with a significant pay cut or I could take a severance package and move on with my life. I sat there, stunned. I was told to take the weekend to make my decision.I cried the whole way home.

By the time I had gotten home, my decision was mostly made.I hadn’t been happy in a long time. I was terrified to leave, but after my vacation to Seoul this coming summer, I was planning on looking for a new job. I was just trying to hold out until after June. But here was the Universe. Giving me that giant, neon-flashing sign. Telling me it’s time to let go.

I had been at this company for close to a decade in some capacity or another. I had started as a temp, doing manual labor. Over the years, I had been trained in over ten jobs. I had left to go to school full time and came back during summer breaks. I had bounced around to where I was needed and had finally been given that promotion. I had moved into a comfy, office job. My direct coworker and I had an instant connection. We sang Disney songs and joked about everyday life. We worked well on our own, but even better as a team. We became good friends. I now consider her one of my closest friends. It was hard to leave, knowing I’d probably never have a connection to another coworker as perfect as this one.

But I knew that I had been hanging on to something that I needed to let go of. I had been bored and unsatisfied with the job for some time. I dreaded going into work each morning and spent most of the day watching the clock for when I could finally leave. In recent months, I had been told I would not be cross-trained in other jobs that were on the same level or above the level I was already on. With no option for advancement, what was the point of me staying?

So, after a weekend of not being able to find a reason to stay, I called H.R. on Monday and submitted my paperwork for my severance package.

As terrified as I am of “what do I do now?” I am beginning to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. The stress of my unhappiness had caused me to stop sleeping more than a few hours a night. Though, I still find myself awake at 1 a.m. some nights, many other nights, I’m in bed by 9:30 or 10:00. My alarms still go off at 6 a.m. But now, instead of groaning and feeling angry and exhausted and stressed, I am happy to see the potential offered by another day alive. (Though, I don’t usually get up before 7:30, because…Well, I’m not a morning person.)

Sometimes, we cling so hard to things that make us unhappy, that the Universe is given no choice by to pry our hands open and force us to let go. I held on for far too long. I’m stubborn and like to dig my heels in if I don’t feel ready to make a change. But the second I decide to make that change (or the Universe forces me to change) I find it easy to walk away. So, here I am. Walking in another direction. Looking for a new path to follow.

The world is full of adventure and opportunities. Sometimes, you have to trust forces unseen to lead you where you need to go. This is me. Trusting the Universe to guide me.