This week, I was fired. Of course, no one actually said that. I was "let go". (Okay, *I* told some people I was fired because, you know, I don't like euphemisms).
In reality (and with a day away from there to lend perspective), I see "let go" in this case as exactly what happened. I have a definite feeling of having been let go. Let go like an animal who's been in a shelter cage for too long or a helium balloon that's been tied to a chair too heavy to lift (though I don't recommend letting helium balloons go -- they don't have feelings, but birds and other wildlife do, and balloons can be dangerous to them and the environment). Just let go -- allowed finally to run free, escaped from the shackles of a job I (let's be honest) hated and wasn't very good at.
M told me last night she heard glee in my voice for the first time in a long time. I slept like a baby last night. I got up this morning more refreshed and ready for the day than I have in at least a couple years. I think the complete and utter toxicity of my situation over the past couple of years will only become apparent as time and distance allow me to heal, but for now (mind you, it's been only a day):
- my carpal tunnel symptoms are gone
- my heartburn is gone
- I was humming for real earlier today
- despite spending the morning doing some rather aerobic housework, I had the best cardio workout I've had in a long time at the gym
I've felt for a while that I should quit my job, but I was just too chicken to do it and lose the health insurance. Last weekend I read no fewer than 3 articles in 3 different journals about job stress and burnout and its costs to the individual, a marriage, and society. M's sermon this weekend (intended to get people thinking about their role in the Church, granted) pressed us all to look inside at what we love and what we're good at and put those gifts to work and stop just doing what we feel obligated or pressured to do.
Message received, and now it's up to me to use this time wisely and productively (aside from getting the house clean, which is my first order of business). What do I want to be when I "grow up"? How far do I think my weaving can take me? How does one break into freelance editing/proofreading/writing? Do I really want to work for someone else? Is being a housewife and part-time something-I-can-do-at-home really what I need?