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Time Travelled — almost 3 years
A letter from September 8th, 2018
I quit my first job and I have no idea what to do with my life.
I got offered this position in the middle of my internship at another department and honestly, I was so happy and grateful that I was the first one out of my batch to have a job. I was earning my own money two months before my graduation and I was working for a reputable organization. Everyone thought I was amazing. I thought so, too.
It wasn't that bad at first. I did my best even if I found it difficult working under a new boss. I just thought that hey, it seems hard now but things are going to get better later. It's normal to have an adjustment period, especially when you are young and inexperienced. I took everything as a grain of salt and did what I was asked to do to the best of my abilities.
For a while, it seemed like everything was going great. I got along with my boss. I was doing meaningful work that would help change the lives of other people. I was so young but it felt like I was on the path to greater things. But then, things weren't like that anymore.
I lost the rose-colored glasses when the public humiliations and psychological warfare started. It began with an email, then it turned into personal confrontations which soon involved other people. Talking behind your back, gossipping and twisting stories to their advantage. Always lifting themselves up, always putting other people down. And then they'd act like you were friends.
The work also changed dramatically. From doing field work I was soon locked inside my cold office cubicle for months, doing endless calls and working late nights without even so much as a thank you or overtime pay. It didn't matter at first. I told myself that we can make this situation better and that I just had to try harder because good things are going to come soon. I tried my best but I got nothing but lies and frustrations.
I started crying. On my way to work, while I was at work, on my way home from work. I couldn't sleep because of the stress and anxiety. I felt like I was working for a ticking bomb - one wrong step and everything I worked hard for would go to waste. Everything I sacrificed to get to this point - my relationships and my dreams - all blown to bits by someone who doesn't even deserve my time.
I stayed. Because I thought I had no other options but to do so. I stayed and my mental health was suffering so much that I honestly thought of just killing myself to end the pain. Jump off the bridge, but then the river probably wasn't deep enough to drown me. Jump off the building, but then they wouldn't get the payback that they deserved.
After crying for weeks, I just decided to stop and choose myself. This company doesn't love me, and I've already proven that now. I am not obligated to stay for this job. I am not proving anything by staying, I am just hurting myself. And so I turned in my notice of resignation and refused every time they asked me to stay. It felt good to see the look on my boss' face when I, the employee who never complained and just did her job, turned in her resignation. It felt good to see her try to do damage control and keep me from leaving. It didn't feel good because I saw for my own eyes that I was worth nothing but as a slave.
But that's all in the past now. I have but a few weeks left and while I may have had a few doubts along the way, I know that I made the right choice to leave. But the next problem is, what am I going to do afterwards? I thought I knew what I wanted. But when I was there, I knew that I absolutely hated it. I knew that it wasn't the life for me. But then that would mean that for the past four or five years, I had been lying to myself.
Who am I? What do I want? My mother always called me an artist and a dreamer. My classmates and professors always called me smart. I knew that I was both, but how am I going to make a living out of this? When I was younger, I used to write and draw from late nights to early mornings. But when I went down this path, I shunned that part of myself and now I don't know how to find the words or the colors that I always used to see in my mind.
I chased after a path of success that I didn't even like and now I am lost. I hope you are doing better than I am or at least, somewhat less confused than I am because right now, I have no idea where I'm headed next.