Peace is better than chocolate

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Commitment and cleanliness

It is my experience that life will test you. Especially when you make a commitment. When you really want to recreate some aspect of your life. 
If you are committed to drinking 8 glasses of water a day, suddenly, all of the bathrooms in your office are out of order except one. On a different floor. For a week. And you have to decide if you want to keep that commitment.

Recently, I decided that I wanted to leave my current job like a grownup. I want to go on good terms. I put in my two weeks notice just yesterday morning, in fact. (Yay!)

But when I got my schedule for the week I don’t have a day off for six straight days. And I have two assignments for my new dream job as a writer due on Tuesday morning, 8 am. 

I knew immediately that it was a test from life, but it took me a minute to figure out what the test was. It was not, in fact, to test if I was committed to my new job. It was to test if I was committed to leaving my old job like a responsible adult. 

And I assure you, when I saw that I wasn’t going to get a day off, it crossed my mind to say screw this, I have a super sexy writing job now. I’m not going to my crappy food service job.

But there is another story I want to share with you. Many years ago, before I was reunited with my boyfriend, I was going on a lot of dates. And that often meant packing a dinner and eating it in the city at a Starbucks before I met the guy.

Now, I have a person who helps me when something happens with my food. One evening right before a date, I was eating my strictly portioned dinner and I dropped a speck. Seriously a speck. I called my friend and I told her. She said that I didn’t need to call for a speck, but I said I was about to go on a date, and I wanted to be as “clean” as I could be. I wanted my integrity to be solid. I was looking for love. I was looking for an awesome relationship. I did not want a speck of food to get in my way.

The truth is, the date was horrible. I ended up telling him that I was not having a good time because he was not being nice to me. Then he tried to make out with me. (Apparently that’s how he showed how nice he was? Ew. Whatever…)

I left that date. I didn’t stay longer out of politeness. I didn’t let him drive me home. I saw that I wasn’t getting treated the way I deserved, and I ended it right there.

I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t called in that I dropped a speck of my food. Maybe the same thing. But maybe, if I thought my integrity had a crack in it, I would have stayed and let myself be treated poorly.

So here I am, fulfilling my commitment to write my own blog. And I will fulfill my commitment to get my writing assignments for my new job in on time. And I will also fulfill my commitment to stick it out at my other job for the next two weeks. So I can leave knowing I did the right thing. Not for them, but for me. Because I want to start this new job as clean as I can be. I don’t want cracks in my integrity while I am fulfilling my dreams.


One of those times history did not repeat itself. Maybe because I didn’t backtrack.

I had my first day at my new job yesterday. It went really well. I think I will be just fine at it.
I only get a 15 minute break per shift, so that means packing the smallest possible meal when I have to work through a meal time. But it’s manageable. 

I had a handful of rough days worrying. First about meals. Now that I have the experience of having eaten one meal in my 15 minute break, it seems like a non-issue. But mostly I had been worried about scheduling. Or more specifically, asking for what I need in terms of my schedule, from someone I don’t know.

I have a history of working for power-crazy bosses. Not all of them. I have had plenty of kind, considerate, honorable employers. But I have also had a lot of bosses who liked to demonstrate their position as the person in charge of my money.

And I historically, I have let them.

I am the person in charge of my money. I always have been. But I lived for many years as if it were not the case. And I was easy to manipulate, because I was a people-pleaser who thought her job was to make the boss happy. I thought that I didn’t deserve money for less than that.

It turns out that all that time, my job was my job. And the boss being happy was not in my control. 

I do my best. I am committed to integrity. But my best isn’t going to make everyone happy. And I need to live with that.

So right, scheduling. I was hired with the understanding that I could not work after 4 pm on Thursdays. But I got my schedule and I was immediately scheduled for Thursday night. And I was so upset.

So the “Good Girl” in me wanted to just accept it and work Thursday night, so that she didn’t have to be humiliated by making requests on her first day. And that fear of humiliation made me angry. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was even more anxious than usual.

And there is another part of it. I spent most of my life alone. And that meant that my choices had limited reach. But now I’m in a relationship. So money is not mine anymore. It’s ours. In the past, if I felt uncomfortable with the way I was being treated in a job, it was my right to walk away. But now walking away from a job would at least require a conversation with my boyfriend. 

But Thankfully, I was at least present enough to know that I didn’t know what was going to happen. (Being sober helps in that way.) I knew enough to know that I needed to take care of this one step at a time and not get ahead of myself. 

So I walked in on my first day and I did my best. I also made my requests. And my boss was great. He told me he never got my availability schedule, so he didn’t know about my Thursday nights. He rescheduled me that day. He even accommodated another request, that I specifically told him was not a necessity, but would be nice since I had planned something before I got the job. In other words, he’s a good boss and also a nice guy.

I was worried and upset because of history. Because I didn’t know what to expect, and I was afraid of getting the worst of what I have gotten before. But it’s also about confronting the worst of myself. The doormat. The Good Girl. The martyr. It’s scary to go head to head with those aspects of my personality. I was that way because I got something out of it. And even though I get more out of being honest and straightforward and taking care of myself, the fear of losing something by not being obliging can still be intense.

But now I have another reference point for self-care, where it worked out perfectly in the end. So it turns out that history does not always repeat itself.

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