My First Year Of Freedom!

This is a post about a topic I have long thought about writing. I have debated whether to hit the publish button as I do want to keep my blog humourous and light hearted and not get too personal on here. On the other hand I think its good to challenge yourself boundary wise from time to time. This post was kind of therapeutic to write and it pushed me out of my writing and sharing comfort zones. And is long and wordy. You have been warned.

Today last year, my months notice period finished and I left my job of 12 years with no job to go to. I did not leave under the best circumstances (its long story and now is not the time or place) and I left there pretty much a broken woman. It was a job that I hated and dreaded waking up to each morning. A job that slowly wore me down and effected my well being, after 12 years of handling obnoxious and rude customer complaints all day long and working with some horrible, bitchy, two faced colleagues.

The job effected me more than I realised. I used to think that when I got home that I left my work behind me. But now I have admitted to myself that it slowly but surely, made me question if there were any nice people left in the world. Gradually I felt the happy go lucky, optimistic girl who just wanted to have a laugh and a good time disappearing. That was the nineteen year old girl who started the job back in 1999.

In my years working there I grew up and had life experiences, both inside and outside of work, good and bad which shaped me into the person I am now. But mainly due to my working environment, I lost my spark. Customers being rude and moaning at you is not the most pleasant of environments to be in all day long, and it slowly wore me down.

It was not all bad working there, for one thing it killed my shyness approaching strangers and I learnt lots of skills for my CV. I also worked with some lovely people who I have remained good friends with. And it paid I suppose!

I just was stuck in a rut and had been there for so long that I could not see myself doing anything else. I always found an excuse to stay there (too busy to job hunt, I got to stay there to pay my bills, the recession, no jobs out there etc).

So when I left it was a huge and scary decision to make, even though I was pretty much made to leave. I had no CV prepared and I had not had a job interview in over 12 years. I gave myself a target of finding a new job by Easter. We both agreed that a part time role would suit me better, as I do all the cooking and housework at the moment because Rob works seriously long hours.

Fast forward to one year later and I found a new part time job in early Feb 2012 which again is in a retail environment. But mainly because it is a different industry, happily the majority of the customers are nice to me and we have a bit of banter! They call me names like love, cock, ducky, sweet and dear! It is a small local shop and we know all our regulars. My new boss praises and encourages me (the polar opposite to my last manager), and I don’t mind the job (honest). I know, who of thought eh!

I also help out Rob with his business in my spare time and I am learning new IT skills that I was sorely lacking. I blame it on staying in a job for too long with its own basic computer system, that’s my excuse anyway!

I have also managed to up my housework game. Its amazing, when I was in my former job I often used to think to myself “If only I was’nt here, I could be doing something far more exciting like scrubbing my toilet” and all the chores that needed doing etc. But when I left, it turned out that all my fantasies about being a lady of leisure and just being a homemaker were not what I wanted. I actually enjoyed working hard and under pressure. Having tons of free time and just the hoovering to do were not as enjoyable as I thought. But on the other hand, I have finally learnt that the only way you can have a tidy and relatively dust free house is to actually clean it on a regular basis. Who’da thought again, eh!

It was hard to let Rob support me financially. I have always been very independent and paid my own way. I have finally accepted that while I may not pay much in to team Helen and Rob, I do my fair share in other contributing factors. At the end of the day, we are way past the who pays what stage in our relationship, and I would do the same for him in a heartbeat.

When you are self employed you never know what is around the corner. But we are managing fine and are more than happy with our lot. Plus thanks to me taking over the admin side for Rob, he has had continued to make his business a success.

Life is too short to work in a job you hate. I started 2012 uncertain about what was around the corner, but hopeful, and again I start 2013 feeling the same way. But you know what – I feel good about it. Bring it on I say!

2 thoughts on “My First Year Of Freedom!

  1. Helen, I love this! I know too many people who say, “But I can’t leave now – I’ve been in the job XX years.” I don’t see why that matters; it just makes you look dependable on your CV! And do you want to give them XX more years, too?

    I’m so glad it all worked out for you!

  2. Thank you, I did need a bit of a (unpleasant) kick to leave, but Im glad I did! Im in a much better place now than I was this time last year! x

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