Out with the Old, In with the New

In the past (good old Xanga), I would recap the last year month by month talking about the highlights and tough times I encountered.

This year I'm not.

Instead I'm going to just going to celebrate the difficult life changes and decisions I made it through in order to finally feel like an adult and get my life to a healthy place. This year was not the most difficult period of my life, but it was a long, tiring year that has brought me to a much better place in my life. I think it is important to acknowledge the hurdles in life and be thankful for the opportunities we have to grow from them. If this post seems depressing, it isn't meant to be. This year finally forced me to grow into a responsible person and that is something for which I will always be extremely grateful.

*The biggest, most challenging part of my year came from my work life. Last year at this time, I transitioned from my entry level position into holding my own territory in a large corporation. It was at this point I had a new manager who turned into what I hope will be the worst boss I will ever encounter in my career. He was sexist, a micro manager, and determined to have me quit/ be fired. It took me a long time, filing two HR grievances, counseling (thank you major corporation health insurance), and lots of talks with friends to realize that sometimes there is nothing you can do, some people will just not like you and you can't change that. I spent many months in fear of being fired after I learned that he had started a file cataloging every mistake I ever made (from day 1!!! Before I even had time to ever slight him in any way) and started using HR speak to "discipline me" with the door open in his office to make sure that every employee heard him. It took me 8 months before I was ready to really start looking for a new job.

This experience thought me two important lessons, the first being that companies look out for the company's interests and not for the employee's interests. I was incredibly naive and came into my first real job believing the opposite. This was a great lesson because it has taught me to look at situations objectively and identify what I want rather than what my sense of loyalty tells me I should do. 

The second lesson was that removing yourself from a bad situation isn't giving up, it is making a healthy decision for you. Giving up is staying in a situation, because change is scary. Even the worst situation is bearable if you know what to expect, the unknown is scary and takes courage to find out.

I changed careers, learned a new skill (sales!) and I started managing my career rather than having someone manage it for me. So I go into a new year in a better place in my professional life (yay!!!).

*Second major life change was moving states and moving in with James. If you have done either you know what a huge change that is. I'm still learning from this experience, but wow... patience was a virtue I'm getting to know quite well!

*Creating a budget was a lesson I learned last January and has forced me to manage my financial life rather than blindly guessing what I should do. This came incredibly helpful when it came time to move because I actually had savings to dip into instead of racking up credit card debt. It also helps when taking a major pay cut as I spend time building a book of business to earn commission.... not to mention wedding planning. Also the purchases I do make mean more to me than spending money whenever I feel like it.

*This year also made me grow up and learn to take care of others. Because my grandfather lives here in Florida, I have had to step up and help my family through the process of my grandmother dying and helping my grandfather. It has been difficult, but I am incredibly lucky that I have the means and ability to be there. My grandfather is such an amazing guy who has had a very difficult life and this time I spend with him is a blessing. I learned that the relationship I want to model my own after is the love that my grandparents had. Even in the darkest hours, my grandfather was there and willing do everything in his power to make my grandma happy. I look forward to growing my relationship with my grandfather even more in the next year.

This next year will be a major year for me and I have a feeling it is going to be amazing. I'm getting married(!!!), continuing to grow professionally, and saving for a down payment for a house. I'll be meeting new friends, learning a new city, and growing a strong foundation for my life with James. I wouldn't be ready to do any of these things if I hadn't experienced 2010. Which is why I am able to say I am grateful for these experiences.

Happy New Year Everyone

via Craftily Ever After


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