In movies, when people tell their shitty boss to “fuck off,” they get to storm out like a pimp to a dope ass soundtrack. In real life, I was sitting on the toilet, nervously pooping, while choosing how to tell my horrible boss to go to hell, but nicely, via text message.
I mean, I knew had to quit that job, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t feel like a life or death situation. In many ways, it still does.
Don’t get me messed up, it felt really good to send her a text resigning that looked almost exactly like the one she used to fire my partner a couple weeks ago; I’m a petty bitch, I own this. Still, on that first time practicing standing up for myself, it didn’t feel nearly as triumphant as I had hoped.
I thought that after making this bold move, I’d feel empowered. Instead, all I feel is scared. Thanks to the unedited brilliance of my partner and human pup submissive, I now know why I feel so worried: uncertainty.
I think I kind of knew that already, though. The idea of doing it never seemed joyous. Still, I feel it was the right thing for me, even if I woke up to the same general sense of impending doom the next morning.
When we’re standing at the edge of a cliff with our hearts in our throats, we often take that fear as a sign that we shouldn’t take the leap. In truth, it’s probably a sign that we need to take a couple steps back then run and leap into the abyss.
Even if you end up inching forward until you’ve got no more cliff left, you still got there.
For a lot of people, this sense of impending doom is a big hurdle to get over. Although we know deep down we’ll be better off on the other side, our fear of the unknown makes the best decision feel like the worse. We expect to have the big Rocky moment, but it’s rarely that satisfying, especially in the beginning.
Often, it’s not until we’ve landed safely that it even starts to feel like a good choice. Still, it’s important to remember that doing what’s best for you might not feel good immediately or ever.
I’m sure that next weekend, when I realize I don’t have to work at that god-forsaken café, I’ll probably feel a shit ton better about it than I do now. Time heals all wounds or however the cliché goes; I wouldn’t say all, but experiencing how time always keeps moving forward seems to be a kind of medicine on its own.
It’s only 27 hours later and I’m starting to feel lighter about it already. I’m even starting to feel a bit proud of myself. Having been so very disappointed with myself for so long, that’s a strange but welcome feeling.
Although, I’m starting to come around, before and after sending that text, I was a nervous wreck. I was so nervous, I even momentarily thought about sending a follow up that said I’d be willing to give her a fourth chance; I’m so glad I didn’t do that.
What I did and continue to experience is that fear of uncertainty – what could happen. For a lot of people, myself included, at the root of that fear sits a quiet insecurity that we are inherently flawed and every decision we make is flawed.
To make up for that lack of security within our capabilities, we often look outward for validation of our life choices. This behavior is called encouragement and we all need it from time to time. Though, it can become problematic when we start to base all of our life choices on the approval of others.
Without our own internal sense that we are good people, we can lose track of ourselves. We can start mistaking numbness for happiness and actively choosing to do things that are not in our best interest. Hence, why I’m glad I didn’t give my former boss another opportunity to make me feel bad about myself.
I may still be figuring out who I am and what I want, but I don’t have to suffer quietly in the meantime and neither do you. Having to deal with painful emotions is inevitable on the road to living authentically. Having to let people walk all over us isn’t. In fact, each and every time we do what is best for us, we extend an olive branch to the hidden and vulnerable parts of ourselves.
First steps are tough and it’s only human to stumble. These kinds of battles are the first steps to repairing our relationship with ourselves. No matter how uncomfortable each step feels, nothing will ever feel better than when we can finally stand up on strong stable legs.
Embracing the uncertainty will help you get there, but you won’t go anywhere if you only cower in fear.