It’s all a bit surreal

Surreal is the word of the week I’ve decided. I finished work and it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. I had farewell drinks with friends last night and it didn’t seem entirely real that these people showed up to see me. I’ve been staying at Alison’s for the past two weeks and it doesn’t feel like I’ve moved out of anywhere.

Jess arranged a farewell morning tea for me and another lady who was finishing up at the same time. There were flowers, cards, a gift card and speeches. Anush said some lovely things about me and it got overwhelming again. This is the first job I’ve left where I wasn’t 100% sure that I was doing the right thing. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to read the cards yet.

I’ve mentioned before how I was only at this workplace for six months, and I was given all of the above. I was at my previous workplace for eight and a half years and was given nothing except a fake hug from HR on my departure.

I went through a formal – yet apparently casual – exit interview here with HR and sat down with Anush for some feedback. It was nice to be told that I did a great job and helped him immensely, and again have him say that I can still change my mind. At my previous job, I was emailed a link to a monkey survey for an exit interview. There was nothing personalised about it and I received no feedback at all.

Catching up with friends last night, most of them amazing people whom I used to work with, I’ve realised that I am still very much not over the circumstances that led to my leaving. There is still so much bitterness inside me about what they did to me, didn’t do to me and how I was treated. I want so hard to move on, yet that bitterness just won’t go away. I physically cringe and squeeze up when two particular names are mentioned.

The complete differences with how my leaving both of my jobs was handled shows a true reflection of the companies I worked for and was not a reflection on me. I was the same person with the same values at both places. The circumstances and emotions are a reflection on them, not on me.

At my morning tea, I did say that it was a truly difficult decision for me to leave, but I had to do what was right for me personally. I commented how it was the people that were there, how the company treated their people and how quickly I fit into the team that really made me struggle. The job itself wasn’t difficult, and in the long run wouldn’t have presented enough of a challenge for me to be there super long-term, but it did help me in a time of need and showed me that there is true goodness and appreciation out there – you just need to find and be open to it.

I posted on Facebook my appreciation of the gifts I was given on Wednesday and one of the ladies from work commented that you get what you give out, and I had given out “respect, kindness and fantastic good humour”. I’m starting to feel more positive about my life path and myself again. I’m not going to let these comments go to my head, but they are certainly reassuring. I am a good person and I deserve good things. I deserve to be treated in the way that I treat others, and those three traits are extremely important to me. All I have ever wanted was respect, kindness and of course a bit of fun.

I’m still nervous about my trip, about spending all of my savings and being truly by myself. But I’m also really looking forward to it. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do set things or achieve greatness. I’m going on a holiday, I’m going to find me and I’m going to learn some more about the world.

The week started off surreal, but that’s fading now. Things are very real and things are good. When I get back, I’ll assess if I take any action for my previous job but there’s no rush or pressure now. When I get back, I’ll see my wonderful friends – far more than I’d realised I had – and family and enjoy myself. Savings are there to be spent and as someone said last night, you never regret going on a holiday.

Life isn’t surreal. It’s real and here to be enjoyed.

Respect, kindness and fantastic good humour

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Author: Laura

In my 30s, simply working my way or travelling my way through it.

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