Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Meaning of 555-URZ

As much as I've written about the idea of light and hope lately, the reality is that there are a lot of moments in life that are far from ebullient and lustrous. There are people who commit actions that aren't congruent with our own best interests, who will say and do things that will continue to inflict harm long after their initial impact. But once those actions have been committed and those words have been spoken, the responsibility for the after effects is ours.

Yesterday I was driving down I-25 in the early morning darkness, somewhere between the exits for Loveland and Berthoud. I had allowed myself to get into one of my "moods." The past two workdays had been spent with my local sales division's "Route Methods Expert." The current person who has obtained this position is everything my company's culture seems to like and reward. And yes, it's just about everything I'm not. So, while I'd rather go out and do my job the way that works for me, my company has a different idea. I'd rather move at a slower pace so I can be conscientious, enjoy the latest gossip at each store, make my customers happy, meet my own personal goals, and have fun. My company wants the job done as quickly as possible without error, to meet unrealistic maximum sales dollars per hour worked, and make sure that everyone operates under their ever changing policies/expectations like a robot.

So driving in the darkness, with the jovial music of the radio not helping, I'm thinking about why I've allowed myself to stay in a situation that isn't right for me. Why can't I just put in my notice early and pay back the remaining $1650 I would owe them in tuition reimbursement? That money's sitting in the bank anyway; saved just in case I decided to change my mind. Why didn't I leave when I had other job offers sitting on the table, despite the risks and the disadvantages? Why did I let the opinions of other people influence my own sense of self-worth and self-confidence? Why have I put up with emotional abuse and a hostile work environment for five years?

That's a lot of why's to float through anyone's head at 5:45 in the morning. It's a set of why's that probably aren't going to be fixed in a morning drive of self-evaluation and torment. It's a set of why's that contain a lot of anger, hurt, discouragement, fear, and an inner need to create harmonious change. It's the same set of reasons why people stay in dangerous abusive relationships and refuse to take a chance with the unknown, because at least with the familiar you know what lines you're expected to speak.

If I go a little deeper there's also an inner need to seek a little revenge. I don't want to pay back that small amount of money because I feel like they owe me. A little lesson in "you screwed me, so now I'm going to screw you."

That morning a job advertisement broke the chain of spinned out pop tunes, taunting me-"the listener," with the promise of yet another sales job whose minimum requirements I surpass. Selling for a local radio station-that could be fun. I just might be tempted to send in that cover letter and resume full of glossed over self-promotion and lies that could help me escape.

Then the 222's start flying by. Yes, for some unknown reason the State of Colorado suddenly seems to be minting license plates with sets of synchronistic numbers (and letters). Probable turnkey oversight aside, I was suddenly reminded of a work in progress that I'm not supposed to give up on. At least not yet. I still have a test to take. A test whose score doesn't matter because my former GPA is high enough for them to consider any outcome. There's still a set of possibilities hanging in the air. Some of them are dependent on someone else's opinion and some are changes that would be solely dependent upon me.

The past five years have shown me pieces of myself that I needed to see. Pieces that I didn't think were there. Pieces that were uncovered in preparation for something else. I haven't let go because I was seeking an answer to an unfathomable question. A question that doesn't have an answer because there simply isn't one.

Change is your own continual creation. An evolution of a collective thought process. A masterpiece of self-responsibility for the tools chosen, resulting in a paradoxical display that conceals the truth within the designer's soul.

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