I didn’t lose a child and I didn’t lose a husband. I am very blessed that I didn’t.

However, I lost myself; an identity crisis like no other. It was the scariest and the most frustrating feeling that I have ever experienced before. Eight months of torment and rage. Rage that when I had a great idea, no one listened. It was torment that I could not do anything about. I was trapped financially. I needed the job to feed my family but I had to lose the job to find myself again. Which was most important? It is my considered opinion that both are as equally important. You can’t be an effective parent when you don’t know who the hell you’ve become.

I encourage my kids to live their dreams. I do not tolerate laziness and the word’s “I can’t”. There was nothing worse when the words “I can’t find another job.”, came out of my mouth. This recession has provided limited access to change. People everywhere are losing their jobs after five, ten and even twenty five years. Here I am complaining about losing myself over eight months of a lousy job. Imagine those people!

Realistically, my identity crisis started about 5 months prior to being hired. Unemployment was no picnic either. I’m not one who vigorously housecleans, does crafts, or participates in parent councils. I am a writer, a dreamer, and person who is constantly creating ideas and feeling the need to share them. A Parent Council meeting certainly is not the venue for idea sharing when you are not part of the schoolyard banter. That is probably a parallel to a corporate environment. Grin, nod, and ignore.

So here was this new job. There were lots of promises but also lots of lies. I had promises that I can network and possibly sell. However, every promise was eventually stripped away from me as new management was hired. It was pathetic, I fought back, and I burnt my bridges. Would I do it the same way again? You betcha!!!

There are people in life, who grin and nod. There are others who pour out their heart and soul. This next phase in life may be no better than the other; however, I do know one thing. It would take a lot before I work in a corporate environment again. It does not matter how big the ideas or how gifted a person is. You are just a number.

I would go through the anguish and torment again as I was never a hypocrite. I had chest pains, the inability to walk because of swollen feet, and many endless tears and breakdowns. I fought for finding the real me throughout this whole ordeal. I’ve seen too many people being stripped of their identity because of a job, a spouse, or the demands of their children.

I tell my children, we came into this world alone and we leave it alone. We must also walk through this world and know our true identities. We have people in our lives, but if we want to sing loud; sing. If we want to run a race; run. Don’t ever allow anyone to limit your abilities, as one day you’ll be laying in that hospital bed or looking at your wrinkled frayed body in the mirror and saying “If only I would have…”

I know now that will never cower, but I will always conquer. I will just never apply for a job at the same place again or with the same level of hypocrisy, because it’s truly a losing situation.

My definition of a happy life is well defined by a simple video of the Black Eyed Peas in Chicago. Now the majority of us would look at that one woman and go “what a freak”. But in fact, that one woman created a happy feeling and aura for everyone around her. We should all feel the “free to be me” feeling in front of 10,000 people. I love it and I feel that way right now!!!

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