Did I ever tell you the story of the burning bridge?

I grew up in retail cosmetics. I say grew up because I started the career at a very crucial time for my development as a woman. I was a new mother with a new agenda which included making this tiny human proud to call me mom. I was driven to make a change in my life and ran away from the service industry which was my home for 8 years. I was slinging chicken wings during the day, then I bartended in a nightclub that hosted raves all night. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a position in my life to be a role model for my daughter and in process of having my second midlife crisis.

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Image courtesy of Huffpost

(Thought bubble over head shows a slide show of all the crazy pictures at the end of the movie “The Hangover”) That was my life in a nutshell! I definitely needed a nudge to do better.

Oh boy, my second midlife crisis. Now that was fun! Ok, I digress… those stories for another day.

Now, at this point in the story, 10 years have passed, and I have been very successful in customer service, makeup artistry, business management, and I totally immersed myself into a brand that I loved. Oh yeah, I drank the Kool-aid and for a while it tasted good. However, I started to notice that every time in my career I did not take the advice of some executive or senior manager about my career path, I was outed from the popular crowd just a little bit. This went on for another 10 years, until I was hanging on to the fringe of the brand’s philosophies, feeling just like you do when you ride the Giant Swing at the carnival. You know… elated but scared for your life at the same time. I remember spending the entire 3 minutes of the ride clinging to life, imagining how and where I would land if the chains broke and catapulted me into the unknown. Scared AF!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Fast Forward

The company took a turn for the worse and the retail industry tanked, staffing adjustments, benefit cuts, lay-offs, job enlargement, and all these changes took place at strategic times secretly and universally for the entire company, no one was safe. The quick decision of the company to rip the band-aid off the bleeding wound caused an infection of bitter overworked employees, myself included. I took a promotion in a dying location thinking it would position myself for safety as the ship sank…(insert a slow sarcastic tone) yeeeeaaaahh… don’t do that. Not only did I have no way out, I backed myself into a corner. Then the most tragic experience of my life happened…my dad passed away. From December 21 to Dec 31 of December 2017, the power switch was activated in my soul. For you visual learners, I was winning a strong woman competition flipping a truck tire of emotion like it was sculpted from weightless foam. During those 10 days, my entire view of the world changed, and I was ready to make a move.

I began actively searching job postings for positions of any kind, and I put my pride aside to let my boss know I would greatly appreciate her support. The company obliged to my surprise, and they stuck me exactly where I needed to be (insert sarcasm). I was afforded the assisting leadership role under a manager that I can only describe as dark, secretive, and dishonest (straight up movie villain style). A cringe-worthy supervisor that an employee dreads to be around. It feels like a hopeless situation, I relied on my interactions with customers to lift my day. Can you imagine? It’s usually the customers that are cringe-worthy, and now I was hoping to connect with anyone just avoid the negativity that was my new work-life.

(Thought bubble reads: It’s time to go!)

What are dreams if you can’t make them come true because you’re slaving away for someone else’s dream? Expending all your energy to something that you will not be thanked for or reap any benefit, other than a small financial gain that weighs you down like a ball and chain because now you’re accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Financial growth should never be the traded for emotional abuse. Stay mindful, (professional note) you cannot change someone else’s poor behavior if they are in denial; however, there is hope because you can change the way you react to it. If you need a list of emotional abusive behaviors, here you go. I had to pick my top five-ish because the list could go on forever.

  • Reactive and non-patient
  • Rude and boisterous
  • Judgmental and gossipy
  • Conditional and shows favoritism
  • Oppressive and authoritarian

No, this isn’t a villain in a horror movie, it’s your boss!

Breathe. Let it go!

Reaction fuels the fire

Why do you think we are so consumed by other’s behaviors, especially at work? Here’s why! In a workplace environment, we are the shell of our personalities. We are putting on a front, for the world to judge. WHAT’S THIS? WE ARE A DEAD ONE OF THESE!

Still keeping our shape, just lifeless. Smooth segue

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Image courtesy of The Prop Tank

 

I don’t want to be a dead, crustacean looking, shell of myself with a painted clown face exhibiting absurd behavior which compromises everything about myself that is unique and wonderful!

Time to burn that bridge

I made a conscious effort to burn my bridge, not because I was scared, but because I needed to challenge myself to become more.

“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge” – Don Henley Musician

According to the Forbes article written by Liz Ryan, the 5 exceptions to burning a bridge include:

  1. You will be tempted to go back some day, work twice as hard, and expect a different result #insanity
  2. Someone tries to dim your flame, and you have to be someone you’re not just to prove to someone you don’t like, that you are worthy. Mean girls are ugly.
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    gif courtesy of Logo.newnextnow
  3. It’s more important to support family/friends, remove yourself from the toxic culture.
  4. Your integrity requires it because its about to get unethical up in here.
  5. Trust your gut feeling when you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Check, check, check, check, and CHECK!

What now?

Follow those dreams kiddo…and don’t ever look back!

-ap

Author: Been there, done that...

I don’t claim any professional title (yet), but I do claim every experience that has shaped me to write this 30 second elevator pitch. Every little coincidence, huge mistake, or subtle growth in thought is mine. Growth in thought doesn’t come without tenacity and because I have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, I am currently a graduate student specializing in Leadership Coaching. Naturally, as an empath, coaching comes with ease since I actively listen with every one of my senses. I can be occasionally funny, and unapologetically passionate about making you smile. I like to create art with words, makeup, photographs, or painting and the choice of medium depends on my mood. I hope you enjoy my words here, follow me, and tell a friend.

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