Updated: Aug 25, 2020
I just quit my job, but anyone who knows me knows that ain't news. Let's recap my the last four years...
In 2016, I left a position I had enjoyed for four years because of change in leadership structure. I saved myself the angst of poor protection, and moved on to become a corporate trainer.
In 2017, I suffered a mental break. Most of it was because I was a Black woman in a white space, and I didn't bend to unrelenting egos. The rest was the depression triggered by the alienation and longing for the camaraderie I missed at my previous position. I left the company on January 5th, 2018.
In 2018, I had three jobs. I began the year at one school with a great salary, but complications with medication made waking up and falling asleep on time stressfully unpredictable. I was late because I either didn't sleep and was paranoid driving to work every morning in ridiculous traffic or slept well and slept through every alarm imaginable. This was around the time when the headaches started. Reasonable work accommodations weren't possible, they said, so I took a pay cut and moved on to a non-profit that empowered a bully - my manager. I came in one day, she encroached on my personal space - mentally and physically - and I left that same day. I ended 2018 as a shamefully paid teacher. 2018 was a bitch.
In 2019, I was numb, but I published my book. I still don't understand how I did it in spite of the shitty plate I was eating from.
The first quarter on 2020 ended with a global pandemic. Housebound, actively fighting depression, and teaching from my comfy chair was the test to my gangsta I never saw coming. Not sure whether my gansta passed or failed (or what either of those options really mean), but I "finished" the school year feeling finished with everything. The walls closed in. Depression wouldn't move out, so I invited a therapist into our relationship. The good days increased; the bad days were still really bad though.
I quit again. Quit teaching. Quit overextending myself. Quit feeling small, unheard, and unappreciated. Quit settling for the safe, uncomfortable, suffocating option.
"Sometimes, dreams deferred look like great resumes, excellent credit scores, and social media dreams. They don't smile to show happiness; they smile to show they bite." My dreams deferred began biting me on the ass as soon my book became a reality. I really did that; I really wrote a damn book! So, why was I settling otherwise? When other animals bare their teeth, they bare them to show they aren't to be messed with. I think that's what I'm doing now. Smiling through exhaustion, frustration, and annoyance. Showing my teeth to let the world know I'm still alive and ready - updating my resume, minding my credit score to ensure an income disruption might still land me in an advantageous score range, and pushing my word work on social media. My smile is intentional, not a nicety.
While I was feeling particularly savage last week, I sent a DM to Issa Rae (from one awkward Black Girl to another). It read: "Weird AF to be really messaging ISSA RAE, but hey! Love your work and I would love to send you a copy of mine. If you get time, please check out my book trailer. And if there's a place fans can send communication to you, I'd be happy to send it. Don't want anything from you; just wanted to get my art in the hands of an artist I admire. (...and even though it's poetry, it's not the spoken word that was taking place at the Inglewood block party...I consider myself a writer. Lol) Take care!"
She's probably never going to read that shameless fangirl shit, but I had to throw it out there. If iron sharpens iron, that DM was to help me work up the nerve to send my little blue baby to anybody.
I'm currently looking for work, attempting to fight depression through something I'm calling "life design." The goal of it is simple: if I don't want my body to fight pharmaceuticals to deal with my life, I should design a life that won't require pharmaceuticals. So far, I'm not disappointed. I'm out of work. The mortgage is still due. I'm still a little worried. However, I'm more optimistic than I have been since 2016. I've had an interview for a job that pays more than my previous position and have an interview on Friday for a job that might actually pay me what I'm worth. I'm believing in my potential like never before. I'm showing my teeth to let the universe know I'm both grateful and savage.
*a sigh and a shrug* Whatever happens, no regrets.