I don’t make my living doing marketing anymore. I work for a small software company in the Silicone Prairie. I have made my way into another niche market. Instead of pipe organ building, I now work with people in heavy truck salvage and food production. It’s one job, two product lines. I’m doing what I thought I’d never do again, what I thought I’d never want to do again. But, it’s different this time.
Bye-bye Lily Pad
I spent a couple of years convalescing from my awful work environment in the used textbook wholesale industry. It took two full years to stop wincing every time I saw someone walk by my desk. I was afraid I’d never be able to work in an office environment again. But, my marketing job allowed me some freedoms that helped me heal my sense of being an oarsman on a slave ship. That sounds hyperbolic, but that old job took parts of my soul that I am still trying to recover. It’s going to be a slow process.
I landed safely on a lily pad. Financially, it was difficult. I kept hoping for a sale to supplement my income. That sale never came, the company changed hands, and I was offered a cut in pay. That was my signal to leave. It just about crushed me. I had stayed long enough to invest some identity in the company and the job I was doing. Few people knew what I did in my old job, but lots of people knew what I did while I was on my lily pad. It was a good fit for my skills and personality. They simply couldn’t pay me enough to live on, so I leapt.
The Healing Place, 2
I’ve landed in a good place. I have gone back to technology. I am among my geek people again. I have a sense of stability. I can pay my bills. I have health insurance through my employer. I get to work with kind, smart people, who work together as a team. We have lunches together. People bring their dogs to work. I spent less than $10.00 on gas last month.
I’ve also had the chance to pull on the threads of my old, soul-sucking job. I’ve been given a clear image of what was job and what was work environment. I am grateful. I occassionally wince, but not as often. I was battered. I was thrown away. I was picked off the garbage pile and given an experience completely different. I leapt. I ended up in a similar and better place. That is what healing is. T. S. Eliot put it right in his Little Gidding:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.