I think part of what absolutely amazes me about being on the 14th floor and having and endless view is the fact for two years I watched them build this building and never expected or wanted to work on it. they brought in giant cranes and dug down about half as deep as the building is tall. It wasn’t until I started working here that I realized this building was a pictorial essay of my life.
I have never been afraid of much of anything… but on April 21, 2011 when they announced my company was laying off… I saw Fear walk in the door and pull up a chair at the desk next to me. From the time of the announcement until July 1st our last day of work Fear was a thing that manifested itself in the way people walked, talked and behaved. Me I was too gritty and stubborn to succumb to it or be seduced into its reach. I was confident that I had the skills to land a job… any job I wished. I’d always gotten whatever job I’d gone after, learned quick and promoted fast… I had no expectations that this would be any different.
Fear began to make itself my BFF about October of that year. I was finding it difficult to find a job now I didn’t have one-furthermore I lacked to energy to look or even care. At every turn, thought, move…every by my side, always there to whisper in my ear was Fear.
In April when the layoff was announced I was in my 10 month of consistently working 100+ hours weeks. I often told people, the few people that got an honest answer from me, that I felt like I was an over wound coo-coo clock…one little thing and the back would spring off all my insides would fly out in a million pieces and no one would know how to put me back together again. Even after the layoff was announced I kept up the punishing pace…on a promise that those who shined brightest would be assured a position reassignment after the layoff. I wasn’t sure I wanted another position, but because my toxic response to everything at the time was to numb out by burying myself in work… I kept working as if my life depended on it-and maybe it did.
I felt fried, brittle, emotion-less…nothing got to me…nothing made me cry (now everything does but that’s a different story). The day of the layoff came… I felt lost and bored and didn’t quite know what to do with myself. … and since toxic behavior is well TOXIC I traded my workaholism for a fitness fetish. I started walking.
Nevermind I was a desk jockey, I decided to walk two cycles of 100 minutes back to back everyday. When my shoes gave me blisters I kicked them off and walked barefoot, when I hurt until I cried I’d hold onto the treadmill with one hand and wipe away sweat and tears on my soggy shirt with the other, when I couldn’t keep up I’d speed up the treadmill, if I woke up sore I’d try to walk longer.
I felt like I needed punished, felt like I deserved to be punished, felt like my life was my fault, my responsibility, I felt like a failure… and so I walked and walked. I lost a ton of weight I got smaller than I had been after weight surgery, but I never out walked my personal demons…and in fact was in such a toxic place that wearing a 10-12 I felt as fat, ugly and horrible as I had when I wore a size 28+ pre Weight Loss Surgery.
I was shattered.
I had crashed and burned – there was nothing left of me – not even shattered pieces.
The longer I looked for a job, the less I wanted one-especially in corporate America-and the more difficult it came to find one.
I was a mess and knew it.
Over and over I asked myself, how do you recover from this? Where does one go from here? How will I ever get out of this mess? Will I even survive?
What I didn’t know at the time was God had brought me to that place for a reason…and when your life seems shattered beyond repair He has a plan for bringing it all back together.
When God mends your life He doesn’t just patch it up, do a repair job, do a 72 hour made for TV make-over Miracle…He completely mends, rebuilds, reinforces the weak areas, so you’re stronger than you’ve ever been.
There is hardly a day go by that I don’t step on the elevator and shoot for the moon, that I’m not reminded how far I’ve come.
Let me tell you this, the view is better from the top, but only because I know how it feels to claw my way up from the bottom.