Thursday, December 6, 2012

Something to Think About...




Let me elaborate the whole story behind my journey to Seattle and back. As you know, on a lovely morning of October 18th we left this little town because I had a job lined up for me in Seattle. It was decided that the teenager and I would go there, settle down (to a degree), and in eight months the husband would join us. It sounded as a perfect plan, but on that morning I didn't feel any excitement.  Something was squeezing my chest real hard, and no deep breath would relieve it. 
I blamed the tiredness from  packing, yard sale, all emotional things that came with moving. However, four days of driving through a beautiful terrain of South, West, and Pacific Northwest did not make it easier. 

Upon our arrival to Seattle I was smiling, hugging and happy to see my daughter, our friends, the city that is our home away from home. But that squeezing in my chest never went away. 
From the road I called my friend Lisa, and pour in her ear all my feelings, that I was afraid to share with anybody else. Once she said to listen not only to my mind, but to my heart too. Easier said than done as my heart was a mess during my trip, and load of mixed emotions filled it. Which one should I listen to?

My first day at work was Wednesday. It wasn't a new-new job for me: two years ago I worked there, and I loved what I was doing, and I loved people I worked with. I was lucky to get back not only to the same office, but same team and same boss, who is one of the best bosses I've ever had. 
So that Wednesday morning, after completing an usual HR routine, I went to a mandatory training off sight. I was welcomed by smiles and hugs,  but despite happy emotions I was ready to cry. To be polite I forced my lips into slight smile, even though my eyes could show some horror in it. What I saw in that room was scary to me: almost all my coworkers behind their smiles had a great deal of tiredness in their eyes and signs of exhaustion on their faces.
When I came to the office, the usual semi-introduction took place: getting my cubic, assignments,  transferring cases, and more smiles and hugs from co-workers. When I walked through the office I was struck by a thought: what I see now was me two years back, and soon it would be me with tired eyes and exhaustion on my face. "Am I ready for that? And do I really want to do it?" - were two thoughts that came trough my mind for a split of the second, shamefully erased by  words: "responsibility", "must", and etc.

That night, when I came to my daughter's apartment, I cried. I cried so hard that my kids got scared and called my husband. They said to him that they've never seen me crying like this. I think, they never seen me crying at all.  After long, weeping (on my end) talk to my husband, I had a not too long, weeping again (and again on my end), talk to my kids. It was clear for them (not for me yet), that I don't like the job anymore, hence I should't do it. My daughter said that they want their mother (me in this case) to be happy. Then teenager added: "there's nothing wrong to change your mind. It is much worse to get stuck with something that makes you unhappy, and  depressed". (Oh dear, when did my kids grew up?!) At this  moment I stopped crying and  stretched my lips into some form of smile. Then they both added: "Make up your mind, just don't cry. Whatever you decide to do, we'll support you."

That night wasn't easy, thoughts kept me awake, and a tear or two wet my pillow now and then. What was the right thing to do? Was it to listen to my heart (for the first time in my life), or to be a responsible person as I always was and to do it because I must?
The moment I sent an e-mail to my boss, I felt as a huge weight a size of a mountain fell off my shoulders and the squeezing in my chest disappeared as someone pooled a cork and  relieved all the pressure. I heard people describing such moments, but never before experienced one myself. It was the moment when the inner peace and calmness replaced the racing in panic thought "what if..." 

Taking that job was a rational and financially comforting decision to make, but it didn't fit my emotional "bill" anymore. My heart doesn't care much about the money or luxury, but it does care about my family's well-being, a doze of happiness now and then, my personal development, that I put on hold by making only rational and logical decisions all those years. 
I have no regrets for changing my mind whatsoever; every mile of that journey was taking me through the transforming experience. It feels as my mind and heart have synchronized, and now it flow in the same direction... 
Don't get me wrong, our life is not an even and paved road: we have our challenges, road bumps, detours. Nevertheless, as Marilyn Monroe said: "keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” 



See you,
Marina

P.S. I have no formal (or informal, for that matter) education in English (click here and here to read more). If you see a mistake that bothers you, please,  send me a friendly note to my e-mail (tomatomarina@gmail.com)

69 comments:

  1. Good for you - it takes real guts to change your mind and admit something isn't right for you any more. Now you're free to find something that is!

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    1. Thanks Katy. I am ready to embrace the new journey...

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  2. I know this feeling well, and reading your post just gives me more strength to find another direction and something more from life. I know that in time, things will work out. Thanks for this great post, and for reminding me that there is always a better way...

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    1. Last night I was reading a book that had a very nice thought: "Only you can make yourself happy..." Perfect timing!
      Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Oh Marina...I know this has been a hard decision to make but I think you have the right idea. If it doesn't feel right, you won't be happy and it won't be worth it in the end. I hope you go where your heart tells you to go. You are the only one that can make that decision. Sweet hugs to you, my friend! I'll pray about your situation!

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    1. It's not just that. The thing is that I have been doing things I don't really like for a very long time. I did it because I had obligations, kids, family, etc. Now, when kids are grown and (as they put it) can provide for themselves, I can at least try to do what I am passionate about.
      Thanks Diane, for your kind comment. :)

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  4. What you did took a lot of courage, Marina. The right position will come along.

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    1. Thanks Sheila. At this time I am not even looking for the right position. I let myself go with the flow at this time...

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  5. Sometimes, we have to do what we have to do to be happy, even if it involves some changes after changes!

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    1. Thank you Kim. Very nicely said, I love it! :)

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  6. Wow...kudos...for following your heart.
    This is such a personal story..I am sure it may guide many.:-)
    Thank you..
    Happiness to you.

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  7. Marina, you are so brave. I really admire you for choosing happiness and thank you for sharing this obviously tough time in your life with us. You wrote with wonderful honesty xxx

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    1. Thank you Lorraine. I don't know if was brave or just desperate time for a change.

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  8. I am glad you were able to follow you feeling and change your mind, your path. It is not such an easy thing to do. It also sounds like your children are very wise and grown up - perhaps they have learned a thing or two from you. :-)

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    1. Thank you! I think I had a feeling for quite some time, just didn't recognize what it was and why.

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  9. hugs and proud of you for following your heart your kids love their mum

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  10. happy for you.. followed your heart :).. god bless!

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  11. Dear Marina, this is a very brave and good decision. The most difficult to take. Thank you for sharing this personal post with all of us. I am at a crucial moment of my professional life too and I find very difficult to see where I am going. Ciao and good luck!

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    1. Hi Rita, I've had those feelings for quite some time, but didn't know what they were. I didn't go deep inside to search because I had family to feed, and my main goal was "to provide". Everything else was beyond my emotional "reach" and I was not very happy.
      Thank you for your comment and your kind wishes! :) Good luck to you too.

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  12. This is a good message. You're done. Fine words Marilyn. As they say in Russia: "All that is not done, all the better."...
    Lenusik ♥ ♥ ♥ With love ♥ ♥ ♥
    Velvetrose

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lenusik! :)

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  13. You have a very expressive and lovely story my friend, thank you for sharing your bravery :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thanks Uru. You made look like a hero in your comment... :)

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  14. Good for you! Glad you did what feels right for you!

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  15. There is a lesson in your story, Marina, for many people today. I, too, struggled with a work decision, listened to my heart and left behind a good job that was no longer a good fit for me. Wishing you all the best.

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    1. Thanks Jean! I think that having a job that no longer feels right for you is like wearing a very tight shoes: there is a breaking point when it's better to walk with your bare feet...

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  16. Marina - this post and what you went through is profound on so many levels. So happy that you are back in a comfortable place of inner peace and that you didn't allow yourself to just 'press on' with a situation that was clearly going to eat you alive. I have been there; making a decision and then having to un-decide it. And big ones - like buying a house in Phoenix, moving there, and 2 weeks after closing on it - hating it. And moving back to San Diego within 9 mos. They were the longest 9 mos of my life. I have been there - and good for you that you are back so soon!

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    1. Hi Averie, you are absolutely right about the situation. The reason I made such quick decision was simply because of housing, believe it or not. If I didn't have to sign a six months lease, I most likely would be still there, really "pressed on" ... I am glad it happened the way it happened. Last night I read an interesting phrase: "Only you can make yourself happy,... and it's never too late to find out how to do it" (Not Becoming My Mother, Ruth Reichl) Powerful words, and we do need this to be often reminded indeed.

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  17. Hi Marina - it takes a lot of courage to do something like that. When one is very young with no family or responsibilities one can afford to be a lot more relaxed about such things so I can understand why you felt so upset. You have to try and do what you can to make yours happy in life - you only get one shot after all! :)

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    1. Hi Charles, oh I know what you mean. I've been in those responsibilities shoes for so-so many years: kids growing up, husband going to school, etc. We had periods of time when I was the only provider for the family, and I was scared even to think about changes , or about what I want or how I feel. It wasn't easy this time, but as you said "we only get one shot after all!" Thanks!

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  18. Oh Marina, I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I think you made the best decision. And kudos to you for raising such smart kids!! Sometimes I think things like that are easier for them to see, when we just complicate matters. Hugs!!

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    1. Thank you Jane. Yes, kids surprised me with their wisdom. When did they grow up, I wonder...

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  19. What wonderful and sensible kids you have! I am sure everything will work out for you and your family. Good luck and all the best.

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    1. Thank you Norma. Kids never stop surprise us, do they?!

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  20. What a remarkable story and one we could all take guidance from. I'm sorry you went through so much to get to a point where you could listen to that inner voice that always knows the right answer. Thanks heaps for sharing your experience and best of luck with whatever comes your way.

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    1. Maureen, sometimes we have to go all the way to understand that we made a mistake: that's a lesson I've learned. As I said to one of my friends, to understand it was a mistake, I had to make it. Thanks for your comment!

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  21. Yes, you certainly did make the right decision, Marina. Simply put, you could not have worked there. And just look at how caring and supportive your family is! You were brave to leave that job and again to come here and write about it. Thank you for sharing, for we can all learn something from your experience.

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    1. Hi John, that experience brought me closer to my kids indeed. And what a wise people they become! I was teaching them, and didn't expect them to tech me. And they did teach me a lesson here!

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  22. Congrats Marina for such a brave decision. I am soooo proud of you :-D And I also think that you're the lucky one having such a supportive family. All the best Marina :-)

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    1. Thank you Joanna. It was not an easy one, you know. But I am sure glad I did.

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    2. I know Marina, such decision are never easy, I know something about that, but it is worth trusting your insticts :-D

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  23. Sometimes the best decisions are the hardest, but when we make them they feel so good! Good on you for doing this! Ultimately you will be happier and you deserve that!

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    1. Thank you Jess. That is absolutely right, it was hard, really hard, but I have no regrets. And as long as I don't feel guilty about it, it feels good. :)

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  24. Marina, I know what I you talking about. I used to work in office for 7 years, then I was at home with my kids and family, and I know I wouldn't be happy if I go back. My husband love me at home and my kids also. You are strong women, you made good decision! Some people work all life, the are doing something they don't like , and at the end what you have? Regrets! Please, enjoy your life and your family and everything you can. Do what you love and you see many open doors! Good luck to you my dear friend!

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    1. You know, I am learning actually how to be a full time mother, although my kids are grown up... I wish I made such decision earlier, to spend more time with them. Thank you for your support and warm wishes! :)

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  25. Good for you to select with will make you happy and that your family is behind you no matter your choice.

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    1. Thanks Karen! I am blessed to be around such a supportive family and friends.

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  26. You have a wonderful family...such a great support system! I'm glad you mad the decision that was right for you!!

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    1. Thank you Lizzy. It didn't take me longer than almost a decade...:)

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  27. Awe honey I am so sorry you went through this. And so happy your kids helped out. I had one of these moments on our vacation. It continued when I got home. I think sometimes the body just has to tell you something is wrong. You are a strong woman with an amazing family. I bet they are super proud of you. xx

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    1. I agree Kim, and we need to listen to our body, our inner self more often.

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  28. Hi Marina! I love your honesty here. I totally get where you're coming from and I'm so happy you listened to your heart and not your head. Our bodies can tell us so much if we listen. I think you've grown since your move and you're following a new path now, and when you went back to your old path, it was like going back to the old you, the one that you outgrew. I mean all the signs were there and the emotions were on high alert. It's so good that you listened to them and also that you spoke about it to your children and to the world. You're setting such an example for your family and for everyone that reads your blog. Your kids are going to look back when something doesn't feel right and remember what you did. You escaped the as I like to call it, the herd mentality. I think we're all experiencing a wake up call. Life should be about joy and creating your reality. If you're doing something you love, the universe will provide. I totally believe that. Its like being in the right alignment with all that is. Just go and trust your intuition and let it lead you to the right opportunity. We're supposed to be flowing down the river of life not trudging upstream. I'm finished with doing what everyone else is doing. It's time to break free from the herd and follow your own guidance. It will lead you to new and exciting adventures and will keep you on aligned on the right path. Anyway, I could go on and on, but you get it and know it!
    Have a wonderful evening!
    xoxo,
    Jackie

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    1. Thanks Jackie. You know you dressed in words my very own thoughts. Although, I didn't talk about it to my children, I cried to them. I think I scared them with my emotions. However, they were the first to tell me to make my own choice, not based on responsibility, ration, but my feelings. I was always an outsider from the herd, adventurous and to some degree fearless person. And look what happened to me? I've forced myself into this rational and responsible person to the point, that even my body couldn't take it anymore. I have no regrets about what I did or didn't do. It was time to make a change, to believe and embrace the new journey.

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  29. What an experience. So sorry you had to go through that, but what great kids you have! So glad you decided to follow your heart. Work becomes drudgery if you're not happy doing it. Sounds to me like you made absolutely the right decision. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks John. I have learned from all of this how to pay attention to how I feel.

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  30. Marina, I am so glad you listened to your heart and got yourself out of what would probably become an unhappy working situation! Things will line up and remember MM's good advice! Take care.

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    1. Thank you Pam. If I stayed I would be on strong pills by now, I think. Forcing yourself into things that don't feel right is withdrawing yourself from the joy of life.

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  31. Marina, Most people in this world get road bumps. I relate my life with you, when we came to Canada 12 years ago.My husband went to study upgrade his veterinary education in US and I was with my daughter working, taking care living alone. No relatives.It was so hard to leave my daughter in the day care every day before work. You should be glad that your kids are grown up, at least you do not have to worry about them. Any way, You took the right decision for you and your family.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, oh dear, I do know that road too very well. For many years I didn't even think off how I feel. I just kept going because I had to provide. That is a tough path, and many of us walk it at some point.

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  32. I am glad that you followed your heart...at the end...the only person that you have to answer is to yourself...if you are not happy, no one around you will be. You have a lovely family that support you...I am very happy for you.
    Have a great week Marina!

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    1. Thanks Julianna. And also only you can make yourself happy. To make something happened we need to make an active choice.

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  33. Lovely, moving post, Marina. I am sure you have made the right decision. So many of us carry on with lives like robots, without thinking if this is what we want.

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    1. Thank you Sissi. I know, I was one of the robots for so many years, not even allowing myself to think of what I want.

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  34. I know the feeling Marina and I know the relief after making the right decision for you! I've been there and made such decisions. Your son being still a kid and not an adult trying to do "what's right" gave you a very clear perspective. Life indeed is too short and if we have the luxury to decide things that will make us happy then by all means we should go ahead and do them. I so happy for you and I am sure now that you passed through this you will keep going in this happy road!

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    1. Thank you Katerina for such wonderful comment. It was an amazing to discover what my kids have become and how quick! One day you see your kids playing in the sand, and the next day they are grown and give you a very mature advise. That was the most powerful moment for me.

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Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.