…where William Wallace (the oh-so-yummy and not yet psychotically anti-Semitic–at least not in public–Mel Gibson) is being vivisectioned, and all they show is his head and neck from the side and the veins in his neck bulge as he arches his back and as the music swells and his friends watch in the crowd he screams, “FREEEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMM!” ?
I think I know how he felt.
I’ve resigned from my job. I was given an ultimatum–either submit to a disciplinary performance plan (which basically amounts to sucking up and doing all the things that my doctor has told me not to) or resign. The general feeling seemed to have been that I wasn’t performing my job in a satisfactory manner. Which, anyone (except my boss) will tell you is total horseshit. But with that ultimatum hanging over my head, in what I expected to be a very painful moment, a moment where I would have to cram all my pride into some hole deep inside and hope I wouldn’t need it ever again, a moment where I would have to look into the cold, calculating, glittering eyes of my soulless boss and meekly say, “Please, sir, may I have some more?”, after they had handed down their pronouncement, and waited for my whipped puppy impersonation, I felt–for the first time in a long time–a flutter of joy in my heart. I could walk away. I could be free. I could look this woman in the eye and say, “Bite me. I quit.” And I very nearly did. Instead, I asked for a day to think about it, went home, talked to M, realized that as far as this job goes: it’s not worth it, that we’ve got a ton of options, and the costs of working for this woman on my physical health, my mental health, and the general well-being of our family was not worth any price.
The next day I tendered my resignation.
My parents (until they talked with me and M and heard our plan for making it) thought I was nuts. My in-laws (who’d seen how my boss treated me) said I should have quit a long time ago, and my father-in-law cast aspersions on my boss’s relationship (or lack thereof) with any sort of higher spiritual being (his exact statement being, “Well, clearly she’s no Christian.” which while being a tad provincial, was also somehow comforting). The people I work with are in tears, but also glad that I’m getting out. And me? I’m like a whole new woman. Poor, pregnant, but happy.
I just really hit a turning point several weeks ago. I was laying in bed, bleeding, staring at the wall and I found myself thinking, “Maybe it would be easier if I just lost the baby. Work would be so much better.” I’m sorry, but ANY job that makes one ponder whether the death of one’s child is the perferable outcome to any situation is a job that one should quickly figure out a way to live without. Daily, I’d go to work and have to listen to snide comments about how my “condition” is making me less valuable, I’m not able to work as many hours or do as many tasks (which mostly translates to working 30 minutes less a day, and not climbing ladders or carrying heavy boxes), and that the other members of the management team are really having to take up a lot of my slack and they’re really starting to resent it, etc. It just got to be too much.
And now: it’s somebody else’s problem. For the first time in nearly 14 weeks I’m unabashedly giddy about this baby. It’s not a burden to be overcome or hidden–it’s a little person in there, to be celebrated and protected and touched and talked to! Planned for! Dreamed about! I’m on the threshold of my second trimester–and all the questions and worries and wonderings of the earlier weeks are behind me, and in about 8 days time: the soul-sucking hell that is my job will be, too.
A few days before The Day of the Ultimatum that Meant to Crush my Spirit but Actually Set Me Free, M and I went for a long drive. We got into a deep coversation, where I bemoaned the fact that lately the only prayer I could come up with was the prayer of Jacob while he wrestled with the angel, “I’m not letting go until you bless me.” Not that it’s a bad prayer, but it’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy one, either. But later that night, laying in bed, those words came to me again, but this time in response I heard, “Well, so hold on then!” Seems like good advice to me.