Last year around this time I had basically a mental breakdown in regards to my career. I was rotating my wheels and all my pent up frustrations exploded in a very snarky email to a boss I wasn’t seeing eye to eye with at the time. I pressed send and instantly regretted it for a lot of reasons. One, I was sure that was me sending myself to the unemployment line when I was solely responsible for my financial well-being. And two, that is not who I wanted to be; a passive aggressive little brat with no realistic idea of how the corporate game is played. I had worked very hard to be smarter than that and I felt in one click of a button I ruined all the integrity I had built as a professional. After groveling I was lucky enough to save my job.
But at first, as I silently tried to redeem myself, I was questioning this life that had somehow landed in my lap. I was a writer, which was a huge accomplishment because I had spent years working towards becoming one. I just felt like this was not the writing I had ambitiously dreamt of when I was in college working my ass off to try to be the top of the class. This was not the writing I thought I was heading to when I poured my blood, sweat and tears at a low level radio job for years. But here I was a writer for an oil and gas company, making a decent living and producing a ton of work… but I had no idea what I was doing there. I was completely lost and helpless at the end of last year.
During that Christmas I spent a lot of time on my own trying to figure things out because I was so tired of feeling my life pass me by and not really knowing how to contribute to it. That November, I had been to a lot of really great new improv shows and it was one of the few things I could remember shedding light on me for the months that had passed. So I just went towards it. I actually charged towards it. And with every show and class and opportunity to perform I feel like a little piece of the puzzle is put into place with the lessons I am learning.
I took the rules of improv into my floundering career and I can’t tell you how much things have turned around. I started saying yes, I started to contribute more and was more concerned about my colleagues than I was about myself. Everything changed. My relationship with my boss, my understanding of the “game” in all scenarios I am in and even my connection to my work, no matter what it is.
This year, I am a little less lost and a lot more filled with purpose. Things are not perfect but the journey ahead is towards that light I went towards last year. And every day I am grateful that there was a light to go towards.