This poem is autobiographical. This experience of mine could be viewed even as the first step in my unending vocation of poet. I have often used the phrase “Not beneath me, but behind me” to describe the process that I experienced leaving my “regular” job and career. This specifically applies to the new job assignment referred to within the poem. In retrospect, I don’t think that my supervisor/boss expected my job reassignment to be a discussion, but rather a simple informing me of the way in which I was to me managed. This disconnect exemplifies why I made a relatively quick decision, within a matter of days, to not accept the new assignment and request part-time work entailing my old job duties which were being curtailed.
I also knew that any job with this employer was terminal. I would have to do something different. It took me almost two years to quit the part-time work afforded me while I was starting my own business. Though the decision and timing were more about my emotional and spiritual health than financial. I hadn’t netted dime one from my new business. Nonetheless, I knew that my toxic job environment was killing me, bringing out the worst in me. Certain death is a good motivator. I choose life, however uncertain, than certain death. This choice seems somewhat obvious, but I think that it is a choice not made nearly as often as it should be. Probably something to do with learned helplessness, settling for mediocrity, and false pride. I took pride in being autonomous and tough, living on breadcrumbs. I would rail against the stupidity of my employers for not even providing me breadcrumbs for my high aspirations.
Fortunately, I eventually came to realize the great gift that this total desert was, for me to be able to separate myself from such toxic work relationships. It reminded my of my divorce, in the sense that I felt that my chosen profession, of which I was well-trained, was mine, and these fools should leave, not me. Of course, this wasn’t going to happen (actually, in the case of my divorce, this did happen). So, I left. The leaving of my profession was entangled in another reality, that of having 50-50 custody of my kids and not willing to move elsewhere for work. So, fate had its way with me…and I am all the better for it! I sort of backed into parlaying my unique talents into a new vocation: as the greatest punster for peace in the English-speaking world! How many people can say with certainty that they are the best in the world at something? What a privilege to not relegate such a momentous reality to a mere hobby.
This whole process was very humbling and awe-inspiring for me. I have grown a great appreciation for going through “bad” stuff, trusting my own instincts and the benevolence of a higher power to come out on the other side even better off. I consider myself to be a very creative and imaginative person. I consider myself very intelligent. I could not have predicted the good things to come. I fooled myself into thinking that I could foresee and control the future. Fortunately, I could not. Fortunately, my future was better than I had even dared imagine. From this experience I have come up with a saying: God doesn’t give me want I want; God gives me something better!