I Choose Me!

Put yourself first.

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” –Dalai Lama

Nine months ago I hung up my freelance hat and signed a job offer for a full time position with a non-profit organization. At the time, I was excited and felt it was the best decision. I would have a stable income and save for the entrepreneur ideas that ran rapid in my mind and heart. I was told during one of my interviews, “go and change the world”.

What could possibly go wrong with a lead in like that?

I will not use this article as a sounding board for my troubles, however, I will share about my experience and what I have come to learn through this process.

A little background, for most of my twenties, I have worked as a freelance web and digital media goddess. I enjoyed my clients and I always fell into work, especially when I needed it the most. An opportunity always showed up at the perfect time. I didn’t know what day my next pay check would arrive, but it always showed up.

Fast forward to nine months ago when I decided to commit myself to a full time remote position. I had worked as my own boss for quite some time, so I will admit, the transition to having a manager and boss took some adjustment. I dove in head first and I was eager to learn about the organization and my role.

Unfortunately, I learned rather quickly that this position was quite different than what I was accustomed to. The flexibility was still there to some degree, but the culture was not a ring I had played in before. Perfectionism and control were the leading motives and passive aggressive remarks and criticism was their preferred method of communication. I hadn’t been treated like this ever, in fact I don’t usually associate myself with people of that vibration. I believe in kindness and non-violent communication. Yet, there I was.

I trudged forward, chasing a steady paycheck. Stress began to takeover and my neurological tic increased tenfold. I was not only stressed and dreading each email, but I was getting sick. I have spent over 2K, not including my monthly health insurance premium of $460, which wasn’t offered through my employer.

As the Dalai Lama quote states, “He sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health”. That was me. I was working to pay for medical bills and my physical and mental well-being were at an all-time. I slowly morphed into something I swear I would never be, an unconscious player in the rat race.

This past Christmas, I traveled to my hometown to be with my family. The sad truth is that two days into the trip, I collapsed with stress and a bulging disc in my L5-S1. I was physically unable to participate in the Holidays and I spent very little time with my family. The spiritual translation for back pain is the literal disconnection of mind, body, and spirit.

A few weeks later, I went to the ER and I was diagnosed with appendicitis. I underwent surgery to have my appendix removed. I wish I could share that I rested that first week, but I didn’t. I continued to work the job that has been taxing me physically, mentally, and spiritually. Most people take at least one week off after surgery, but I didn’t even give myself that. I’m sharing this so that the readers understand the level of insanity I was at with this job. I was giving to an organization that did not care about my wellbeing. I know they are not the only organization or corporation that operates this way, but I certainly couldn’t believe I was continuing to put my time and energy into a position that was costing me a lot.

So here I am, ready to make a move. I’m ready to get back to a place of loving myself and choosing my wellbeing over a steady paycheck. I am ready to be back in the present and to really live and enjoy my life again.

My advice to everyone reading this, follow your passion and don’t ever sacrifice your own wellbeing for a job. There are many opportunities awaiting, but you have to choose yourself first and then the rest will fall into place!

Update: Something fell into place and it was easy! I accepted a position with a conscious minded business and I am excited for this new adventure!

Originally published at medium.com

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