I was happy.
I had a dream job that I never wanted to leave. I had a great team of creatives. I had it all.
Then, I lost it all.
The short story is that I was a victim of workplace bullying. A new CEO came in, and turned my world upside down in every cruel way possible until the day I was fired. Rejected from a career I loved.
I was lost.
Losing my job at and suffering the mental anguish that comes with workplace bullying was devastating. I went through phases of blaming myself, blaming my boss, blaming the universe. I was unsure, with all of my self-confidence wiped out. I remember job searching right after my job loss and looking at positions that were below my abilities because I was too afraid I wouldn’t be considered for the top paying jobs in my profession.
Out of the blue, I received a phone call from a fellow co-worker. We had never been close. She was one of those passive aggressive corporate mean girls who no doubt took a certain amount of delight in my demise. This is how the conversation began:
“Hi Ree! I hope you’re doing well,” she said. “I have a question for you, so you’ll have to think back to when you were a marketer, dreamer, creative person….”
At that point I heard nothing she said and cut the phone call short without answering her question. Why was she talking about my career and abilities in the past tense? Who says I wasn’t still all those things she listed? Why does she get to decide what I am?
That conversation snapped me back to reality. It snapped me to the start of my revolution.
Coincidentally, during this time period I became obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack. I even downloaded the Hamilton Mixtape because I couldn’t get enough of the incredible lyrics from the musical. I Wrote My Way Out became my anthem. I started writing everything down. I wrote a fictional version of my bullying and firing. I wrote about my anger. I wrote about what I wanted to do. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
With an outlet for all my angst, I was able to land a job that I liked that allowed me to continue to focus on my writing. I learned about an event at the local chamber of commerce, and I made a connection there. That led me to launching my own small business for marketing and communication. I still had colleagues in my old industry and I reached out. They helped me land a few clients. In my first year of business, I earned $40,000 to supplement my income.
I didn’t stop there. With a job that wasn’t as high profile and high pressure, I prioritized my health. I lost 30 pounds and discovered the healing aspects of intermittent fasting. I learned pilates. Wanting to take more changes, I took a pottery class. Frustrated with the state of our nation, I worked on my first political campaign contributing to positive changes in my community. And I kept writing.
I ended up writing a book that I published in hopes of helping others to start their own revolution. It was a healing process for me so even if no one reads it, it doesn’t matter. Writing was my way out of the darkness. Writing continues to light the way for me.
My revolution was about taking back the control that I always had, even during the hardest times. I was able to re-commit to me.
Today, I am happy.
I am a writer. And a reject who started her own revolution.