Fear. Rejection. Cowardice.
It was 8 in the morning. It was too early for my call time at 10. But I don’t want to be late. I was used to going to work early so this is not a big deal.
I went to Starbucks, ordered my usual morning drink, a grande English Breakfast Tea mixed with two cups of honey and then a corned beef pandesal. My tummy was rumbling so I know this was a sign not to eat anything heavy. This was the nervousness talking in the pit of my stomach and I can hear it loud and clear. I took out my book to kill some time. I was reading Summit Media’s- “Letters to My Children”. It’s a collection of letters from famous parents. I felt like this was the perfect book for my first day in my new world. It’s like bringing along the words of wisdom of my folks but only this time, 35 more parents are with me. I know by reading this book, I can get through the day with their words of encouragement.
As I ready through the lines, I can’t seem to concentrate. Waves of thoughts are crashing through my trying to focus brain.
Trying something new for the first time. Breaking away from your natural habits, everyday routines. Getting off your comfort zone. It all feels so surreal in a really really scary way. I just want to run back home. Cover my self beneath the sheets and never see the sun shine again. It feels really scary. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t breathe. I feel like I’m choking and a huge lump got stuck on my throat. I cannot eat. I cannot think. It’s like I’m not me anymore. Emotions are bursting everywhere. I tried to read a book but even the most shallow lines made me tear up. I feel like my stomach is in circles and I’d just visit the toilet every now and then. I feel like throwing up. My body is betraying me from all these hulla baloo going on around.
My corned beef pandesal was cold. Maya birds started stealing my breakfast but even that entertaining scene doesn’t amuse me. I was too bothered. Too bothered with the anxiousness running all over me. I was teary eyed. I wanted to cry but I don’t even know if crying would help me ease out the anxiety. I wanted to call someone. Anyone. Anyone that can help me feel better but I doubt anyone can make me feel so. People would just tell me, Kaya mo yan, ikaw pa. They have too much faith in me. But I don’t have in myself. My body is really betraying my old self assured personality.
“I CANNOT DO THIS!” My mind was shouting and it was deafening but of course, no one can hear my thoughts.
Maybe this is what it feels like leaving your comfort zone. For the past years, I have been pretty complacent where I was not minding how I was doing or where I’m heading. There was no pressure anymore. No pressure in a sense because I already know what I am doing and whatever they ask of me, I know I can deliver. Then one day, it hit me.
I need something else. I need something more. As if the pressure where I was at that moment wasn’t enough. I was like, I needed something to make me fear again. To make me bring back my A-game. I need to challenge myself even more. Beyond what I was doing at the moment. And then I decided to leave.
It was a very slow, long and difficult departure. I was literally like breaking up with a lover, a boyfriend, a partner. The separation involved tears, acceptance and moving on. This is not an exaggeration. This is the real thing. I just realised it by then how valuable the job was to me. The job-meaning my family, the people I work with. My boss, my colleagues, my mentors, my friends. Everyone. They were my safe haven. They are the love-hate relationship that you usually call when you hated them but at the same time, they are the home you go back to.
I can still remember the separation like yesterday. I was sending endorsement emails, setting up endorsement meetings and those people that were really close to me were still in denial. I was in denial. But I know I needed to do this. I need to make this move or else, I won’t get the chance again. It’s now or never.
And so I packed up, and left.
And I was devastated. I found myself, looking back. Wanting to go back. Wanting to run back home. Wanting to not push through the day. Wanting to take back my resignation and just return to how everything was used to be.
I missed home. I missed my family. I missed being complacent. I miss the freedom. I miss my old job.
Chapter 2. Expectations. Reality. Pressure.