8/13/07

Knowing When To Walk Away & Knowing When To Run

The three weeks or so leading up to the start of this new job were really disheartening for me.
The people I shared the news with IRL seemed less than pleased about the prospects of me taking this job. For many, many reasons. Reasons like my safety & well-being, how I will tackle my classes while working a crappy shift, getting Connor to and from school, etc.

And let me explain something about where I was going to be working. I would be working at a facility that has been operating at double-occupancy for pre-adjudicated juveniles. There are kids sitting in that facility right now who have been sitting in there for over a year awaiting their Superior Court trial for murder.
For many kids, in that section of the detention facility where I would be working, there is a revolving door.
There is a heightened sense of tension in there. Kids that come in don't know when their leaving, what their outcome will be. Many times, there families are done with them, so they don't get visits.
And often, the ones that have been in the detention facility for awhile see their friends leave or have visits from family.
It's just a really tense place.
Anyway....

You all know I have stressed out about this for far too long. I've chronicled that pity-fest for so very long

I would come home from training & tell Rav stories about staff members who were assaulted and are still out on leave because of their injuries.
And Rav, trying to be supportive of my decision, told me I would be fine.
But then.....
Then he started hearing first-hand accounts from coworkers (who used to work in that facility) just how off the hook it is.
And he didn't say anything. He was trying to be supportive.

Last week, I sat talking to my BFF on the phone. And she noted how awful I sounded. I told her that the transition has been hard, I was not getting any straight answers from anyone regarding my shift, if I would be alone on a locked unit, etc. That I was just not feeling this. It just wasn't feeling right. Whatever that is. And rather than feel better as time went on & making peace with the changes, it has been feeling increasingly worse.
I got off the phone with her and turned to Rav and said, I so want to ask her if she would hire me back to work at the preschool.
And then I cried, no scratch that, I sobbed for about 40 minutes.
I explained to Rav that I feel guilty because I feel like I am not doing a great job as a mom because I'm working and yet I feel like I'm letting my family down financially because I want to walk away from this job. That everything about this feels so wrong.
Rav was supportive and great -as he always is.
I wiped away the snot and the tears and I called my BFF back and asked her if she would consider hiring me as a teacher at the preschool she owns and operates (the preschool I have worked at for years before leaving to stay home with the kids). And she was surprised.

See. Way back when I was nursing Gracie and Connor was just barely 2, I opened my big mouth and said I would never work at the preschool again. I just didn't think I had it in me.

So, you understand her surprise. We talked and I explained why I had said that.
And it has come to pass that I will be working at the preschool.

I have handed in my resignation at the detention facility and gladly take on this new/old position.
And it feels right.
Getting Connor to and from school? Not an issue.
Taking my classes to finally finish my degree? No sweat. In fact, I'm carrying 5 classes this semester and feeling damned good about it.
Taking care of my family? No biggie.
Working almost full-time? Maybe still not financially setting the world on fire. BUT. It's an income and is a much better fit for all of us.

I have felt a 10 ton weight lift from my back.
We have partied this weekend with some old friends and made some new ones.
I feel a love and admiration for my man grow by leaps with every new hurdle.
And my daughter curled up on my lap and lay like a baby - she wrapped herself in a blanket - and just stayed there, looking up at me as I rubbed her cheeks and whispered to her. She even followed me into the shower, the actual shower.
Connor has been happy to be home and have me home.
And I know that I've done the right thing.
The right thing for me and my family.

And I once again have learned that I should listen to my gut.
Not only that, walking away and/or running away, sometimes aren't bad things.
I do have guilt about the possible irresponsibility of this.
As well as, guilt towards 120+ kids I've never met. 120+ kids who will not have me work in the facility. Someone who would show them kindness and compassion and empathy. My bleeding heart can't reconcile that part. That I can't put my money where my mouth is. I talk about wanting to help and feeling so much for so many. And I walked away.
And maybe in time I will be able to reconcile it without rationalizing too much.
My time will come to do it. I know that.
I think right now though, my place is still right here.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I want to thank you all for your support of me during this time. Listening to my constant whining when so many other bloggers out there are facing really frightening health scares and real issues.
I have climbed out of my self-pity pit.

I'm back, baby.

17 ripples in the pond:

Denguy said...

If you think about it--could you really do any job properly if you weren't into it? If it wasn't good for you?

Pardon me if I sound trite. I don't mean to.

slackermommy said...

Good for you! Doesn't it feel good when things all work out and you know that you made the right decision? What a load off your shoulders. Now go get some much deserved pampering.

Pgoodness said...

WHOOPPPEEEE! Good for you making the change and knowing what is right for you. I can sense the change in your attitude and emotions already!

flutter said...

Welcome home

liv said...

what denguy said. I feel for you and the facility...just because I've been on both sides of the employment racket. but, if this means more posts, then whoopee!

Oh, The Joys said...

Tabba,
I'm glad you're following what your heart says... it's usually right!
xo,
OTJ

Magpie said...

Tabba, that so sounds like the right decision.

Her Grace said...

Oh how I felt your relief in this post. It's so important, what you say here, that sometimes walking away IS the braver decision. I'm so glad that you made a choice that sits well in your heart, that you feel like you found a way to serve your family, yourself, AND your finances and feel really good about it. I'm happy for you, Tabba.

jen said...

good for you for having the courage to listen to your heart.

and denguy - you can. it might suck, but trust me, you can.

thailandchani said...

Instinctively, I believe you've made the right decision. You know, being someone we're not has never worked.. and you strike me very much as a homemaker.

Homemakers are valuable. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise... and your kids will love you for it!

Peace,

~Chani

Tabba said...

Once again, thank you all!

Denguy: not trite at all. just right on the button! and it's good hearing from you! i have to get over your way.

chani: i think right now, that is what my role is to be. not to say that in 3-5 years time that won't change. but right now it's just not the time. but this preschool gig will give me an outlet, some income, and time to be home too.

KC said...

I'm so happy your weight has been lifted! Be free.

Beck said...

Knowing where you are happiest is part of putting your gifts to best use - and really, don't the kids at the nursery school deserve a compassionate loving worker, too? Good job.

carrie said...

I am happy that you found the strength to realize that it wasn't the best fit for you. That takes courage, and how could you have known without going through those weeks of training? You couldn't.

Carrie

Joker The Lurcher said...

i hadn't grasped how dodgy the place where you would work was. i know how i feel as though a load has gone off my shoulders not being at work and the risks i face are tiny compared to what you would have been looking at.

when you are a parent you can't risk something happening to you and your kids being left with the fallout. i am so glad you have made this change - it sounds completely right. take good care of your self!

Aliki2006 said...

It sounds to me like you made the perfect decision for you and for all of you. Congrats on knowing yourself so well.

kristi said...

I am so happy for you. I know you have been so stressed out (just from reading your posts). I am so glad you found a solution!