Something I need to talk about: Rejection, Acceptance and Moving Forward

2017–the year started with a bang, new job, travels, new people: FUN. I was very optimistic about this year because there is just so much to look forward to. Although I didn’t give a review of how 2016 had been, generally speaking, everything was alright.

Then midyear came and the smooth sailing route took a different turn–I was fired. Coming back from my three-weeks trip to the Philippines where I spent my time with family and close friends, I didn’t have qualms of getting back to work as I left everything in a good light, or so I thought.

To put things in perspective, I ended my almost three years with my old company. I felt that I was plateauing and I didn’t want to keep being there for the sake of having security in terms of finances. I got bored and I wasn’t motivated anymore because at 26 years old, I was already a manager. Although the company was small, there was that ceiling that I felt I had reached and upon reaching that, I felt like there was nothing more for me anymore.

I initially wanted to just get back to school and pursue my studies, but I was weighing where I was going because I have my whole life here in Phnom Penh and it was scary, and it still is, to just leave everything. My whole life being in Cambodia meant that I had a good network of people here, I was able to practice both my passion, music and my profession, a communications person, the love of my life is here, my ministry is also here, and there was just no way I could imagine moving my life back home, or to some place else.

I was ready for a change, but because of all these things that I have, I didn’t have enough head space or time to think through things. I decided that I was going to resign and I was going to take a break for a month to think things through, I haven’t had a break since I graduated from university. I was asking God if my time in this place was finished, I certainly didn’t feel so.

My boyfriend was worried about me not having a job and was telling me to send my CV to places I see fit–I only sent it to one company, of which the job expiry date was already two months through. Nonetheless, I got an email for an interview in said company and I was asked to sign an employment contract while I was still in my previous company.

The vacation that I dreamed of was out of the question as I had to start my new job the week after I end my responsibilities in the previous company. I took that as a clear direction from the Almighty that I was meant to stay longer–it was a 2-year contract I signed after all.

The new job was 1/5 of my previous job and it paid more. I had a nice environment to work in, new people to meet and new challenges to overcome (it was in a different field I had no experience in)–I was delighted to be in such awesome state. I passed my probation after three months, I got a salary increase and a promotion. After that, I was looking forward to some time in my home country. Everything was great.

I took the trip home. I enjoyed my time. I got back–first day back from the holidays, last day at work. I was terminated without warning and was told an abstract reason, “We no longer need your services, What you are doing is not aligned with what we want to happen, you are not aligned to what we want to happen”. These words I received without being looked in the eye.

I can still taste the bitterness in my mouth as I am typing this down. I hope no one will go through what I had gone through but if you, the reader are experiencing the same thing, I hope reading this will give you some sense of comfort, you are not alone, this is a tiny setback, you will get through this, you will overcome.

That very day, I cleared my desk and all the necessary things in the computer unit they gave me, sent one CV out, went to one of my close friends, ranted, went home and ugly cried myself to sleep. Not having my person that day made me more distraught, he was still out of the country, but he did everything to send me virtual hugs and comfort.

I had to go back the following day to get my final pay check, seeing colleagues who were also shocked about my leaving, seeing my boss who was glad the burden about my termination, was off his chest. Being back the following day was just so saddening and I had a gig that night. How could I make people happy when I am not happy? You cannot give what you don’t have.  I had a lot of things in mind, to name a few, failure: I let people down, a lot of people down, stability: financially, mentally, emotionally, physically, my sister’s coming next week for a month with me, the possibility of moving back home now that I am jobless, etc. 

Speaking of the CV I sent out after my termination, I received a message from a dear friend about a job opening and I had the wisdom not to answer it before I had THE TALK with my boss. Of course, since I was left jobless after that conversation, I eagerly updated my CV and sent it out. I got the message for an interview the following week. I didn’t realize the gravity of my termination until the interview, I just realized how messed up I was about it and how I was seriously punched in the gut. My spirit was heavy and because my friend was the one doing the interview, I was told that it seemed I lost my mojo through it all–the advantage was that my friend knows me and my CV, although I couldn’t speak the local language that much, fit the description of who they want to hire.

I was a wreck. I took a major blow and lost some of my confidence. The days following my termination was filled with angry outbursts and sudden sobs. Thankfully I made a conscious decision to talk about it with people, I rediscovered family support–my parents weren’t worried at all, my dad especially was all about what I want to do after experiencing termination, and I discovered what great friends I had in this place. Their words were very encouraging, they believed in me even if I did not anymore. I finally decided that I will just take it one day at a time and to be positive–maybe this was my forced vacation, finally.

I focused on the next thing, my sister was going to be with me, I had to fix gigs for us to do. I spent more time being at rest, evaluating where I was and where I wanted to be. I focused on my well-being and how I can use the time I have, a lot of it, to be a better person. A month before my termination, I had already shed off a huge burden–I took a step back and took a break from my ministry because I finally admitted to myself that it was not contributing to my well-being.

While all of this was happening, I was moving forward with the job interview. After a breakdown that lasted for a good three weeks, I have once again proven the existence of my God, HE IS ALIVE! I met up with the boss of the steering committee and was hired. So now I am working at my new workplace, a university.

Getting hired again was just the boost I need.

Inch by inch I’m moving forward, taking on this new challenge, and I have a renewed motivation in life. I would like to thank the people who had my back during this period in time. Thanks very much for comforting me when I was down and for rejoicing with me in this small victory in life.

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