======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Brace yourself, reader. I’m going to open this by bragging. And not even in an “attempting to pass it off as a humblebrag” kind of way. I’m just going to take a moment of your day to be unapologetically boasting about everything that’s been going on in my work-life.
In the past five months, I’ve overseen and officially launched a massive project at work that ended up being a key speaking note at a tech conference, got a substantial raise and worked in financial incentives into my new contract at EOY, paid off all of my credit cards and a personal loan with a bonus, and became the youngest partner in the company I work at. Life’s been absolutely insane since October. But hearing that I would be owning shares and having a seat at the partner table made all of the 50/60 hour weeks, the nights I would stay up until ridiculously late hours working with developers, and the hours-long meetings working out every detail completely, completely worth it.
For one of the first times in my life, I feel professionally stable. Some would even say, successful. Which is a word I’ve rarely felt comfortable attaching to myself. The trajectory of my career is undeniably strong and realizing you’ve achieved a certain level status level within your field, have a seat at the HBIC table, and there’s no sign of it slowing down? It’s overwhelmingly great.
The great philosopher of our time Carrie Bradshaw once said, “They say you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. So, let’s say you have two out of three, and they’re fabulous. Why do we let the one thing we don’t have affect how we feel about all the things we do have?”
Personally, I don’t think it always has to be the job+boyfriend+apartment combo. But I think it’s obvious in life that we’re always, in some way, looking for the up and up. The ideal equation is a job that’s flourishing, a relationship that’s strong, and a personal life that’s prosperous.
So I can’t help but wonder (another quip from the philosophy of Ms. Bradshaw, you’re welcome), why does it seem like when everything’s falling into place in one area of your life, that’s when it completely falls apart elsewhere?
While I’ve been navigating all of this up and up (and up and up and up) at work, two of my close friends were let go from their jobs completely unexpectedly. The person I’m seeing ended up moving 10 hours away for an indefinite period of time, and while we’re handling it, for now, we’re both realistic enough to realize that long distance is probably not going to be sustainable for too long. A longtime family friend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and the likelihood is he probably won’t be around for much longer. And another friend had a series of health problems that resulted in a lot of scary tests, long drives to various specialists, and the eventual knowledge that they’ll be undergoing at least two surgeries in the next year.
And yes: I recognize that only one of those instances is something happening to me. I’m insanely fortunate to still have my health and stability and those things around me. And in the grand scheme of things, while LDRs can be really shitty, it’s not the end of the world. I will be okay.
But if the beginning of this was me bragging, this is the part where I say that it’s really hard to be feeling completely on top of the world in one very key aspect of your life, and then like everything is plummeting with the rest. Navigating your life when one aspect couldn’t be higher but the rest is in flux is kind of a recipe for feeling emotionally drained 99% of the time.
It’s hard to go from watching something you’ve been building for 8 months get released to the public, but then immediately go to your friend’s house to rage/cry with her after her former employer is trying to deny her unemployment. It’s hard to want to celebrate a raise with your favorite people, but instead, have to settle for calling the person you want to celebrate with because they’re 600 odd miles away. It’s hard to want to do things like day drink and book vacations but instead meet at a pathologist’s office because you’re someone’s emergency contact and the traveling is going to have to wait.
It’s hard to feel good about one thing, or even anything close to successful, when it feels like everything else is falling apart.
I’m not honestly sure where to go with this other than acknowledge that it’s hard, maybe talk to a therapist, and wake up to fight another day. Maybe all you really can do is put your head down and trudge through even though it feels exhausting to do so.
Maybe that’s all we can do when we run into an “it rains it pours” section of life. Wait until it’s not raining anymore.
Or maybe all I’ll get from this is being able to list “Has a proven record of not allowing her personal life to impact her professional” under “Partner at [Company]” on my resume.
Remains to be seen. .