the long of it: why i left.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Getting back into blogging after a significant hiatus is so very hard. I spent the past few days avoiding the computer and all of Monday staring at the screen. I have everything and nothing to write about. A million subject ideas and none. And a thousand other things I could be doing.
But let's start at the beginning, shall we?: the reason why I'd left.

2014 was a very tough year for me. I left a job that I thought was making me unhappy only to find myself, a few months later, unhappy again. Something was up with me-- I didn't feel like me-- but I couldn't put my finger on it. I'd spent months trying to figure out what had gone wrong-- and when or why it had happened. I chocked it up to work or blamed my parents for their expectations of me. I started getting too into my head to the point where I didn't even want to go out or make plans. The high I'd always gotten from being with my friends suddenly became me spending hours afterwards picking apart the evening-- was I totally weird? Should I have talked more? I'd suddenly cared what other's thought of me, how they judged me, and what box they put me in (and would obsess over which box I could possibly be). I started avoiding responsibility at work and even got weird around Frank.
I was getting really deep into my own head. Once the wheels start turning, you're done for-- and I knew that entirely, but couldn't make it stop. I knew that Frank wasn't being dishonest yet I obsessed over it. I knew that me not speaking every second of an evening with my friends wasn't expected, yet I beat myself up over it when I came home. I lashed out on everyone or avoided picking up the phone for others. But I kept writing--only not about what I should have.
By October-- when I stopped writing-- I just couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't happy and pretending that I was to keep up this phony facade just wasn't me. At the time I felt as if every blogger but me was happy. And while I know that is bollocks and totally ridiculous-- not everyone is happy every second of every day-- I just couldn't get out of my head that people would think less of me if I admitted that I wasn't as happy as I "should" be. Whatever the hell that means.
So I stopped. I put up a blog entry saying that big things were happening and that I'd be back soon-- which were also total and complete lies. Sorry guys, the truth is, I was too miserable to keep writing. I'd rather have spent my weekends in bed, avoiding text messages and responsibility and dreading the upcoming week. And so I did.
My happy corner of the internet turned into a constant reminder that I had lost myself. So I turned off and did some soul searching, and by December I was praying for something to change.
I went to an amazing 3-day wellness forum at a place called Landmark Worldwide and discovered exactly what it was that was in my way the entire time: little 7-year-old me.

Let me explain how it all went down: For 3 days I sat in the most uncomfortable chairs on planet Earth. I was told coffee wasn't allowed inside of the forum (really? I thought as I downed the diner coffee I bought seconds before entering the building) and actually contemplated arguing with one of the producers when he told me to move up to a closer seat (looking back at him with disdain as about 10 other people came in late and filled the back row). We had to partner with the person next to us for mini assignments and listen to the forum leader for 13 hours for those 3.5 days. I was a combination of unhappy and angry for the first day. I'm not going to lie, there's a lot of hype around Landmark, and I wasn't sure what the hell was going to come of this experience (but was sure hoping that the amount of money I spent would get me something).

By the middle/end of day 2, I'd had my breakthrough. I've honestly never had anything like it and couldn't even really tell you the process that we used to get to it, let alone how mine suddenly appeared. It was totally and completely out of left field and not even in my mind-- and the incident itself hadn't crossed my mind in over a decade.

When I was in second grade I used to hang out with these group of girls who basically used to bully me on the daily (something else I never actually realized until the Forum). Every other day it would be something new: I didn't say hi to one of them first when I walked into school so they wouldn't talk to me for the whole day, or I couldn't sit with them because of X, Y, and Z. I quite vividly remember me crying in the girl's bathroom one day because this one girl Pamela was mad at me but wouldn't tell me why. "Figure it out," she said even though I basically pleaded with her to tell me what I had done. I'd gone through the whole day in my head and I hadn't done anything. She never told me but a few days later she was nice to me again so, at the time, that's all that mattered to me.
But the one incident that has been driving me since it happened was a day in the schoolyard when they were playing Spice Girls or something like that and I asked to play. They responded that I couldn't play unless one of them was absent. In that moment I didn't process it as these girls were excluding me because they were bullies, I took it as I wasn't good enough.
And for the next 17 years of my life, I've spent all of my time and energy proving that I am indeed good enough. I got honors in high school, I went to a great college, I made all of the right choices and did all that I was supposed to do. Got a great job that I loved, eventually got an even better job. I have the boyfriend, the family, the friends, the dream but at the end of the day I see right past it to 7 year old me telling me time and time again that, Corinne you are not good enough. No matter what I do or who I am, good enough is never good enough and will never be good enough.
A stupid, ridiculous notion that has only been conditioned over the years: My sister blows me off for plans? I'm not good enough. My parents don't change their entire character because I ask them to? It's because I'm not a good daughter or worth it. Clearly Frank is going to wake up one day and realize that I'm not a good enough partner, might as well start driving him away now. My blog isn't getting as much hype as I think that it should? Well, it's because I'm not good enough and I'm wasting my time. Criticism at work? It's because I'm not qualified/good enough-- crap, once they figure it out, I'm gone.
And so I start self-sabotaging. I push everyone away and I prove my 7 year old self to be completely and utterly correct. So much that I actually become a horrible employee, a horrible daughter, a horrible friend, and a monster of a girlfriend. And one better-- the second that people realize that I am not this grand person that they think me to be (or if I think for a second that they have figured out that my life isn't perfect) I push them away or stop talking to them altogether. I find something wrong with them or get easily irritated with them and cut them off. I step back from it all and I push them away.

And it wasn't until I had this breakthrough that the past 17 years and all of 2014 made complete and total sense. I never actually realized that I did all of those things I mentioned above-- not experiencing years of bullying, not the pushing people away, not the reason why I never got satisfaction from "doing the right thing." It was as if there was a veil in front of my face that I never realized was there.

Figuring out why you are the way you are and why you do what you do and transforming that mentality-- and your entire life and relationships-- is priceless. I would have paid a million dollars to get what I got from Landmark (but am thankful that I didn't have to)-- because at the end of the day I actually got the opportunity to apologize to everyone and truly see how important my friends and family, as well as to tell that little girl inside that, shit, you are not only good enough, you're pretty fucking amazing. And you turned out great. And your family is great and your friends are amazing and your boyfriend is the most amazing man on the planet. And you are worthy of it all-- even on your absolute worst days when you look like crap and you feel like crap and you have a crap attitude-- you deserve to have those fantastic relationships.You are worth it!

And since then I've really transformed. The stories I told myself about work and Frank and my parents and my sister are gone. I actually called my parents and my sister and apologized for punishing them away over the past 2 decades because I turned out to be an amazing kid-- and that wasn't by me changing my own diapers or feeding me-- it was them doing all that they could. There's no manual that tells you how to raise a kid and, despite all of the mistakes they made, they're fantastic people that I am proud to call my parents because they gave me all that they could and, hell, look at me go! I'm healthy, I'm happy, I'm here. I'm excited to get to know them and grow our relationship.
My sister and I have a totally different relationship now-- and I finally came clean to her about what I thought/interpreted she was doing/feeling whenever she blew me off (turns out that was BS I was telling myself for the past 17 years. Cool.). Despite me sometimes easing back into getting angry at her for making different choices than I would, I truly love and accept her as she is now-- zero judgement from my end regarding her life-- and she is totally thriving (which I'd like to attribute to me but, truly, she's doing pretty awesome all on her own). We recently took my dad out for his 60th birthday and I've never had more fun or been more proud or had such an experience. Even Christmas was amazing. It has really been amazing and I can't wait to get closer to all three of them.
Work is like an entirely new animal. I'm happy, I'm more positive, I'm asking for help, I'm speaking up, and I'm putting my heart into it-- which I don't feel like I was before.
I'd like to think that it's all the good vibes I'd put out into the universe since taking the forum, but really, once you start the forum amazing things start showing up and happening in your life. Guys, next month I'll be covering the Kate Spade show during Fashion Week for my job. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
And to think that I went into the forum on a Friday with a storm cloud over my head, with only a sliver of hope and a lot of anger and left with amazing relationships, a new sense of self, and the entire world open to me.
Now if that isn't worth coming back to write about, then I don't know what is!

No lie, I'm definitely changed-- and it appears that the universe has also followed suit. Since I stopped writing on here I've actually gotten contacted by brands to do projects/sponsored posts and, have been totally thrown by it. Like, I know that people I know probably read this but other people? And brands? That like it? No way!
Now, it's definitely going to be a slow start getting back into the swing of these blog things, but I'm committed to not only coming back but bringing this blog into a whole other league in 2015! And I hope that you'll join me!

To all that is to come (and more!),

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