Lifetime Happiness: Learning to Walk Away

“How did I get here?” It’s something we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another. Whether it be when we lose a job, part ways with a friend, or just end up in place we never saw ourselves, that time of life can be daunting. But sometimes walking away is the best thing. It always feel impossible in the moment, but later we look back and wonder why we ever put up with living that life in first place.

When I was 21 I worked as a teller for a local credit union. It wasn’t my first job in the banking industry. I had just come from a job I loved in a different city working in banking operations. I really loved that job. I would have kept that job had I not moved two hours away. But I quickly discovered being a teller wasn’t my strong suit. I had no problem working on the backside of banking, but being upfront was no picnic.

It didn’t help that the head teller and I didn’t get along. I wanted to like her, but she had no interest in accepting me. I knew it wasn’t the right position for me, but I needed the money so I stayed on. It’s hard being a newlywed with your husband still in school. I needed to do everything possible to make ends meet.

After only three months, they let me go. Of course I was devastated. I needed a job, and I couldn’t imagine applying as teller again after that experience. With no degree and no money for school I didn’t know what direction I was going to take in life. I didn’t want to walk away, but I had no choice.

I spent the next two weeks applying for various jobs, but not really putting my heart into anything. The majority of my experience was in banking, and I didn’t want to go back to that. I had to walk away.

Gathering my pride, I went to a temp agency to scrounge for work. There is something about being at rock bottom, and willing to scrape for anything, that can take a lot out of a person. It was stressful time for me, but ultimately necessary.

I got a temp job the next week working for a mortgage title company, something I never would have thought of on my own. After three months of being a temp, they hired me full time. I worked there for three years. I only quit because I had my first child and I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. It ending being the best job of my life, and if I were to enter the workforce again, that company would be my first choice.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have to ask “How did I get here?” In life, we are given crossroads that make our lives better or worse. Walking away may not be the easiest choice, but it may be the path that leads to happiness in the end.

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