It was two years ago today, that I got this infamous snotty email from my self-proclaimed ‘boss’, that pushed me over the edge and forced me to leave my old job.
Many people had advised me over the years not to leave the post until I had something else to replace it with, but I felt this latest correspondence left me little choice but to leave right away, or risk having my dignity trodden on further still.
“… far from a success story, but a reasonably entertaining story of recovery I guess”
I sometimes wonder if I ever would have developed the guts to actually walk away had I never received that email. It was a job I had stopped enjoying a long time ago and the pay wasn’t even enough to support the necessary alcohol problem to get me through each day. This email, so full of arrogance and belittling demands made my decision an easy one, even though it terrified me at the time. I was now working my notice with no job waiting at the end of it.
Indeed, I was in quite a bad way for the next few months. Still unemployable it would seem, but I got what I thought was a lucky break when offered an unpaid work experience at ‘Trail Running Magazine’, which I hoped might lead to something.
It didn’t, but it did wake me up to the idea that I needed to do something drastic if I wanted to be employed again. The problem was, that after running Lands End to John O’Groats earlier in the year, my pesky ambition seemed to have poked its nose out again, and I wanted to do something I was passionate about.
I knew I wanted to do something in running, but I had now ruled out magazine work, as the thought of doing more and more unpaid work to gain the necessary experience made me weary. Plus my money had now run out and I was living in a caravan whilst doing part time bar and shop work to keep myself afloat.
Fast forward a year, and I had just about come through this rough spell. I’d got myself fully qualified as a personal trainer, built up a small client base and could now afford to rent a small flat in Buxton where I still live.
Fast forward another year, to ‘now’ in fact, and I finally feel like I’m doing okay! It’s still a work-in-progress, but what isn’t? I have a running club I’m really proud of, which is growing in membership and I’m slowly building a career out of something I’m genuinely passionate about.
But don’t get me wrong; this is not meant to be some sort of self-aggrandizing post, talking about how I ‘made it’. Quite the contrary really; I’ve made so many stupid mistakes over the years and been bailed out by friends and family. A vaguely intelligent person would not have made it quite as difficult as I made things for myself.
That said, it’s not ‘how’ you get there, it’s about getting there eventually in your own way. It’s just nice to finally be able to look back two years, or even one year and see progress. I was a bit stagnant for about five years after university.
So now I’m looking back at this email, which my facebook has kindly reminded me of just how hilariously angry I was about, and I’m contemplating the potential role this may have played in a kind of cosmic, butterfly-effect kind of way.
Now I’m not one of those people who say “all things happen for a reason”, or “everything’s part of a plan” or anything like that and I don’t believe that strongly in ‘fate’. I think, unless you’re one of the lucky few; if you want something good to happen, you have to make it happen yourself and expect a lot of hard work ahead.
That said, I do find it brilliant looking back at the ‘many’ catalysts that drove me to where I am now (which is far from a success story, but a reasonably entertaining story of recovery I guess), and one of them is this tiny little rude email, which I held so much resentment for at the time. Now I’m actually pretty thankful.