Hey there! Hope all is well. Today we are hanging out in my second favorite place, the family room. Usually I’d be in bed either oversleeping, (is that a thing?), working on my laptop or watching back-to-back movies on LMN (my favorite channel). Some say they are living their best lives, but for an introverted homebody like myself THIS IS THE LIFE! However, life hasn’t always been this simple for me. Let me try to break my experience down for you.
Picture it! Sicily, 1922. LOL! I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention. Anywho, back in 2001, I was a naive young adult that had the greatest plan ever. I was going to start a full-time job while building my first home, planning my wedding and then 6 months later I would quit and be a stay-at-home mom. Talk about setting measurable goals, ey? Surely there was no way in just six months I would make enough money to pay for a home, a wedding and a family of four (since we already had 8 month old twin boys). Well clearly I had absolutely NO IDEA what adulting was really all about, but I was in for a rude awakening!
This was my first full-time job and I had no clue about what I was getting myself into. I was so clueless that I didn’t even know what a 401K was at the time. Most of the people I had job training with were already in their mid to late twenties or at least twice my age. I felt so lost and out of my comfort zone. I mean seriously, did I have to communicate with all of these new people in order to learn how to do this job? Not to mention that I would be working customer service in a call center. The shy girl and introvert in me was having an anxiety attack. All of this talking that would be required of me…WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I wasn’t! I had just gotten sucked into the cycle of having material things, which resulted in unnecessary bills and debt. Plus the fact that I was starting life without a plan and bringing in babies that had to be cared for. You know how we do; new job, new money, new house (that must be fully furnished the day we move in) and of course next it’s time for a new car, and so on. Man, that so-called 6 months was getting further and further out of my sight.
In the first department I started in at this major corporation, it was like hell on earth. It has always taken me a bit longer to pick up on new things, and again, the introvert in me was struggling. I had to remember all of the training scripts while keeping a good attitude on the phone as I was being cursed at by customers, as well as maintain the daily quota given by management. This all seemed to be more than I could handle. As a quiet young adult that mostly kept to myself, this new lifestyle was breaking me down. I cried nearly everyday after work because I did not know how I could continue to deal with these crazy people, both on and off the phones. Oh and it gets better, management was on 10 all of the time! We were so restricted in this department that we could not have our cell phones sitting out. If there was a family emergency someone had to call our manager’s number and they would relay the message to us. We were not allowed to send any type of emails that were not work-related and we could not use the chat system to talk about anything other than business. It had gotten so bad that into my second year while pregnant with my last child, management would come looking for me in the restroom. I had to log out of the phone so much to go back and forth because the baby would not stay off of my bladder. I knew then that I would not be employed much longer at this company. Low and behold God comes through like He always does (or so I’d convinced myself that He had), and a surplus was announced. Our work was moving to Houston, so we were given the choice to follow our jobs or risk becoming unemployed.
Finally, my 6 months had arrived! I awaited the day for someone to tell me that no positions were available locally and they would be cutting me a severance check and sending me home to be the stay-at-home mother I’d longed to be. Wishful thinking! Nearly two weeks until what would have been my final day on payroll, a position becomes available. NOOOOOOO!!! That’s all I could think at the time. It was soul-crushing. I knew that my hubby would not be ready for me to walk away from my job, but this layoff would finally get me home to be with my babies.
From this point on it was like I was on a never-ending roller coaster ride. I was switching job duties, managers and departments every year or so. Because I was at the bottom of the seniority list (and stayed there until my final days, LOL) I was assigned to whatever new job responsibilities nobody wanted. I remained in the same building for about 9 years, but literally moved from the 3rd floor, to the 2nd floor and from the north side to the south side. Then from this corner of the room, to that corner of the room. It was like a real-life game of Corporate America Musical Chairs. The longer I stayed the higher my pay became and the deeper I moved into the reality that I will be like the average American staying on a job that I loathe for 30 years of my life, only to retire with barely anything to survive. I felt like this was the end of the road for me, but then something magical happened. My husband and I learned about this financial guru named Dave Ramsey!
We read one of his books and it was game on! I had finally found my way out of the Corporate America Politics/Prison. I’ll give more details about this in another blog post, so make sure to come back for more! Hubby and I began working on this plan so that I could get off the job ASAP and become the best version of Martha Stewart that I could be! Unfortunately, it wasn’t a plan that changed things immediately, but with much focus and consistency we eventually GOT IT DONE!
Then it happened…I made one of the boldest moves of my life. I handed in my 3-weeks notice (letter of resignation) on the day of my 18th Work Anniversary! WON’T HE DO IT!!! I felt like the shackles had been removed and I was finally breaking free from the 9 to 5 prison. Although my patience was tested in the office even down to my last days, there wasn’t anything that could take this joy away from me! Imagine how I felt at that moment, especially knowing that I had originally only planned to work for 6 months. I mean it was the longest 6 months I’d ever experienced in my life! So long, that the home I initially started the job for was now two homes past. Those 8 month old twins were grown, and we had even birthed and raised a third son that’s nearing adulthood today. Talk about a long time coming! SHEESH!
While others may think I’m entirely too young to be retired, I know that I’m exactly where I need to be. I was looking forward to being a stay-at-home mom many years ago, but now that I don’t have babies to raise I’m enjoying my time simply as a “STAY-AT-HOMER!” Now I have the opportunity to do whatever it is I want to do, when I want to do it.
With that said, I’ll leave you with this…“The road may be rough, the journey may be tough and the experience may be bitter, but they are stepping stones to our future thrones.” -Bamigboye Olurotimi
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