I am now ready to let go of what was, hold on to the magnificent memories, and take on the new chapter that is about to begin

Whenever a change is happening around me — may it be in my personal or professional life — I tend to be that one person who tries to resist it. If I am being honest, that is the ideal reaction you will get from me. If I am not in the mood tho, I usually rebel from it; my hardheaded, toxic side comes out and tries to talk everyone out of the change that is currently happening. Now that I am writing this, I suddenly remembered what my high school teacher told me when he psychoanalyzed us during our first meeting: You are hardheaded, Ms. Ogata. I do not think that will ever change. I guess he is freaking right.

While growing up, so many drastic changes happened in my life without ever having a break. I mean, a time that will allow me to breathe and let it all sync into my system. There is always something that makes me bawl my eyes out and have no choice but to accept even though I never liked it in the first place. So many wounds that I still heal from up to this day and hidden vulnerabilities that I do not normally talk about were hidden and kept; These usually become the reason why I would react aggressively to changes I did not see coming or were not according to my plans.

You might think that I am a control freak in this way — well, I say, maybe I am just a child afraid to be hurt once again.

The Triggers of February

On the 22nd day of February, I had my first breakdown in a very long time. I felt different emotions simultaneously, and I never realized how long I had been holding them up. Although it became so chaotic, I never stopped writing the research paper because I knew that it was my only choice. I have actually written all about it on this weekly reflection.

Came the week after this breakdown, I was always close to tears before logging in at work. Without realizing that it was already happening, this breakdown allowed me to reflect and see in a rational way which aspects of my life I would want to change and take control of once again. One of the protruding things I realized is what was happening in the research writing process (not just the one I talked about) actually happens at work as well — I feel like I pour myself too much into what I do, and in the end, I feel so empty and unfulfilled. I also never learned the balance between hard work and rest. Whether in my professional, student, or personal life, I rarely get affirmation when I achieve something significant, which results in the feeling of being unappreciated.

This negative feeling further fueled my self-doubt and lack of motivation.

As a self-claimed passionate woman in her mid-20s, this is something that I actually despise about myself; I see it as a form of weakness. Heck, some other people might think that it is a form of people-pleasing. While words of affirmation may not be a part of my top two love languages, I still believe that we need this once in a while.

Taking a leap of Faith in March

After years and years of contemplating and a week of coming up with my final decision, I finally informed my manager on March 1st that I will be resigning from my current position. If I were being honest — of course — I was hoping that he would talk me out of it. There were many times I have been assured that I am an asset to the team, but his response made me think otherwise. The next day, I sent in my formal resignation letter, and it made me feel like I could breathe once again.

Although I asked that my resignation is a secret from the team in the meantime, I had to inform the people I am close to that I am leaving the company soon. I know this is the dramatic side of me, but I guess I was not ready to talk about my resignation yet at that particular time.

Aside from the trigger that happened in graduate school, the actual reason why I really resigned was that I was not feeling contented anymore with the work that I do. Although I have a couple of responsibilities that allow me to mentor and assist my other teammates, I do not feel fulfilled anymore as far as my student side is concerned. You see, the Master’s program I am currently attending has opened so many perspectives in my life that I would not have known otherwise.

After diving deep into research, journal articles, and business structures, I soon learned that I am leaning towards a career that focuses on process improvement, conceptualization, conducting research for possible solutions; or simply put — creating something out of what I have read, analyzed, and learned.

Now that I think about it, maybe graduate school is to be thanked for the courage I had in taking these steps to make this big of a change in my professional life. Perhaps it is not the astrological reading that I read that justified my actions after filing my resignation letter.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CbOZvNaMv7W/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

A few hours after I sent in my formal notice, a talent specialist contacted me because she saw my profile on a well-known job site. I was actually quite surprised knowing that I only updated my profile the night before. Even though I was so nervous about my first initial interview since what? Three or four years ago? I never backed down and answered her questions as if I was only talking to a friend. We had a worthwhile conversation; we talked about how great it is to have a goal of constantly learning. An update: I am affiliated with them starting tomorrow.

Job hunting and attending interviews was a rigorous process. When I was in my second to the third week of finding jobs, I became so disheartened to see rejection emails or not hear from the employers that I found interesting. This is the main reason why I went MIA here. Additionally, I constantly questioned my decisions. I thought maybe it was not courageous to quit my job without having a new one; Maybe it was stupidity, impulsiveness, and foolish emotions that made me think irrationally. Maybe, I am compelled to work there for more than six years.

There were numerous interviews I have attended — those were the nights that I reviewed like I was going to have an exam, watched videos that helped me understand different tools, and did mental conditioning so I could show the most authentic and best version of myself. I failed to answer a couple of questions here and there, but I was never hard on myself about it.

That is the beauty of attending interviews and talking to strangers— you discover a different side of yours that you would not see in a regular setting. They ask you questions you would not commonly ponder. And, if you are lucky to meet a kindhearted person, you receive words of affirmation because they see something in you that you never thought were your strengths primarily.

No matter how hard I tried to prepare for a specific interview tho, I guess what is not for you will never be yours. Thankfully, in the third week of March, I received a job offer so good that I could not stop questioning maybe it was too good to be true or if I really deserved it. In the end, I received this from a company whose technical interview I did not pass with flying colors and a career path that I never once dreamed I would take.

I guess, for now, I will hold on to what my friends told me — you deserve it after all the hard work you have put in over the past six years.

The Bittersweet Part of April

On the 1st day of April, we had our bi-weekly team meeting where we answered an ice breaker question before diving into the serious work stuff. Coincidentally, they asked us which quote changed the way we see life. The only one I can think of at that time was: “Courage, dear heart.” by CS Lewis. This quote was what I put in mind when I took this leap of faith. It might probably pass as a form of stupidity at that time; Nonetheless, it was something that I held on to whenever I questioned the decisions and choices I made.

Courage is all that I had. Courage to finally get out of my comfort zone and take the road I never wanted to take — to look like a stupid woman in the professional world, trying to prove herself worthy of the job position available once again.

I shared with the team that I am resigning from my position soon. To my surprise, I was actually quite relieved to finally announce it. Of course, there were people who were surprised that they did not see it coming and others who felt sour because I lied to them. After my announcement, my manager (the one I was hoping to talk me out of resigning) said lots of kind words about me. He mentioned that I was part of the pioneer team and one of the reasons why the project became successful. I instantly felt apologetic for doubting his appreciation for me.

It was a sweet message that I could not stop thinking about to this day; After hearing his unfeigned speech, I could not cease my voice from trembling, and I knew I was about to cry. The reality is, it was not just me — if it were not for the beautiful dynamics of the team, I would not have stayed for six beautiful years. Yes, there were dramas here and there, but mostly, the feeling of having a second family in a place you do not necessarily like was the most beautiful thing I could only think of.

So many messages reached my inbox that made my heart cry throughout that particular day. It is true what they say — we only see and feel the presence of one person once they are leaving (if they have a notice) or when they are already gone (no notice at all). Good wishes about the new journey that I will take came my way, and almost everyone said that I deserve it.

Every single thing that happened on that day made my heart so happy.

The Rollercoaster Ride for the Past Six Years

Working in MicroSourcing and Autodata allowed me to live with other people in the same room and have different kinds of families in the Metro; More so, I had learned so many good and worst things about myself and the reality of life. You see, I started working there when I was just 21 years old; I was hopeful about so many things in life and filled with ideal thoughts; Unfortunately, some of them were not and will never be attained. I was with people I have considered my family; they made me feel loved, safe, and less lonely. So many things that I would not have seen if I had stayed in my current hometown were laid bare. I divulged the North American culture, and everything has proven me wrong about the generalization I had about them.

Aside from my teammates and managers, I met so many beautiful people I gave and received hugs from. I watched tournaments, concerts, and even cute performances around the city whenever I had free time. I ate different kinds and types of foods — from cheap to luxurious, bland to savory, and usual to exotic. I would stay up until late at night in Eastwood, looking at the beautiful stars that reminded me of how much hard work I needed to do, so I would be able to live my dreams.

MicroSourcing and Autodata were the places I was in when I was still discovering the different sides of me — the happy, ecstatic, angry, lonely, despicable, responsible, accountable, full-of-trauma, religious, the devil, and many more. This is the main reason why no matter how much I wanted to break away from them, I just could not.

Because they were my home, and they will always be my home.

Last night, I was talking to someone special in my life; This person asked when I am going to post this blog. I straight up told him that I do not know. I started writing this last week, but I never had the will to finish it. I was afraid that by writing the ending of this story, I would finally close this journey with my family for six years as well. That gave me a pang of remorse even though it has been more than a week since I parted ways with them.

Earlier, I realized that finishing this story does not mean I will forget these places or the beautiful people I have worked alongside in these six beautiful years. It just means that I am now ready to let go of what was, hold on to the magnificent memories, and take on the new chapter that is about to begin.

To all the people in MicroSourcing and Autodata who have made the past six years bearable — thank you for everything. To those who made it feel like shit, still, thank you. Everything that had happened in and out of the office premises made me who I am today. No matter how hard I tried, I could not stop weeping while reminiscing about so many beautiful and messy things we have had since 2016.

While we are unsure whether we will still continue to see each other, I still am hopeful that when we meet again, all we have are the exquisite memories we have shared together. I hope that you have learned something from me just like I did from you and that I was able to touch your heart and your life in one way or another.

It may be hollow and vague, and I am not quite sure if you will come across this blog, but know that I will forever wish you nothing but happiness in this lifetime.

For now, I say goodbye. I guess I will see you when I see you?

Love, Shai. xx

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