You see I’ve waited all my life… for this moment to arrive. Yes friends, I finally got promoted. *cries* Since most of you already know the story and I really don’t want to get into the details (some are already blurry anyway), I will keep this short.
I always dreaded the end of July, when promotions are released at work. I would cry and drown myself in self-pity every year since 2013 or 2014 (not sure). My heart broke each time I saw the “list” without my name on it. Eventually, I had to stop looking. I stopped congratulating others and pretended it was just an ordinary day. I learned to plug my ears and fake my smiles. Rude, but it hurt that much.
Year after year, friends and colleagues went up the corporate ladder. Some resigned and got better offers elsewhere. On the other hand, I was stuck, on the same level that I’ve been in since I first got this job.
The first couple of years were especially hard. I literally sobbed all day: after waking up, while taking a shower, during my commute (yes, even in public transport), and before going to sleep. Maybe I was immature or I might have overreacted, or my hormones were all over the place. I don’t know. Ang alam ko lang masakit.
The sadness inevitably turned into bitterness and anger. I felt the never-ending need to prove myself. To prove that I was better. That I deserved that spot.
Even though I was spiraling, I was willing to do everything to stop feeling that way:
I started with my hair. Different color: I dyed it light brown. Different hairstyle: crewcut, semi-kalbo, and even a perm, a.k.a. Cedie hair.
I joined company events. Became an organizer of sports and charity events. I met other employees (some with the same promotion stories as mine) and became friends with them.
I joined acting and theater workshops to have an outlet for my emotions. I even gained more friends and widened my circle outside work, which was a nice bonus.
I enrolled in drawing lessons to feed my damaged ego. To feel the validation of at least being good, or better, at something.
I shopped a lot. Duh.
I took voice lessons. It was way out of my comfort zone but something I have always wanted to do.
I traveled. I broadened my perspective by seeing and experiencing different places. Cliche, I know, but it made me realize that I’m just a speck of dust (or even littler) in this vast universe.
Name it, I said yes to it, I did it. Zumba, yoga, dancing lessons, networking, everything.
I also prayed a lot. I’ve memorized the Serenity Prayer and all other prayers that granted wishes. I cried each night asking God to make everything stop; I almost quit my job. I just wanted to escape everything: the insecurity, disappointment, and all of these other negative emotions. I thought of joining the others who have left company and, regardless of the risks, start over in a new environment.
I just wanted to stop feeling sad and bitter.
I just wanted to be happy.
Anyway, I didn’t resign but I transferred to a slightly different post. Little by little, I was able to move on. I focused on what my purpose was: to help people in the organization. I wanted to be of value and not just someone who aims promotions.
My various activities helped. Theater and voice lessons thought me how to recover. One bad performance won’t define me forever. I just had to do my best the next time and the next after that.
Occasionally, I still felt sad and insecure about not being promoted. Like times when people would assume that I was already holding a higher position. Or when younger and newer employees would get promoted before me. Or when people I help get promoted again and again.
I’m not gonna lie. My wounds are still healing but for the time being, I am happy and content.
My career came to a full circle in the last two years. The people I dealt with were the same people I met in either my early years in the company or in my many “extra-curricular” activities in the office. It made it easier for me to interact with them and accomplish what we were supposed to do. My job was also familiar as it was similar to my first job. The knowledge and wisdom I gained through the years helped me become what I am now. I get teary eyed when I think about it.
I guess my stars aligned this time.
Thank you to everyone who was part of this journey. Thank you.