So I recently quit a perfectly decent, full-time, salaried job in order to actively pursue my actual creative pursuit of writing freelance and its been the most challenging decision I’ve ever had to make. Let’s just put it like this, I had to go through a series of awakening events in order for me to fully understand exactly what the universe was trying to tell me; that not everything that glitters is gold, including the ideal “job.” See, in my recent role I was a mentor for returning citizens; men and women who’ve been recently released from the prison industrial complex in need of assistance reintegrating into society by means of housing, health, job placement, parenting and education/career training. As a mentor, I was specifically responsible for guiding these men and women by counseling them, but what I ended up realizing is that there’s only so much revolution you can stir up from within an oppressive system, no matter how many individuals you help. The thing about any type of social service work, especially direct service work, is that there’s honestly no way to avoid burnout when you’re aware of the fallacies of this system and deeply in tune with the people in the way I was. I had been trying so hard to dismantle the master’s house (oppression) with the master’s tools (a traditional 9 to 5 vocation) that I ended up driving myself to physical disease, mental exhaustion and spiritual disarray trying to disprove something I had long known; I WOULD NEVER FEEL FREE UNTIL I BECAME MY OWN BOSS.
Now I’m sure there are some already dying to oppose my perspective, swearing by their pristine 9 to 5 jobs, careers and vocations and the freedom that they’ve been afforded through these positions. My point isn’t to convince anyone who’s happy in their respective roles to pull a me and dip. Nah, I’m just telling my story for those willing to listen and learn a lesson on what personal freedom means to me because I know that there are even more out there who feel at their jobs like I felt at mine; alive but barely breathing. Slowly suffocating under the weight of unrealistic expectations, tedious paperwork and assignments/tasks that aren’t even pertinent to your own role. If that’s you then I’m here to assure you that you are not alone! You’re reading the right story at the right time, in divine time.
Starting from the beginning, I’ve always had a history of leaving jobs. It was only a matter of time before I rocked the wrong boat and started feeling the indirect heat from the “top.” People who I didn’t know but who knew me for my inability to conform. From that one time I got a Director fired for grossly inappropriate commentary to the time I got two of my fellow co-workers to stage a walk-out with me due to the exploitation we were being subjected to, I was a rebel with a fucking cause: REVOLUTION. But let me not get sidetracked. This specific journey started after I was fired from my prior job for reasons still unknown to me. My instincts tell me, though, that the person working “above me” was envious of my free-spirit and unapologetic voice. See, I was then (and still am now) the type to treat the CEO just like I would the janitor, meaning that respect was something earned NOT simply given. Hierarchies and titles neither tickled nor intimidated me. I wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was to anyone who tried to push me or perpetuate injustice in spaces I was a part of. After that job lost me (because I didn’t lose shit), I was on unemployment for the entire 6-month period that one is allotted. I decided after that experience I was done settling; I was only going to work a job that uplifted me. Little did I know that no job was meant to uplift me because I’m meant to uplift my damn self. In the 10 months I was unemployed I gave birth (so to speak) to this website, my baby, which honestly saved my life because after my unemployment ran out, blind faith turned to clear desperation as I was unable to pay my rent. It seemed as though I was looking and nothing was manifesting for me. I was affirming everyday but the universe wasn’t listening to my call, or so I thought. I stumbled into a deep depression. I stopped leaving the house, stopped eating, stopped enjoying life and started to smoke myself into a haze of denial. Still amidst my depression and drug-induced coma, I kept writing for AfroLatina Divina because it seemed to be the only thing that I had the strength to commit to. So I wrote and wrote and wrote. I didn’t even know how much it was raising my vibration but it was! I found a light at the end of a dark tunnel; my writing… Still, I sought traditional employment. I sought the financial security to pick up the fragmented pieces of my ego that were shattered after months of unsuccessful searching. It was as if I was ignoring the answer the universe was blatantly yelling at me.
So after 8 months of being unemployed, no matter how much I tried to hold on to my dear home, the universe showed me alas that it was never truly mine to begin with and so I left with as much grace and dignity as possible in a situation like that. I won’t lie; after I was evicted I felt my mind and body had died and I found refuge and strength in my spirit, in calling on my angels, ancestors and santos to watch over my soul in order to keep me from completely giving in. I was blessed enough that my mother took me in with (somewhat) open arms even though I wasn’t happy about moving back home. I was dealing with residual feelings of failure and disappointment in myself for even having let it get to that point; still I did my best to keep my chin up, continue looking for employment and write by any means necessary. I also started working out every day, in line with my new year’s resolution of finally shedding these last few layers of karma from my body. After a few weeks of consistent prayer, meditation, exercise and applying I received a call and scheduled an interview, a few weeks after that I was employed once again after almost a year of unemployment and life started feeling a little normal again. Then I suddenly realized that I wasn’t meant to live a normal life… I was less than 2 weeks on the job when I was struck with an ear infection so strong that it left me hard of hearing for almost a month. What the fuck was the universe trying to tell me now?!! Shut up and listen Christy, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen to your intuition, not to the noise of the world but to your inner wisdom once and for all.
What was my intuition telling me loud and clear? That I’m not about this working for the man shit, that I’m not destined for a traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle, that my reputation for causing insurrection and fucking shit up was less indicative of my rebellious nature and more the result having tried to force myself to fit into spaces where I clearly wasn’t meant to fit into. How was I dedicating 40+ hours a week to the job and barely any to myself and my personal endeavors? I finally started to see things clearly for what they were…I was making money but I wasn’t free, I couldn’t even be myself at work, restricted by senseless ethics and codes of conduct that only made sense in the matrix. The biggest irony of it all is that I was working for an organization that worked against the prison industrial complex yet I felt caged. I wasn’t “allowed” to wear my nose ring, I wasn’t “allowed” to wear articles of clothing that “they” deemed inappropriate for work, I wasn’t even “allowed” to leave my desk without having to give an explanation to a supervisor. Upon having these realizations, my cubicle started to feel like a jail cell without bars, my supervisors started to feel like wardens, my co-workers started to feel like cellmates, my work ID started to feel like a glorified prison number… Work began to feel a lot like prison and it seemed that I was the only one who was aware. I was among the few who were awake in a space full of zombies, it was such a shock that I found myself nauseous at how obvious this all should’ve been to me in the first place. My 9 to 5 was the sunken place and I had to GET OUT, it was getting to the point that I couldn’t breath the air, it was just THAT toxic.
In the end, it took getting fired, going broke, getting evicted, literally losing my hearing and ultimately losing myself in order for me to finally fully realize that freedom (to me) means writing my own rules, wearing whatever clothes I want to wear, waking up at the time my body wants to and ultimately defining for myself what I’m allowed to do or not do. It was OVER for calling anyone else my boss, it was OVER for clocking in and out, it was OVER for another person dictating my routine and it was OVER for working for the man. I knew in that moment, like I now know, that I was never going to work for anyone ever again. And of course my decision wasn’t met with the support I wanted from my friends and family but I was ok with their lack of understanding because all that mattered was my inner peace. Whereas before I was unemployed and stressed, now I am “jobless” and blessed because I’ve learned the most powerful life lesson thus far; you never work a day in your life when you do what you love and there’s nothing I love more than DOING ME. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I am feeling SO groovy. Life… Here comes Christy X!