When it came time for my one-year anniversary with my company this past winter, I went in, ready to ask for a raise and full-time status.
Despite the fact that, only a few months earlier, when I was suffering from horrific jet lag, my bosses informed me I would no longer be able to take a vacation which took me away from my e-mail.
It wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to stay with the job. It was never my plan to stay in Las Vegas for too long. I wanted to satiate my travel addiction. I had absolutely no desire to do any such thing, like making this job my career. In fact, the more time went by, the more I began to loathe walking through the kitchen to my little back office. Even if it was part-time.
But, when this meeting finally arrived, I had a plan: to stick it out through Thanksgiving and then hightail it out of there and go travel again. My parents and I had discussed my travel plans: to head back to Europe, teach English, house-sit and continue my freelance writing (which I was doing to counter the part-time status of my day job). Simple. Easy.
However, as the months between the discussion and my meeting continued on, I hit a roadblock.
Even with my plans being at least outlined, I felt trapped. As my job moved more and more towards babysitting and less and less towards what I was hired to do, I grew more and more miserable. I stopped going out. I stopped spending time with most of my friends. I would wake-up, go to work, come home, do my freelance writing, turn on the TV, then head to bed and toss and turn until sleep finally took over.
I was depressed.
The only good thing I did for myself in those months was seek help in the form of therapy. And, I’m not ashamed of it. Together, my therapist and I tackled a lot.
However, in January, instead of getting better, I got worse.
During my meeting with my bosses, they told me they were not prepared to give me a raise, or promote me to full-time. While the company was growing, they refused to let me grow with them. Despite the fact that I had no desire to grow with them, to see them through their successes beyond November, it was a slap in the face.
We like what you do. You do a great job. But, you aren’t valuable enough to reward you for your hard work.
I went from being able to smile to not being able to contain my tears.
Just like in Atlanta when I was in the prime of my 30-Life-Crisis, I had hit a place I hated.
The walls were closing in on me. I couldn’t breathe. I had no way out.
Until I did.