For any constant readers who don't know, I've accepted a job offer and I'm moving on from Haemonetics. Moving on, once again, from Bisonweb. In order to do so, I've had to come to terms with how things ended at Gamesys, and basically, and as stupid as it sounds, had to forgive the notion of permanent employment and the failures I've suffered at its hands.
When things fell apart at Gamesys, I was angry, I was bitter, and I didn't want to be. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be productive, and, if I couldn't have what I had at Gamesys, I wanted just a crap-ton of work to bury myself in.
Coincidentally, Haemonetics had a crap-ton of work that they needed to get done, and no luxury of time. Sounded good, so I signed up. Bisonweb rides again. It's funny how, three times, a contract at Bisonweb has rescued me from a bad employment situation. I probably should give some thought to that and acknowledge the role they've played in my career. Maybe that's a blog post for another day.
Anyway, it didn't take long for all that pent-up crap that I was feeling but not acknowledging about Gamesys to get into my head. I started going to a not good place. You know what? Fuck it. Call it what it is, Liam. I was in a full-blown state of anxiety for two months.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is what anxiety looks like for Liam: No sleep. Sleep is for people who can take care of their shit. You want to rest? Stop fucking up, idiot. Also, increased work hours. I'm not talking, like, an extra ten hours a week. I'm not talking about maybe picking up some extra time on the weekend or after the kids go to bed. I'm talking about 40 extra hours a week, that I didn't bill for, busting my ass because ... I dunno... because the big bad boogieman is going to get me if I slow down? Anxious Liam doesn't stop to take a look at what he's doing. It's too late for that. It's time to buckle down and put on the ol' hermit-hat and just get the job fucking done. I'm usually wide-eyed, looking in the direction of my laptop, and if you're talking to me, you're getting maybe a quarter of my attention. Not because I don't appreciate you or care what you have to say, but because I need to be on top of things.
Needless to say, last November and December, and more than a little into January (but I think I'd moved past it by February) were my own little Hell. It was a Hell of my own making, I accept. It was my unwillingness to stop, take a look at where I'd come since September when my job fell apart, fear of judgment, and the pride that says, "You can do it yourself. Just work a little harder." I didn't ask for help. I didn't speak out. And I didn't slow down. Eventually, I hit a breaking point and talked to my team lead. I forbade myself from working any overtime for a couple of months, and I got my life back on track. Boy, I bet I was a bundle of fucking joy to be around. I'm sure Kim could tell you.
All right, that part's done. It's said. No takesies-backsies. Anyway, I'll admit that things stagnated at Haemonetics. We've been waiting for new work to be approved for a couple of months, and I know that, despite the attitude in Edmonton, head office doesn't like using contractors. I didn't start a campaign to get a new job, but when my friend Robb asked about how I was doing, I was honest. I did all the stuff I talked about in the other blog post, forgave an abstract concept, and took the job.
And they all lived happily ever after, right?
Not so much.
There was a fair amount of anxiety that came with that decision. The new job has a whole bunch of new responsibilities, challenges, and growth that will be pushed on me. I'm equal to the task. But, you know, things. And the past. And anxiety telling me things that aren't true, sending my mind in circles, trying to solve problems I haven't been given yet.
I took control. I took a step back. You know how hard it was to make myself take that step back? Let's just say that, when I agreed to meet with the bosses at IntelliWave, I knew I was going to have to have this conversation with myself. That was December 7. I managed to push it off by just about a month before I finally managed to make it happen. The first step was the hardest. I took out a notebook. I took out a pen. It's galling to me to realize that up until that time, I hadn't sat down and written anything the whole time during the application process, or anything for a couple of weeks before that. That first conversation with myself didn't really go so smoothly. I chit-chatted a little bit. Not exactly about the weather, but, you know, things that weren't consequential to where I needed to get. Still, as I wrote in that entry, "For now, it feels good to just spray some ink onto the page." I knew I didn't have it in me then, but I knew what I needed to do, at least.
Finally, I got on my ass and sat in front of that notebook until words came out. And I wrote, and I wrote. I wrote about what went wrong at Gamesys, I wrote about where I had failed, where I had not failed, and what lessons I would take from that experience. Finally, I wrote down some intentions that I am going to take with me to IntelliWave, to start the next stage of my career, with a company I am ready to believe in. I think this will help me get a good jump-start on my new job, and I am happy to say that, with this analysis, the anxiety is gone, replaced with an almost giddy anticipation. I get to work with my friend Robb again, with tools and process I can help choose. Let's get to work!
Originally, the intentions I wrote about were going to be the thrust of this blog post, but I realized I needed to get the rest of it out, the bits about the anxiety, both at the end of 2015 and at the end of 2016. I do intend to write about the intentions, their genesis, and what it can mean, but I've exhausted my reserve of words today, and I'm sure you've got... oh... something to do besides reading more of this.