The face I can’t forget

When does a broken heart stop being broken? How many times does it take for the heart to break and re-break again until it simply can’t break anymore? How long does it take a heart to beat normally again? When does it stop? Any of it? How many terrible, boring or wrong dates does someone endure until they find someone who stops them in their tracks just the same, if not better than the one who came before? How many bad days does it take until they never come again? How do you live in the same town as the person you can’t forget? I’m always searching for that face, whether I’m aware that I am or not. I’m always scanning the crowd and never see it. But, I wasn’t scanning the crowd today and there it was. The face I’ll never forget. With her. Hurt, rage, love, fear, and panic all raced inside of me in a matter of 3 seconds. He stopped and saw me too. Kill me, please.

I wanted this moment for so long. Now that it was here, any words I had rehearsed or thought I’d say all fell to the floor with my poor, barely beating, bloody heart that just wanted to die right there where it lay. Seriously.  I didn’t even have my hair done.

I calmly (on the outside) found the nearest aisle to duck into and went to my car to cry in private.

Where’s the Hallmark movie crew when you need them? This scene desperately needed a rewrite.

What am I supposed to do with that? With any of it? How does it ever really get better? There are plenty of good days, but the feelings never actually go anywhere. They just live dormant on the inside of me because that’s all I can do. I can’t act on them. I can’t do a damn thing about it except let it be and take it to God every time it hurts or every time I can’t quit thinking about him. How can a heart just stop wanting who it wants despite the beating and the B.S. it’s sustained? How do you tell your heart that what it wants doesn’t want you? It’s a tragic and simply sad reality.

What can I do? Find someone new?

There is a guy at work who I enjoy and who lightens my spirit when I’m around him. He’s the only guy that’s made me forget the face I can’t forget. Did I mention he has a girlfriend or maybe even fiancé now? What kind of sick and twisted game is that? It’s not as easy as finding someone new or someone who makes you forget the unforgettable. It’s just not. The reality is, or my reality is that any guy I’ve met makes me feel absolutely nothing and makes me think even more about who I shouldn’t be thinking about. Oh, except for the guy at work…who is taken. He makes me smile and laugh and I’ve started to care about him. As much as I can hope it could work, it won’t. He’s taken and probably has never given me a second thought. Except for when he gave me chocolates for Christmas. But beside that, I’m basically a field mouse. Kind of cute to look at but really, just unwanted.

In my ideal world, I’d be happily married to the stupid but beautiful face I can’t forget, and I’d never have any need to ever find someone new, but here in the real world, my ideal isn’t happening.

So, when does it end? Is this a cross I’ll bear the rest of my life? There are worse crosses, I guess. But, in the meantime—what am I supposed to do?

But still…

I did it. I put in my notice at work. It’s a three-week notice instead of two-week, but it’s still taking action on my intention to leave. It felt good handing it in. It’s amazing to me that anyone could be surprised that I want to leave. I’m in one of the world’s most boring jobs with no growth potential nor any learning or developing of my natural talents or even new ones. I’ve been overlooked for nearly two years while I worked hard to accomplish…to accomplish what? My hard work was noticed once and again but never rewarded or truly recognized. Aside from forming meaningful, fun, friendly connections with some of my coworkers (which I know is a blessing and the main reason I am there) and trying to be a source of hope and encouragement, what did I really gain, career wise by being there and working as hard as I did?

Before Easter, I applied for a job in the only department on my floor that I have any interest in at all. The department is geared more for me. They create and implement all the learning and development for the company such as course materials and trainings. It was the only department my supervisor knew I wanted to be in. Fast forward a month or two later and the job was posted. I did a little research into the role and wrote a pro and con list and knew I wanted to go for it. Was it a dream job material for me? No, but it was a good next step if I was going to stay in the company. It was work I could do and work that would stretch me and even energize me a little bit. Plus, I know most of the people in the department and I like them. I applied, and my friend recommended me to the head recruiter and I felt like a had a real chance. Then I realized my supervisor, who knew I wanted to be in that department, also applied. I had the sinking feeling that I knew where this was going.

I did get a phone interview, but that is the standard courtesy, if you will, to give all internal candidates, so it wasn’t really based on me at all. I felt it went well, but afterward, I wasn’t sure I wanted it. It was intense and a lot of work. I’m not afraid of hard work, but it just seemed like a lot. But, if offered, who knows…I may have taken it. I may have not. I wasn’t given an in-person interview, by the way. In the meantime, some distasteful things were happening within my department and I felt the desperate internal stirring that I needed out. If I didn’t get the new position then I was leaving. I’m not growing, only staying stagnant and I just needed out of all the strife and nonsense.

Fast forward to yesterday. The day I chose to give my resignation. I was nervous, though, I shouldn’t have been. I’m and adult who can make this decision and steer my life in a new direction. But still, I was nervous. After waiting most of the day, I found the moment of bravery and asked to talk to my supervisor. I handed over my letter and explained, in so many words, that it’s time for me to move on. Blah, blah, blah. I felt a weight lifted off of me. I felt like I had finally taken action. I felt good.

Then…then, it was confirmed that yes, indeed, my supervisor was offered the position I wanted. It had just happened right before we talked. My supervisor was cherry-picked for the position, and I know it really is the better choice for my department and probably for upper management, I’m sure. But still… I mean, come on. Come on. I have put in nearly two years of hard work, loyal work and for what? To be passed over for the opportunity to grow and to advance into a more suitable department for me only to accommodate the laundry list of issues surrounding my supervisor. Really? I had a feeling of where this was going and in the big-picture of things was okay with it. So, I did not expect to be filled with so much anger and resentment when I finally knew the outcome, but I was.

I may be wrong and I may be shortsighted, but I think I’ve been shown that a hard work ethic, a desire to challenge poor leadership, and a general likability among coworkers is not at all rewarded. Okay. Fine. I was leaving anyway. Now, I’m more excited and more determined to leave. I have no future there and it’s been proven to me. It’s been shown who is among the more favorable employees and who, no matter what they can and do bring to the table, is not. Fine.  It’s like God is pushing me toward the door. Actually, I know he is.

I know my future with God and where he is leading is way more exciting than anything I could do there, and that I’m on the right path by leaving. I know that. That is the truth. But still… as much as I’ve tried to regain perspective, I cannot help but feel passed over and under-valued.  And it stings. I’ve had more than enough of that in my life.

To end on a good note, I need to recognize that all of this, no matter how unfair and hard to swallow, is really a good thing (and I will need to keep reminding myself of that for a while).

It’s a good thing because I’m getting ready to take the next step…whatever it may be.