Like any other morning, you wake up and make your way to the restroom to get ready for the day ahead. You shower, step out and wrap yourself tightly in a towel. As you step forward toward the vanity, you look up and see a person looking back at you. This is a person you see everyday. You know their name and every inch of their body. Still, they are unfamiliar to you. Who is this stranger who meets with you every morning? How is it that day after day, they remain a mystery? Confused by their presence, you look away and continue your daily preparations.
As you head out of the house to begin your day, you shrug off this mysterious person. Now, you can focus. You climb into the car and make your commute to work. Upon arrival, you are greeted by your smiling co-workers as they tell you “good morning”. As always, you return the greeting with a smile of your own. Then, you hear someone whisper in your ear. Once again the mystery person has followed you to work. They inform you that your smile is not genuine and your greeting is obviously said out of obligation. You ignore their comment and move on toward your desk.
Having had this job for years now, you have acquired your fair share of decor. Neatly placed around your desk are photographs of family, close friends and memorable keepsakes. You prefer to keep these items toward the back of your desk. This way they are close enough for you to see, but far enough from the edge to keep them from being broken or even worse, stolen. Although these items are very dear to you, you have found that you cannot look at them for prolonged periods, because of the yearning it causes. To prevent this, you have learned to scan them over and quickly look away. This routine works like a charm, as long as the mystery person stays quiet.
You take a seat at your desk and without warning the mysterious person begins to whisper in your ear once again. Knowing what the voice will say, you shut it out like you always do. But, today is different. You can’t seem to stop your thoughts from flowing. You think back to when you were first offered this job. It was years ago and you accepted it with eagerness and excitement. Brand new opportunities stood before you and the future looked bright, full of growth and success. The possibilities seemed endless and you couldn’t wait to begin.
Your first day of work was even better than you had anticipated. From the moment you walked in the door, your colleagues made you feel welcome. They were not only skilled in their positions, but each of them were fun and thoughtful as well. Like any newcomer you were afraid of making errors and your co-workers sensed this. But, instead of giving you a hard time, they lessened your fears by offering you constant encouragement throughout the day. They were an outstanding group of people. By the end of the day, you were certain that you had found your perfect career.
Sadly, over the years you have begun to realize that the company is no longer a good fit for you. The excitement you once had each day on your drive into work has now turned into dread. Even though your colleagues are wonderful and the career is full of potential, you find that the job has been slowly taking a toll on your life. The things you once enjoyed are long gone. You no longer have time for the people you know and love. To make matters worse, your life revolves around work so much so, that at times you even forget who you are. Often times you wonder if even a portion of your old self still exists.
However, you can’t deny that your job pays the bills and your position is a necessity for the company. Therefore, your leaving would cause quite a predicament. Furthermore, if you were to seek employment elsewhere, your colleagues would greatly miss you and you them. Because of all this, you continue to drag yourself into work day after day after day.
Bringing your thoughts to a close you let out a deep sigh, knowing that when you awake tomorrow the mysterious person will certainly be there to greet you once again. But even so, you carry on – smiling, answering phone calls and replying to emails. After all, it’s just another day at work.