I recently quit my job I’d held for four years, because it was awful. It just was. It was one of those places were laws and policies change almost daily and you struggle to keep up. You spend so much time trying to change, and trying to adapt, that you get lost along the way.
The thing was, my job was under the microscope. Or at least my company was. Everyone from the auditors to lawmakers seemed to have an idea of the way it should be ran, when nobody thought to ask the ones who were working there. Between the culture and the dangers and the stress of the job itself, I was losing hair…in CLUMPS. I wasn’t eating very well. I wasn’t able to train for my half marathons or workout because I got off work drained. I had to force myself to smile at work and everything seemed to annoy me. I was beginning to think that I was just that type of person. High strung, easily annoyed, and didn’t smile. I had other jobs I wanted but I was in the seemingly endless pursuit of them. Then, I went to Glacier National Park. It wasn’t even my top choice of a park. I had never heard of it, my fiancé wanted to go. We talked about it for a while, and did some planning and he convinced me. So we packed up and made the several day drive there, stopping at the wonderful Grand Tetons on the way and the always crowded Yellowstone.
Driving into the park, Montana is beautiful. Mountains everywhere, green hills as far as you can see. We kept trying to guess which mountains were Glacier, and we were wrong every time. You go through a smaller mountain range and then some small cities, and then Glacier hits you in the face.
This was the first view we got, of the glassy Lake McDonald. We stayed at Sprague Creek campground, which is first come first served. We rolled in and snagged the last spot that afternoon, how lucky were we! Sprague Creek borders Lake McDonald and it’s a quiet, nicely wooded campground. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat.
I love to write and read quietly, so after leaving my handsome beau for a few, I wondered into this little nook right on the edge of the lake. It was close enough to the campground where I knew I wouldn’t be lost or could call for help if I needed it. I settled in here, and this was where I spend most of my alone time, daydreaming or writing.
When we weren’t enjoying the lake or lounging around the campfire, we were hiking. Glacier is the National Park people go to in order to push their limits. Summit hikes, backcountry trails, and more, Glacier tested our physical fitness. There’s warnings everywhere about overexertion and of course bears. Some of our favorite hikes were Avalanche Lake Hike and Upper Two Medicine Lake, both pictured in order below.
Avalanche Lake hike opens up to a gorgeous lake, with thundering waterfalls in the background.
Upper Two Medicine Lake had heavy snowpack towards the end because we went early in the season, but still breathtaking.
We spent an inspiring week there. And as silly as it sounds, Glacier changed my mind. It changed me. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the first vacation I’d had in a while and I just needed the fresh air. Maybe it was because we had no cell reception and could enjoy a week without work emails or stress. But I think it was what I saw. I’ve never really been inspired before. And Glacier did that. It showed me sights that took my breath away. It let me feel like I was on the edge of something spectacular. Glacier was everything that I never thought I needed. It was just…gorgeous. I felt it in my heart. I felt it in my soul. I felt like a piece that I had been missing had found it’s way to me. And then…we went back home. And back to work. I tried to get back in the groove but it was too late. Something had changed. I began having trouble sleeping, I began dreading the day before my workweek so much I’d drive to work in tears the next day. I became even less likely to smile. I sat down and I realized I was watching my life go by while I did nothing about it. I was allowing myself to be miserable “waiting” for something better when I needed to be the one to do it myself. A few weeks after I got back, I was taken upstairs to speak with management. They informed me I’d be transferred to this different position, an easier post with an awesome supervisor. And they told me that I needed to work on being approachable. At the time, I felt like I’d already been trying so hard to overcome my unhappiness and I felt betrayed by them and myself for the fact that maybe it showed through. I was sitting in the chair listening to them talk about what my future with them could look like, and I knew what I had to do. I walked quietly downstairs afterwards, cried in my friends office, went home, cried on the phone to my brother, talked to my fiancé and then slept on it. I woke up and I knew I wasn’t going to change my mind.
I left my job with lots of well wishes from co-workers, some tears, and a sinking pit in my stomach like I was failing. But I think the thing I’ve realized, is that living with being unhappy isn’t success. “Settling” isn’t successful, it’s damaging. It’s toxic. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t be amazing at something I wasn’t happy with. For a type A personality, that’s a hard pill to swallow. But I think I’m getting there. I’ve been out of a job for almost two months now, and the job market is difficult and there’s lots of rejection and that’s hard. But I’m also recharging (and regrowing hair). When I get this next job, I’m going to like it. And I’m going to be good at it. Because I’m going to do something that I love. And I can’t wait.
Until next time
The Chubby Cubby