Three and a Half Years Later

img_8300It’s been three and a half years since my last post.  Once you’re fully employed, there’s less time and energy for blogging.  It was also difficult to share thoughts and emotions while in an on-going battle for justice, which eventually I lost in appeals.  Losing the last appeal felt like a failure, even thought I knew it was being judged on a narrow legal issue and not on the merits of the full case.  In any case, it was over.  But instead of providing closure, it felt like closing a door.  It felt like stuffing all the difficulties of the those years into a closet and forcing the door closed.  But the door was bulging outwards and some of its contents were demanding attention.  There was an undertow beneath the surface of my life that was keeping me down, holding me back.

I have finally started to unpack the mess.   I recently volunteered to give a talk at a leadership event, entitled “When They Don’t Want You…” where I shared my experiences and asked how they might have meaning for others in leadership.  This forced me to revisit events, reread documents, and double check facts that I had not consciously thought about in a long time.  I had to condense the experience and distill the most meaningful parts.  I didn’t want to whine or sound defensive.  I didn’t want to brag or bluster.  I had to put the experience in context and think hard about the take-away message for other professionals.

I spent days and weeks avoiding the preparation I needed to do.  And then I spent days and hours circling issues, zeroing in, writing, revising, researching, and finally practicing.  When the time came, I had my 15 minutes in front of my peers, and it felt good.  I took them on a journey.   They laughed when it was funny, and they were silent and attentive when it was not.  Afterwards, I was congratulated for being brave enough to share, and it was interesting to hear how it affected individuals differently.

I don’t know if I have found closure, or if it is the start of a deeper exploration.  I am proud to have forced myself to take on this challenge. I feel lighter;  a cloud has lifted.  Now I am able to write for this blog, and perhaps make it public.  And I can think about doing more (maybe an article or book?), or letting it slide away.  Weather report?  Partly sunny, I hope.

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