I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

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So I’m mainly writing this post to ask a very serious question, but before I do, I’d like to give you guys some pretext –

I started a new job in February, and I feel like it just healed my soul. That sounds dramatic, but seriously, that’s how I feel. My last job nearly killed me (metaphorically). I won’t get into much detail, but I was miserable. The people I worked with were awful, my bosses were awful…I worked so hard to get absolutely nowhere, with a company that I’d dedicated my life to, and it broke my heart.

I lost myself a lot this past year. There were a lot of changes, sure – moving across 4 states, getting married – but it was the job that did it. If you’ve been reading up on my site, you know that I’m a person who feels things very strongly, and the misery I felt at this job seeped into every fiber of my life, from my hobbies, to my health and fitness, to my relationships. I was a raging bitch to my husband, I would forget to text my friends back, I stopped working out, stopped making art…I would get home from work, and I’d be so emotionally drained, that I’d just go to sleep. I literally just slept all day.

That was then. Fast forward four months, and I’m a changed woman. I took control of that situation. I left the job and got a new one; I took the time to get to know my boss before I said yes to the offer – and it’s been a pretty great decision. My team is amazing, my boss is the best support system, teacher, motivator, and cheerleader I could possibly ask for; I’m feeling creatively challenged again, for the first time in a year; I’m feeling like I’m building real connections with my team, which is the most important thing to me. After all, my favorite part of what I do is helping people learn and grow, and that’s definitely happening now.

And the effect? Well, I go running at least three times a week – running has always been a passion of mine, and I hadn’t stuck to it this consistently since college. I’m reading books, writing, drawing, playing music…I feel inspired again, finally.

My company got us on this app, Virgin Pulse, which basically rewards you for healthy behaviors. You can track your steps, workouts, water intake, financial health, etc, and you earn points the more consistent you are, that you can later redeem for actual gift cards. It’s such a brilliant idea, and I’m so amazed at my company for investing in us like that. It has definitely helped with my self-accountability.

I have two co-workers who challenged me to give up Starbucks. I was going every other day, at least, and when I added up the amount of money I was spending there monthly, I nearly fainted. I’m proud to say that I’ve been Starbucks-sober for nearly two weeks now. My boss put a Keurig in our office and I bought a bunch of K-Cups, and that’s how I get my coffee fix now. And every time I think about running to Starbucks, I think about how disappointed these coworkers would be in me, and I stop myself.

I also got to see my friends a few times at the start of this year. I finally went home to visit after a year of being away; then one of my closest friends came and stayed with me for a week. I hadn’t seen any of them since we moved, and I loved spending time with them and catching up.

So now that you have all that pretext, here is my question:

Is it ok for me to allow these outside forces to affect and influence me the way they do?

We all do, right? When one thing upsets us or stresses us out, we carry it with us into everything else we do. We’re human – we can’t repress how we feel, or erase and reset our feelings when going from one situation to the next. But we can choose to rise above them, right? For example, when I came home from the job that made me miserable, I could’ve chosen to go for a run to help release my stress and anxiety. Running definitely does that for me. Instead, I chose to succumb to my negative emotions and become a victim to them. Why did it have to take an app and a good day at work to get me off the couch and into my running shoes? Are we really that dependent on the people and circumstances around us. Is it ok to be? Hey, even the Beatles said, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” and I think anybody with real human emotions will tell you that when you’re in a toxic situation, that toxicity spreads into other aspects of your life. But we can choose to stop it from spreading, right, even if we can’t always remove ourselves from the situation right away?

Theoretically, yes. We can CHOOSE to do anything. But is this asking too much of mere mortals? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer.

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