Monday, February 9, 2015

Leaving Corporate America and Following My Yellow Brick Road Part I

My last blog post of "What Do I Know" informed you know that I was leaving my corporate job and walking into my "dream life of writing and creating."  Well, I did just that. I left Corporate America.

The last month of my life there was intense, of course, why wouldn't it be? My days were filled with people wanting me to share my knowledge, asking me to document everything I had learned over the last eight years, finish complex contracts and takeover a major project initiative. Ok, let me get right on that! Really?!  For those of you who know me well, I am not one to write down everything I do.  "I just know" what to do based on my experience and if I don't know, I go find answers and pick up the phone and call people until I find a solution! Then, I get the job done and I move on! Now, that is not a preferable style to those people who like every process documented.  Especially when a key member of the team is leaving. People make assumptions that the job was don't right or done well.  And to those people I say, it's a different outlook and a different way, it's not right or wrong, it's just My Way.  My goal was simply to try and finish everything I had started and educate my staff as much as I could. I didn't want to let my internal team down, nor did I want to let down those external people with whom I had developed strong, long term healthy relationships.

The result?

There were things I got to finish and others I truly wished I could have, but time did not allow it. It was stressful for sure and the challenging personalities came out in droves just to test my patience and my will to persevere to the October 31st goal line.

Each day I looked at my team of "three" and cherished every moment with them, telling them how amazing they really are because I knew the day was soon approaching that I would no longer be there to tell them.

I had a boss that confirmed on a daily basis that I was making the right decision.

I hung a calendar in my home office and each day that I finished at the office , I gave myself a big, fat "X."

My resolve was tested even further as I went for some routine medical tests to make sure I could "cross them off the list" before my corporate sponsored insurance was to end.  I went for a mammogram and much to my surprise, the lovely woman who was the technician, told me so sweetly "we found something, you need to come back." I looked at her and said " I just came here to check this off the box."

She looked at me with empathetic eyes and said she could fit me in for a biopsy a few days later. She was so sweet and kind, I can still see her caring face in my mind.

Shocked, scared, confused and angry.  I agreed to the appointment.  This was not in my "plan." What the heck? I work out, I eat well compared to the average person and I try to keep myself mentally healthy.  I didn't have time to deal with this nor did I want to !

So, what did I do then? Well, what I always do, I set out to research the biopsy process and understand what I was walking into and what they would be able to determine from the test.

And so, I had to cancel a business trip to Phoenix and instead a dear friend drove me to the biopsy appointment. He was so kind, he went out of his way to get me my beloved coffee before he picked me up.

I was certainly not the "in control, Kim, he was used to." Instead, I got in the car, scared, in disbelief and wanting it over with as soon as possible. My poor friend probably didn't know what to do with me! Who was this woman? I will truly be grateful to him for this. On our drive to the appointment, he said " I will wait in the car and if you need anything, text me. " He has no idea how comforting it was to know he was by my side.

I walked in and had the biopsy done, but not after questioning everything and almost cancelling it after they told me they were going to put a piece of metal in my breast! What?!  And then the anxiety started because I had to sit and wait (not one of my strong traits!) . I wanted my friend in the room with me in the worst way as he always calms me when he is around, no matter what is happening, his presence always makes me feel like he will be my strength. He never seems to waver in a storm.

I sent a quick text to him as I waited and  told him I was already starting to hyperventilate.  He text me back, asking if I was "ok" and that soothed my anxious heart. I just needed to know he would come and get me if I started to panic.

It was a long two hours and thanks goes out to a wonderful yoga instructor who I met last summer, who taught me how to meditate.  I used those tools all throughout the procedure! Thanks so much Michael!

I got in the car and again didn't say too much. I was sore and just wanted to go home and crawl under the covers. I didn't know how to act in front of my friend as my left breast felt like a balloon that had been blown up. I tried to cover it up, feeling a bit broken and less than a woman.  He looked at me and asked me how it went, I looked at him and said "look at me" as I showed him my "balloon."  He smirked a bit which I didn't find funny!!  But I knew in my heart that he was not judging nor did he see me differently, I knew he was my friend no matter what. I was the one who felt different.  We began our journey home and I put my hand on top of his, wanting him to grab my hand, so I could feel his touch and have the reassurance that all would be ok and he was right there with me.

 It was a silent drive home. He gave me a hug and we said our goodbyes. I will never forget his kindness.

I took my clothes off, grabbed my favorite pj's, crawled into bed and welcomed sleep with my two black cats, Bailey and Bella.

I nurtured my spirit and my physical body over the next few days and waited. I utilized healing tools that I knew would be helpful no matter what - thank you Marquerite for teaching me the healing methods of Edgar Cayce! and the power of castor oil.  I called in to work and let myself sleep. I bought some iodine and spread it on my breast to help the pain (not too much, you don't want to screw up your thyroid!). I also applied a castor oil pack to my breast to help heal whatever was happening inside of me. I had no idea what was happening, but "What I Do Know" is that Castor Oil has been used for centuries and it's healing properties are amazing for so many things.

For the second time in my life, I didn't feel like a "complete" woman. I didn't feel like I was the "sexy, confident woman" my friends had come to know. All I wanted to do was heal myself and hide from the world.  I focused even more on what I ate and drank.  I know that food is everything when it comes to being healthy!   I prayed and I listened to the teachers on line that I knew would get me through this. I needed them, their focus on a Higher Power and their ability to take my thoughts to the non-physical realm.

And I waited for the results to come.

Stay Tuned for Part II of the story ... My Yellow Brick Road..

Much Love and Light ,

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