You Can’t Break My Soul

January 26, 2023by Ashya Jordan0
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I was overworked, worn out, sad, and anxious all the time. I wasn’t familiar with my new self. I had no idea that I was a prisoner to corporate America. I viewed success as having a high-paying job and a fancy title. I had the American Dream as my reality at least in my work life. I had been duped by society into believing that the American Dream was to attend college, get a degree, and then land a nice job. Oh, by the way, as a black woman you have to prove yourself by getting a master’s degree, certifications, and work 40 plus hours per week to prove your worth in the workplace. I never learned that I could negotiate my pay and to be the biggest advocate for my professional progression. To my disadvantage my southern demeanor gave the impression that I was too sweet to be a people manager.

The personal sacrifices I had made in order to pursue the American Dream were deadly. I had died inside and was merely existing. My social and romantic lives had all but vanished as a result of my pursuit to live the American Dream. It wasn’t until a close friend pointed out how chaotic my life was and I was low in spirit and faith. That I was not living my dream but how society had conditioned me to live. I didn’t like the person I had become. I worked at least ten hours a day and frequently on weekends merely to meet deadlines. As a member of a one-person team in charge of nine financial processes, email correspondences, and other duties that I shared with teammates. After following this routine for a whole year, I came to the conclusion that I needed a break to rejuvenate and start discovering who I really was and to start living the life I desired. I went to a silent meditation retreat without any contact with the outer world. One of the best things I could have done for myself, this was a life changing experience. I learned how to create boundaries around my work schedule and accessibility, saying no to please others, and putting my emotional and physical health first.  These changes did not occur overnight but have been progressive and soul awakening.  

Upon returning to work, the poisonous work cycle persisted. In case you are wondering, “Did I ever address this matter with management?” I surely did and guess what happened? I trained managers to oversee my operations, but they only lasted a short time leaving me back on my own. I discovered that money was not the key to happiness and what I needed most was inner peace. Most importantly, I discovered how to love myself and walk away from what no longer serves me.

For more on employee wellness stay connected with Essence of Culture Consulting

 

Ashya Jordan

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