When the company you used to love, won’t let you go

Letting Go2

Letting Go

//Photo Courtesy: winniedayblog.wordpress.com//

I have a story to share, about love and letting go.

This past year I watched a close friend end a three year relationship with the man she was convinced she was going to marry. She was convinced, well, because he told her that’s what he wanted. She had planned their future together, pinned the wedding dress she wanted, and came up with names for their first puppy. And then when reality set in, he took it all back. Told her he didn’t want to marry her. I know what you’re all thinking…what a jackass. Of course I don’t disagree, however my initial response was:

Whew! Babe, you dodged a bullet there.”

Because this revelation, while heartbreaking, seemed like a good thing for her to realize sooner rather than later. Better have him get scared and flee at 26, than years down the road when mortgages and babies enter the picture, right?

I’ll admit, I felt a little relief. Now she could pick up the pieces and move on to someone who was serious about a future with her.

But then the unimaginable happened. He came back. 

He came back because he realized she was the best he could ever have (which was true); he came back because it was harder than he thought to replace her (because she’s irreplaceable); he came back because he was ready to change (even though these men never REALLY change).

I watched my friend, who had just started to move on, become completely overwhelmed with this “new” version of the man she used to love. He was saying and doing everything she had wished he’d done for years. I saw her conflicted for months about what to do. The relationship didn’t feel the same to her, and yet he was persistent with getting her back. It took everything in me to not look him square in the eye and say:

“Let her go. She was just getting over you. She was just starting to build a better life. She was just starting to meet and like other people. Let her go.”

He couldn’t let her go even though he could never truly give her what she needed and deserved.

So if he didn’t have the strength to let her go, then she needed to have the strength to cut herself loose. To walk away. And guess what?

She did.

I think there’s immense strength in being able to walk away from someone or something that you love because you know that person or that thing is ultimately not good for you.

Not long after my friend officially ended her relationship, I witnessed another friend have a very similar conflict with her company. Naturally, I drew the parallels.

I watched my friend walk away from the company she’d worked at for almost four years. The company was going through a massive re-org and move, and at first told her they couldn’t accommodate her position. They gave her an end date and that was that. But then the lightbulb kicked in and they realized (with good reason) the gem they were loosing. Before leaving she turned down not one, but TWO jobs they had offered her in a desperate act to keep her on staff. I know what you’re thinking – turn DOWN a job? Why would you ever turn down a job from the company you love? But these jobs were below her pay grade, and not aligned with the career path that had been promised to her. They, like my friend’s boyfriend, were unwilling to give her what she deserved, but not strong enough to just let her go.

Still, listening to my friend consider whether to take these other jobs was hard because I knew how much she loved working there. We spent many a nights with a bottle of wine discussing the pros and cons of leaving versus staying. Ultimately, she decided it was best for her career to move on. And guess what?

She did. 

In both scenarios, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my friends. This is saying a lot considering these ladies are badasses and I’ve seen them do A LOT of incredible things. Still, there’s nothing quite like recognizing what’s truly best for YOU, and acting on it. Even when it’s hard, even when it’s a risk, and even when it has to do with something you love.

In both relationships and careers it’s easy to put blinders on, especially when we get “flowers” and “love letters”, or “promotions” and “job offers”. But at the end of the day, is all of that what you really deserve? Because if you deserve better, then they know that too. They’re just afraid to let you go.

So here’s an idea. Make like my incredible girlfriends and cut yourself loose.

Need some inspiration? Look no further…

Peggy Mad Men Letting Go