Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Princess Saves Herself in This One

I guess I disappeared off the face of the blogosphere again for a while there. It's been a rough year for the most part. Processing the loss of my mum did a real number on me, and I can't say I've been in a great headspace in those months. 

Do you know how hard it is to work in private health insurance after losing a family member following a major surgery and a lengthy hospital stay? In case the work wasn't emotionally taxing enough, try doing it when at least once every day, at least one customer will tick at least one of the following boxes: 
  • They're having the same surgery she had
  • They're staying at the same hospital she had her surgery in
  • They're staying at the hospital she died in
  • They have one of the health conditions she had
  • They have the same birthday

The first deceased member call I received after returning to work was from the daughter of someone who had passed away the same week as my mum.

I think it was pretty reasonable for me not to be able to handle working there. I told my team leader I couldn't do it anymore and she offered to switch me to part time indefinitely. I guess that was better than being unemployed. It helped. It made it just that little bit easier not being there every single day. But I knew it was time to move on. 

To further confirm that for me, all of the team leaders I loved moved on to new roles. When the last one I really liked left, I was heartbroken. I try to be happy for them all, because I knew they were moving on to better things. Then, as if the universe knew I needed an out, I got a phonecall from a friend. Said friend was one of my minions fellow editors on the student magazine back at uni. His workplace had a sales/admin job opening and he just wanted to let me know in case I wanted to apply—he knew I hated the private health insurance call centre. 

Now, the idea of working in sales had terrified me up until that point, but I made up my mind that I had to take this chance to get out of the call centre. 

And I did. Interview one week. New job the next week. And you know what? I actually really love this new job. It's so refreshing to have a change of scenery and to be working with a small company (like, less than 10 employees). I don't hate going to work every day. It isn't emotionally taxing to take a phonecall. It gives me space from my mourning. It has made everything a lot easier to deal with. I notice myself feeling drastically better. I'm lucky my friend thought of me when the job came up and I needed an out. But I'm so glad that I decided to actually give it a shot. 

Which brings me to today. I went to my local Dymocks with a friend and a book caught my eye: The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. It was a story told in prose and poetry of the author growing up, experiencing traumatic things, having a bad relationship with her mother, losing her mother unexpectedly (along with other family members) but ultimately ... well, the title is pretty indicative of the ending, eh? 

It was so simply written, yet the prose were beautiful. A little cliche at times, but so is life. The pages said things that hit me hard, like the part where she finds the last book her mother was reading before she died and realises that her mother will never get to finish that book. I did that too when I unpacked my mum's hospital bag and it wrecked me. Lovelace wrote about anger and trauma and it made me want to cry, but then she'd write something that would make me want to laugh. It was an awesome combination of writing grief and trauma and angry feminism (all things that are relevant to me in various aspects of my life right now) and it was exactly what I needed. It was validating to say the least. 

I think I have ranted and rambled enough here for the moment. Let's see how long it takes me to make another post. 

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