BUT WHY IT STILL TOOK ME SO LONG TO LEAVE.
My sister had recently moved to Kelowna, BC from Toronto that summer and for mid-November my mom and I planned our first visit coinciding with her 70th birthday. It was the first real vacation I had taken in a long time. I was just craving that moment of my 2 ½ year old niece wrapping her arms around me in a monkey hug and smelling her sweet hair. Chasing my 5 year old nephew around the house for an epic tickle fight so I could hear that deep belly giggle of his that melts everything else away.
Just a few days to catch my breath after non-stop traveling, events and long hours. A house move that summer and a long year of infertility treatments that went nowhere. Just a few days to be with my family and reset myself so I could keep going.
We sat down to lunch at a beautiful winery in the Okanagan and not even thinking, I pulled my phone out of my purse to put it on the table. As I did the screen flashed on with a series of text messages and a missed call: “Why aren’t you answering your phone?” “Why do you think you can just take time off when we are dealing with… “ For the record there was always a ….
Here I was once again, not wanting to be fed into the chaos and control of my ex-business partner and now boss, not able to be present for my family. Should I just check my email and spend another family meal dealing with a work crisis. By the way, for some framework I was running a Yoga Teacher Training company at the time not negotiating a hostage situation. My sister looked at me, she didn’t even give me a look, she simply looked at me, and I said I’m done.
I’m still not entirely sure how it all crumbled down so badly. I suppose like all good relationships, it began full of hope, admiration and inspiration. I was given free reign to build out the company as I saw fit and I worked tirelessly to do so. There were some early warning signs certainly, but on the journey upwards there are always a few stones to trip over.
Somewhere between a momentary glimpse that I might have a life outside of work as my new boyfriend (now amazing husband) moved in. My first pregnancy – how dare she get pregnant now (this was actually said to a colleague about me) I was also 39 and miscarried at nearly 14 weeks. Distrust developed. The company wasn’t profiting. I must be stealing. A financial analyst was brought in to pour over the meticulous books kept by our accounting firm.
And then the newest business analyst arrived, you have to sell your shares. I owned 30% of the company and another one of the reasons why I felt so protective of all I had built. So much of my own time with little pay out, sacrifices of my personal life in those early years to build a future for myself. I dug in my heels but in the end I didn’t own the trademark. Do I fight the rest of my life or just move on?
Who would I be if I am not Lisa Greenbaum, Director of YogaFit Canada? It didn’t matter anymore. I couldn’t wait any longer to find out.
I told my husband, he cheered for joy and I started to come up with a plan. We had just bought our house. I was petrified to be without the comfy salary I had become so accustomed to. I used that as my excuse to hold on a little longer. Despite my earlier revelation I continued to toggle back and forth.
Later I would read an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) about someone saying to her, just why did I stay so long? Why did I put myself through all that? And Liz says, because you weren’t ready. And I wasn’t. No matter what it was doing to my health and my sense of worth, I wasn’t ready. I needed time to build up my sustenance and I was so depleted. To remember who I was and what was most important to me because I really couldn’t remember.
And then it was time. I sent in my notice. There were no tears, I knew it was the right thing.
It’s so easy to get stuck and it’s so hard to change. The older we get the more layers need to be dealt with and it’s exhausting. It’s easier to just stay, to suck it up. Everyone deals with crap, why is mine any different. I suppose this is just my lot in life. These are all things I have told myself through the years and each one of them is lie. Each one an excuse.
At the time, I had no idea how easy my life was going to be once I was free. How my fears were unwarranted, how I was just beginning to understand my dharma, my path. How the potential of what I could offer into the world was only being conceptualized.
I am not a coach with a road map to discovery. I am a Yogi who believes in the power of Self. That when we tap into our greatest resource within we find our deepest strengths. That when we commit to our own daily self-care practices we uncover the most magical gift – our Self. If my story resonates with you please reach out, I’d be honoured to be a part of your journey.
Executive CEO of My Own Damn Universe.
PS After I left, I stayed as amicable as I could. I agreed not to tell anyone I was leaving right away which also led me into what I have now realized is protecting her story while not being able to tell mine. But I’m done doing that now. I’ve held this for too long and it’s heavy and I don’t want to.