by Caren Crane
The old adage "bloom where you're planted" has its uses. I've used it on myself and to help friends at certain times. It can help someone accept a situation that is necessary, but maybe unpalatable. Like, for instance, a Dreaded Day Job (DDJ).
There is also a problem where I live - and probably where you live, too - with "invasive species". Plants or animals that are not indigenous to an area, but were imported. Usually, the results are unintended and disastrous for the native flora or fauna.
I've had a DDJ where I turned out to be an "invasive species". Let's call the employer "Company X". This DDJ was one I took because I had a family to support and needed medical insurance. Despite my best efforts to assimilate, it simply didn't happen there. I did my best to suck it up and play their game, their way. But for ethical reasons, I felt compelled to speak out about certain business practices at the company. I was an invasive species. For their own reasons, management decided I would never be happy there and excused me from employment. I wasn't sad about it. *g*
You see, I had already decided I was not a native plant in their shady garden. I required sunny, ethically sound soil in order to bloom. They got rid of me, but I had already decided that was not a place where I could grow and thrive. BUT, I had learned things there. Valuable things. The sort of things that made me ideally suited for the job I secured two weeks after Company X and I parted ways.
But sometimes you find out something more hurtful than simple incompatibility. You take a job or position thinking it will be perfect - a most natural environment for you. Then, after weeks or months of heartbreaking disillusionment, you find out things are not as they seemed from a distance. Despite thinking you were naturally-occurring flora in a veritable Garden Of Eden, you find out you are, despite your hopes and dreams, an invasive species there.
I sometimes feel like I didn't try hard enough at the Company X. That somehow, I should have been able to straighten things out there. But then, in my more philosophical moments, I realize that invasive species are only invasive when they are where they should not be. Plant them where they are meant to be and they thrive!
Have you ever decided there was a situation where it was in no one's best interest if you stayed? Ever left a place for greener pastures and found out they weren't all that green once you got there? In either case, how did things turn out? Were you really the invasive species you thought or did you deny some garden a reluctant, but potentially beautiful, bloom?