It’s day 21 of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.

I have learned lately that some things in life will take from you far more than they ever return. Sometimes, it’s up to us find meaning in things after the fact. For example, the last full-time position I held was one I absolutely loved. But there was a coworker who made it, over time, become a dreadful environment for me to work in. Try as I might, I was unable to work through the proper channels to improve my situation. As one might think of an unrequited love, I was faced with a decision: I could hold on for something that clearly was not a healthy place for me, or I could move on.

After a lot of deliberation, I chose to move on.

While the immediate aftermath was filled with confusion, I eventually was able to establish some footing and worked my way into more independent environments. And while there’s some sadness for having left behind what I did, there’s far more I took away from it than appeared at first glance.

I’ve learned a great deal about management, both good and bad, from that experience. I’ve learned how to recognize a hostile work environment, and how I respond to it. I’ve learned the necessity of advocating for myself, because if I don’t, not only do I face consequences of burnout and emotional distress, I’m less able to do the best I can for the patients who trust me with their care.

There are, without question, times in our life when we face choices we’d much rather not make. But if we make them with care, and learn from them no matter how distasteful the outcome originally, we can go far.

I detest the sentiment that ‘everything happens for a reason.’ It’s utter bullshit, and bullshit I heard all the time when in the thick of this experience from well-meaning people who wanted to help me feel better. What happened to me shouldn’t have happened at all, but it did. It was up to me to learn from it and use that pain as a chance to grow.