|This was where I lived in St. Louis. Pretty cool, huh?|
This past weekend, I spent some time in my yearly clean-up/organizing efforts - going through papers, tearing up and prepping for recycling, when I came across some old papers from my last job in St. Louis.
Ten years ago.
Ten years ago, I was working for a local nonprofit - a settlement house. (I'm not going to name names because...well, this post will be rather inflammatory, and I have little interest in revisiting old hurts). My recently-discovered paperwork concerned my then-supervisor's efforts to create a hostile work environment. My job, at the time, was a federally funded effort, and I understood both the requirements of the grant as well as the needs to run the program.
My then-supervisor had (I later found out) been reluctant to hire anyone, and was doing everything he can to provoke me. So much so that at this point, my emotional well-being was a wreck. Worrying about Mom (who was well into the process of pre-liver transplant preparation) and Dad (who was having heart problems, possibly requiring a triple bypass) did not help. So my records were, well, formal documentation.
What's also striking is that, within a month, my father would have surgery...and pass away a week before Labor Day. My then-supervisor and I had a showdown with his boss. And it was within that month that I decided to leave St. Louis.
(It helped that when I talked about it with Mom, I asked her if she needed me to move back - not wanted, but needed. Even though my aunt would be coming up to live and care for her, Mom needed me to come back. And I sure as heck wasn't going to argue).
In recent weeks, I've felt a slight nostalgia for St. Louis - not to the point where I want to move back, but certain memories are making themselves present. Perhaps it's the current state of activity I'm in, but there were some really small memories - moments - that I really am starting to treasure about my experience there.
(And I don't worry about missing out on catching up - I may not make it back to St. Louis on a regular basis, but we always have mutual visits to Chicago, as well as Facebook).
The past ten years have been a challenge....but quite honestly, I've come far.
(Post-script: that former supervisor? Last I heard, he eventually left that particular organization - I'm not sure whether he left voluntarily or was "encouraged" to leave - but he's supposedly consulting. I think it's safe to say...I've moved onto bigger and better bosses. And as a freelancer/consultant, I'm know I'm definitely better off).