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lost

2023 meant a lot of things for different people.  For some it meant getting back into the world and a feel of liberation from the confines of surgical masks and the all too familiar walls of ones home.  For me? It meant the final nail in the coffin of a 14 year career.  I quit.  A lot contributed to this decision…too much…and in the course of three months.

 

I almost lost one of my dearest friends in October. The hardest part about it is that I partially blame myself, even though I know, logically, that is absurd.  The warning signs were all there for years…and especially the last months leading up to his attempt.  As much as I feel like I did bring up my concerns to other people close to him, it wasn’t enough.  It was a big reality check for me that there are things people are going to do or go through that cannot be helped until they are willing to be helped.  It also was a glaring sign that life is short and I shouldn’t spend every day doing something that is tearing me apart.

 

I know that his career and past had a lot to do with where he was at mentally. Yes, the quarantine contributed…and yes, there are things in the present that went south…but there was a lot built up from the past.  And that really hit home for me.

 

I had a lot of time to think in November while contract issues were being worked through. I knew I hated working in that lab. I felt myself settling for being mediocre or average. I am good at my job but there was no passion. Then I heard about the company’s lay off of 30+ employees. 

 

I haven’t worked since December. No part of me at all regrets the fact that I was given a gift to leave forensics behind. Fuck that world. There is no appreciation for the people slogging through terabytes of horrifying material. No benefits or care given to those people. My health and my life had to be more important. 

 

And then my good friend self-doubt started taking me on mental detour. There are very few people in my career field that totally own and admit to what they do every day. To look reality in the eye and process what it is that forensic examination of digital media involves.  I used to just keep charging forward - after all, it was my job. But then I stopped moving and it all started to sink in.

 

Why do I have zero motivation to do anything? What is my purpose? What is my worth? Am I failure because I couldn’t hack it or keep up with that success? 

 

Am I weaker than I should be? Why can’t I let it go? 

 

I was involved in a war. No matter how you cut it, I was. I was there physically and/or emotionally for 14 years.  It is hard letting it go and feeling good about that decision. I tell myself often that I made the right decision. I feel it in my core and yet I feel totally useless.

 

Writing this took a lot of my energy and to be honest, it was scary to admit something so vulnerable and personal.  Now that I am typing these words, I wonder why it took me so long to put it on paper.

 

If you are reading this, please raise a glass to those in your life who have gone through hard times, those that suffered in silence, and to yourself - you deserve to be happy and I encourage you to chase that feeling.

 

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