Some days I reminisced with memories in my head. At times I would burst out laughing, while other times, the pain of the memory was raw as I relived the moment.

I would think about what my life would be like had I taken a challenge or attempted a risk. Did I take the right turn, or should I have gone to the left in my decision process? I wondered whether I would end up at my intended destination or a path that led to nowhere. I pondered whether I would be as strong as I am today if I had not fought back against conforming to society’s expectations.

Recollections, along with a bit of reminiscing, are vital to one’s future development. While our lives are based on destiny, wherever you are in life is precisely where you should be now.

I kept going back to my job as a temporary employment agency worker and a picker in a distribution center. The female lead hand at the distribution center bred negativity and her dominance was exhausting. She used her position through intimidation, bullying, fear, and threats while exhibiting mood swings, throwing tantrums and consistently screaming.

She was a passive-aggressive personality who found ways to belittle the staff with no compassion. After three months of employment, I would automatically become a permanent employee, but with only one week left to go before my 3 month term was over, I cracked. I had enough of her antics and bad leadership.

I gathered a few of my coworkers in the hope of rebelling against her. I thought if I had my army, we would surely defeat the enemy and victory would be ours. Everyone was against my idea for fear of being terminated. They responded by saying that there was no place for a snitch in the ranks.  I should stay silent and stop causing drama at work, so I went to battle alone. I refused to go down without a fight.

I was so fed up with her abusive behavior that I went to upper management and reported her. They paged her immediately to defend her position, but it was her words against mine. At 5:00 p.m. I got home to a voicemail message which stated that I was terminated. I had lost the battle. Nonetheless, deep down, I was happy because it was a toxic work environment and not a dream job.

If you were contented being mistreated, bullied, and dehumanized, you fitted in with the group. I still have friends who, 22 years later, are in the same position. Quite honestly, I’m glad I turned left that day and didn’t turn right to fit in with the others. With a sense of pride, I was strong enough to stand up to fight back even though I was black, poor, and uneducated, but I never needed validation for standing up for objectivity. I was at peace with my decision to be unemployed.

Whether life’s path takes you left or right, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a joyful journey. The potholes in the road are reminders of how volatile life can be for all of us.

“I was so fed up with her abusive behavior that I went to upper management and reported her.”

There should be no regrets on the road to your happiness, just lessons learned full of resilience and hope. Whether you go left or right, you sometimes end up in the middle of your destiny and happy place. Ask yourself, are you willing to risk it all and take the path that leads to a beautiful new beginning? If you are, your future will be brighter, happier, and more productive.