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Ode to the Turkeys in my Life
By C.V. Lee
November 10, 2020

November is the month of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I love everything about it; spending time with family and the incredible food without the pressure of finding the perfect gift. With the year drawing to a close, it’s a perfect time to reflect and give thanks for the people that have improved our lives, have supported us through thick and thin, and kept us sane during this wild and crazy year. We’ll always remember 2020! A turkey of a year.

But for this blog post, I wanted to take a longer look back at the people that have crossed my path, and thankfully are no longer in my life. Yep, I said it.  And while I may be glad the associations have been severed, hopefully forever, that doesn’t mean these turkeys didn’t teach me valuable lessons—even if it was just how not to behave or words we shouldn’t say.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge some of these turkeys taught me valuable lessons.

Turkey #1—May I introduce you to a bombastic man, loud and annoyingly narcissistic. He was the big boss at a company where I worked for several years. I’m not sure I would have taken the job if I had met him before they hired me. During those years, I took measures to keep our interactions few and brief.

He didn’t place much value on our relationship although he readily admitted I was a good employee. I remember him inviting me to lunch with the intent of getting to know me better. A brief meeting in his office was one thing, but an entire lunch? Gak! Fortunately for me, he spent the whole time texting on his phone which suited me just fine. Needless to say, that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

However, he was a man with goals. Big, audacious goals. SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. And the results to prove his methods worked.

When I look back on my life, I realize I floated through my early years without any real plan, drifting whichever way the wind blew. How different my life would have been if I had known how to set goals, big goals, and made plans to attain them. If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you’ve arrived? I wish I’d made a roadmap. Sure, there will be plot twists along the way, but at least I would have had a destination I was aiming toward. It’s okay to change the destination mid journey, but it does require re-setting the GPS.

Turkey 2—My second story is also about another man I worked with. He cared about having a relationship with me. Cared too much. I’d describe him more as an annoying pest I learned to tolerate.

One thing about an office job, unless you quit, you don’t control the people in your circle. He pushed himself into my sphere five days a week. He knew how to flatter a woman without being over the top. His compliments always came across as sincere. Back then, I was shy and uncertain of myself. Easy prey for his kind.

I remember how he built my self-esteem, my self-confidence. Over time, the relationship changed from co-workers to significant others.

What I didn’t know was he had a dark side, and one day, everything changed. I’ll never know exactly what triggered it, but he systematically began to destroy everything he built. If you’ve never been in an emotionally abusive relationship, I’m not sure you can comprehend how a warped person can mess with your mind, making you weak and helpless, dependent on them for validation. It’s confusing and as you try to repair the damage, you become a person you don’t recognize.

Fortunately, I finally garnered the strength to walk away, refusing to let him steal back everything he had given me. But not without deep scars. How can I be thankful for such a relationship? I learned empathy and not to judge, but rather to lend an ear and a helping hand. I’m grateful when I can offer words of encouragement to other women who are suffering through emotional trauma, that I understand you don’t just get over it. Rebuilding and healing is a long process.

I took this chapter of my life and weaved the emotions and behaviors into my work-in-progress, ROSES & REBELS.

So, to all the turkeys in my past (and my future), I’ll take the lessons you taught me that make me a better person. First hand experience makes my writing more authentic and raw. But I’m glad our paths no longer cross.

C.V. Lee
Written by C.V. Lee

C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.

View CV’s PLW Profile

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1 Comment

  1. Anne M Beggs

    This is such an interesting post on a different kind of turkey and what we can be grateful for at the end of another year.


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