I've had a couple GFs talk trash to me about "just" being grunt labor as a carpenter. They'd enjoy ripping on me for my job and would ask why I think it's so hard to just carry and cut heavy things all day. I'd try to explain that you don't want a bunch of idiots building homes and that you have to have a few fairly intelligent people on a crew. They'd say it was just a dead end job where I was disposable to my bosses. I paid attention, learned everything I could, and now own my own specialized exteriors company. They are both low level corporate management. I'm very ok with knowing I have a big "fuck you" on both of them now.
I hope that's one reason they're your ex. Good for you, OP. Congrats!
Mind if I ask what your dream job is?
I had a similar experience. I spent 15 years working in warehouses and loading docks, loading/unloading delivery trucks, and just when I was about to give up on my goals, my boss all the sudden gave me a raise, a promotion, and sent me on a training course to learn about my new job.
I’m now 1.5 years into my dream job of being an 18-wheeler truck Driver, and I love every minute of it.