Trials and Triumphs

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Life is crazy. On my previous post, I was having bad luck in finding a new job. But right after that post, everything turned around. And now I have a new job. In a new city. Just like I wanted. Crazy, huh?

And now everything has changed.

Sometimes you don’t realize the friends you’ve made until it comes time to say goodbye. I’ve been so wrapped up in some of the things that weren’t going right that I missed some of the wonderful things I already had in front of me. I wanted to get out of this town so badly that I tried to distance myself from people. I didn’t want to make friends that I would have to say goodbye to someday. Or become so attached that I decided to stay. Looking back, it was all because of my ego.

I wanted to feel more important and bigger than what I thought I was. But truthfully, I’ve always been big and important in my own way. I had just lost my confidence. I didn’t feel like I mattered. But it was all in my head, because I matter to many people. Despite trying to keep my distance, I got sucked in. I made friends. And it’s bittersweet that I get to move on. I finally get what I’ve been wanting for a long time now. It’s just as sad as it is exciting. Goodbyes are never easy.

When my husband and I moved to this city over five years ago, we knew no one. Yet we’ve met so many great people here. This job that I’ve complained about has brought me where I am today. I couldn’t do this if I hadn’t gone through the trials and triumphs at my previous position. Today was my last day. It’s strange to call it my previous job.

Truly, whatever you’re going through, no matter how long you’ve been there, it is for a reason. And it may not be the reason you think of.

I used to wonder what lesson I wasn’t learning. It was the only way I could explain why I was still stuck in my circumstances. Now I see that I wasn’t doing anything wrong that needed corrected. I simply needed to grow stronger. I needed to regain the “mojo” I lost.

I’ve learned how to be more fully me. At work, I was able to take off the mask and let my real self out. And it was empowering. I lost the meek demeanor I had taken on. My confidence is back, but I am not as arrogant as I once was.

I needed to be knocked off my feet. I needed to rebuild to become a better version of myself-and that had to start from the bottom. This has not been a fun transformation. There have been dark, dark moments and bouts of hopelessness, despite the appearance of calm happiness.

I knew my circumstances were not terrible. I just longed for them to be better. I longed to fly, even while feeling the joy of running. I just wanted more. And now I’m reaching out for it.

I don’t look down on where I’ve been. That job, that city, and that community helped the transition. If anything, I owe a debt.

It is wonderful to feel this enlightened and positive after years of lingering on the negative. I see now that I am blessed with a capital “B”.

I didn’t always see what lay before my feet. I didn’t see the light because of one shadow on the wall. But I’m better now. My eyes have been opened. I’ll look back on this phase in my life as a time of tumultuous change, but not the change of darkness. It was a painful molding process. Change can hurt. But often, we look back and see that it was for the best. And if we don’t change, we don’t get that lightning moment where we realize that all is not lost. And we have so much more than we realize.

I go on to the next phase with a new job in a new location, just as I hoped. But now, I’m strong enough to do it. Thank God the world isn’t as I once perceived it. For all the terrible things out in the world, there is also good. And it can be so easy to miss out on the good things if we accept the bad as truth. Today, my truth has changed. And I choose to seek out the positives.

I choose a new path.

Photo credit: philch6 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Third Charm

This year has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’ve been searching for a job in a new city.

My current job isn’t awful. The benefits are amazing and the crew I work with is an incredible group of people. However, I feel that I’ve outgrown my job duties and I’m no longer learning and improving.

It’s hard to leave the comfort and security of what I have, but I need to find something else to continue my personal growth.

This stage in my life is coming to a close and it’s time to find a new path.

So I’ve sent out the resumes and dressed up for the interviews. I even had one solid offer and another unofficial offer that was becoming serious. Both times, I walked back out the door after realizing it wasn’t the right fit. And that’s a painful thing to do.

It’s not easy to walk away from an opportunity even when it’s the wrong opportunity. But I’ve accepted wrong jobs in the past and paid for them dearly. I’m not going to make that mistake again. At least not willingly. Employers want their employees to stick around and I want to enjoy the job enough to do just that.

I’m ready to move forward. I’m finding that I want different things from life than I wanted five years ago. Or even two years ago. Somehow, everything has changed and nothing has changed.

I’m searching for opportunity, but I’m also morphing and becoming more solid in myself. Though some people might throw me away, I know I’m more. I am worthy and strong. And even if they can’t see it, I hold value. And I won’t give up.

Someday, this will all be nothing more than memory and I’ll be happy I took the risk.

I’ve heard it said that the less you stretch your comfort zone, the more it begins to shrink. That’s a scary prospect.

Risk makes us feel alive. Many times, I’ve been rewarded for my boldness with wonderful life experiences.

Maybe the third time really will be a charm.

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Photo credit: Vicente Alfonso / Foter / CC BY-NC

Instantaneous Me

We are a society that demands and encourages instant gratification. It’s the reason people struggle to stick to their budget–they want what they want and they want it now. It’s the reason some people overeat or binge on junk food. They must have their food now, no matter the caloric cost. It’s why people actually buy those diet pills that promise weight loss in just two weeks. They don’t want to sweat it out and lose the weight naturally (and slowly) through habit changes.

We are an impatient people.

But despite our desires for instant results, life changes and progresses in baby steps. Sometimes the steps seem so insignificant that we don’t even know how we got where we are now. We can’t retrace our steps.

I want change. I think that’s quite obvious from my previous posts. But I wanted a big, explosive, life-changing event with instantaneous results. I wanted to be propelled forward into that grand, picturesque future. But life doesn’t work like that. There’s growth that must be had along the way. Instant results are bad for us. As it is said, the struggle brings character. It makes us stronger. Wiser.

I’ve overlooked so many baby steps. I don’t know how I got where I am today. I couldn’t do it over again in the exact same way. But I am here. And those little steps–those tiny changes–got me here. Some were so small that they felt insignificant. But together, they created my life as I know it today.

I’m too impatient. I want the big screen TV without the big screen budget. Life doesn’t offer credit cards. You can’t get what you want without the actual resources you need. But in the end, I think we’re all fully equipped for the future we’re meant for. We just have to have the courage to use those resources. The courage to act. To risk. To let go. To be patient.

Even a change in mindset can be a step in the right direction. The key is to keep moving. Something great lies ahead, but it’s not the end; it’s just a place along the path. A place to linger and enjoy the view. But the sun is hot and you’ve got to keep moving. One foot in front of the other. One good thing at a time with anticipation of the next one ringing in your ear. Avoid the snakes on the path. Stop. Breathe. Learn. Be grateful. Therein lies the reward.

We just have to be patient.

Target Practice

Thunk! In the movies, there is always a slick pling! and then a nice crunch as the arrow hits the target. With a bow in my hand, the sound is usually a thunk followed by a ricochet as the arrow falls flat on the ground away from the target. Archery does not come easy to me. It’s a challenge. I’ll admit it: I am awful. My husband wisely told me that everyone is awful when they start out. No one gets it right the moment they pick up a bow. Thank God I have him on my side. And you know, I think he’s right. At least I can say I have a lot of room for improvement. I wouldn’t want to start out with it mastered. That would get boring, I suppose. But it would be nice for the first few weeks.
Even in life I seem so off-target. I don’t know where to aim so I never get the arrow where I should. Sometimes it feels like I’m shooting up at the trees and missing every branch. All I get out of this is the joy of seeing the arrow flying and then the fright of taking cover as it plummets back to me. But I get nowhere.
I turn 29 in a little over a month. To some, I’m still so young. To kids, I’m ancient. Really, I’m just trying to magically turn into an adult. Career-wise, I’ve got a colorful resume. I’ve tried so many types of jobs that all I know for sure is what I don’t want to do. Like shoot into the trees. Where is my target? At almost-thirty years old, I still don’t know. Some people tell me I never will.
I don’t feel like I have unrealistic expectations. I studied Field Biology (Environmental Science) and Spanish in college. I was told Spanish would be a shoo-in for a job. They failed to warn me that if you don’t want to teach Spanish, retail is the most common second choice. And they’ll pay you maybe a whole dollar more per hour, making your hourly wage somewhere around $9….Okay, I’m being cynical here. In the process of hoping Spanish would be helpful, I’ve lost touch with it. Now I feel like my skills are sinking away from me.
I know I’m not the only person feeling this way. Economically, I do believe things are getting better. I just need to brush up on my skills, take aim, and find that blasted target.
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