So, my work situation has not exactly been… fun, for the last few months. To make a long story short, I was feeling buried under projects and still living in regret from a past career mistake. Through a series of situations I found myself remorseful of what my life was like before leaving what I believed to be my dream job. There were lots of things to love about that job, mostly the fulfillment of changing lives by working with students. I missed that. I missed feeling like I had a purpose. But, here I was and I tried to stick through it. The projects continued, which meant I had to stay later and later and was even at my desk on Saturdays and Sundays just to stay head of deadline. I felt like quitting A LOT. I was completely and utterly miserable. I cried often, at the drop of a hat, for no apparent reason other than just being completely gutted with grief and anxiety. My eyes burned from overactive tear ducts. I hated life and wallowed in self-pity sure that my happiness would never return and it was no one’s fault but my own. The anxiety physically manifested itself in an ever-present stomach ache that stole my appetite and suffocated my chest. Breathing became labor.
I texted my friend Alison about my situation and she sent me this:
In complete honesty, I kind of hated her for saying that. I didn’t want to be comfortable where I was. I wanted OUT, and like, NOW. But in a strange way those words have stuck with me through the last three months practically pasted on the back of eyes.
Over these months slowly doors have opened and closed while I waited and continue working. Many times I’d get excited about a possibility only to watch those dreams coming crashing back down around me like a cloud of tiny bits of confetti. I felt desperate, but desperation only fueled my passion stronger. I reached out to my colleagues and mentors and they all pushed me to keep at it and said I was doing the right thing. I wanted to believe them but the scars of a broken heart were still fresh.
I didn’t give up, and that’s all that mattered. I prayed fervently for guidance and peace. I asked others to pray for me and with me. Many late nights I wept with good friends in the rawest way just begging for peace. It wasn’t immediate, but at the same time I have felt myself slipping more and more on the scale of work, tipping almost over ever so slightly into the comfort category. Were things perfect? No. But better.
I had a family event that took me away from my desk for a few days and my boss was completely cool with it. Encouraging, actually. And I no longer sobbed in the car before walking into the building, so that was progress. I started breathing again. My friends and family noticed.
An opportunity came about that would have been very similar to the dream job I once had at the same organization. I was apprehensive at first, but I tried to keep an open mind. By now rejection and I had become pretty good friends. I did the phone interview with the selection committee, and it went well. I mean, you know how those go. It would have been a great opportunity. It would have been a chance to get my career back to where I thought I wanted it to go, a chance to regain that dream again? I don’t know.
When it was over I was surprised that I didn’t feel a stronger attachment to it though that I thought I would. The more I thought about it, the more I kind of didn’t want it. My brain is weird sometimes.
So, I waited.
And waited, and the reality really set in that, much like others, this wasn’t the opportunity that was meant for me. And I was okay with it. Completely fine with letting that go. Right after I got the rejection letter I tweeted:
Not even joking. My abdomen hurts from giggling.
I look at my family, my precious children and my amazing husband and it’s clear, that a job, is only one small, tiny, little piece of who I am. A little piece that shouldn’t rob that much joy from life, a life that is overflowing with purpose and happiness. (I’m a mom, y’all!) There are beautiful and wonderful people in it. And LOVE, so.much.love.
It is said that sometimes there is just as much joy in a change in perspective as there is in a change in situations.
One chapter of this life may be closed and shelved for good, but at least the next will start with a clear perspective and a very full heart.
I can be thankful for that.