Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moving Forward

There was a time in my life, quite recently and somewhat well documented on this blog (maybe even the catalyst for this blog), where I pretty much had nothing.  No job, no home of my own, no direction.  I am relatively confident in saying that the reasons for my stalling out were mostly beyond my control and I am 100% confident in saying that I have never worked harder in my life than I did while I was trying to dig myself out of that hole.  I am still recovering in some ways, but for the most part, I am in a period of stability and I love it.

If I could pin point the hardest part of those years, which happened to cover my mid-to-late twenties, it would be to say that I was overwhelmed with feelings of failure and lack of motivation.  I was constantly working to find a full-time job and working several nanny jobs to make ends meet.  I was barely keeping my head above water.  My family supported me by giving me a place to live and feeding me and trying their best to keep me sane.  Even when I found a full-time job, it paid me just enough to pay my bills on time.  I was moving constantly, but I was getting nowhere.

There's a certain amount of luck that comes into play when you are in this situation (or others like it).  You have to work as hard as you possibly can, physically and mentally, to keep on top of things and to try to move forward.  For a (seemingly impossible) long time, you will feel like you are stuck and there will be no end in sight.  But if you are doing everything you can possibly do to make things better, and if you are paying attention and willing to accept help, a little bit of luck can set things back in motion.

For me, luck came in the form of my lowest point.  At the height of my anxiety.  At the time, it was the most emotional and physically taxing experience.  I felt like I had finally lost all control over the decisions in my life.  My mom told me to quit my job and move home.  After spending two and a half years searching for a full-time job, quitting that job seemed like the worst possible decision to make.  It was made worse by the prospect of moving back in with my parents.  There's nothing more uplifting than admitting defeat and moving back into your childhood home.  Right?  The thing is, once I moved back, I was offered an even better job.  A job that paid enough to get ahead of my bills and where I was surrounded by co-workers I liked and respected.

Now, two years after making that change, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can move forward and happily put those years behind me.  I can make plans and have fun without feeling guilty or stressed about money.  I can see (and expect) more good things in my future, even though I also know there will also be more bad things along the way.  I'm happiest when I'm moving forward, but now I can find some gratitude for the time I was standing still. 

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