I Lost My Job the Day Before Paris..
I’ll start here: Admitting failure can be such a struggle. They say you only fail if you don’t try. They say that everything happens for a reason. I usually say that I must be a complete failure.
See, the internet is the perfect place to share our accomplishments but can be such a sunken place for our less successful moments. But I think that those failure stories are what makes those success stories so inspiring in the first place. So welcome: To the Vulnerable Place.
Now that the dramatics are over let’s get into how I lost my part-time job the day before my trip to Paris.
I’m a student completing my Master’s degree in Journalism. I’m also a freelance writer and an avid traveler (if you haven’t already caught on). But writing everyday, just like doing anything else, can be so difficult for me. It’s not that I don’t love to write.
Sometimes I just hate being forced to write.
Some people might think that I shouldn’t even pursue a career as a writer if I can’t write all of the time. And sometimes I agree. After all, when you truly love something, you can do it all day, everyday, on good or bad days, right?
Everybody has their days, their weeks, and their months. Some even struggle with depression for a year or more. But I’m talking about those who are so regularly motivated that they can seek the strength and confidence they need to get up everyday and do what is asked of them.
Most days, I’m one of those people. Some days, I’m the former. But for the last 6 months or so I’ve been a chaotic blend of someone motivated by so many things that I get distracted from my actual purpose. Does that sound familiar?
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a multi-faceted, over-achieving, procrastinating perfectionist. And if you’re exactly like me then you love to write, love to organize, love to research, love to document, love to learn, love to be challenged and so on..
Now if only I could be those ways everyday, right?
I’ll want breaks from people, I’ll want to change my mind a lot, I’ll want more time to feel inspired. Those are all things I’ve learned that I need as a writer, as a woman, and as a human. It didn’t make sense to me in the past because I’ve always been flawless (ok maybe not flawless) at juggling multiple responsibilities. Living in the here and now didn’t make sense because I’ve always planned for the future. Yet, even when I wrote down my goals for the week and watched them get checked off one-by-one, a wrench in my plans always seemed to just..appear.
AUNDRÉA. HOW DID YOU LOSE YOUR JOB?
I got fired. The night before a well-organized trip to Paris and the day after starting my first business plan….four weeks after reaching a goal for my savings account and eight weeks after earning phenomenal grades for once….three months after traveling to 4 countries the cheapest ways I know how and 6 months before my graduation. Disappointed might have been an understatement. But “failure” was certainly an overstatement. And I had to learn that first.
How could I be a failure when I try so hard in the first place? It’s not like I haven’t been fired before. I’ve tried my hand at many different things; sometimes it was mediocre poetry and sometimes it was mind-numbing jobs. Similar to the job I lost, I've been in positions I’m not entirely passionate about. The difference between me and other people who get up and do things they hate to do is when my heart isn’t in something, it shows. You could call that distracted, lazy, emotional, etc. I just chalk it up to knowing what I don’t want enough to allow what I DO want to happen organically.
So I lost the writing gig I earned some extra pocket money from. And my ego got bruised a bit when I accepted that my heart wasn’t in what I was writing about. I dreaded most — if not all — of the assignments I took on and lost sleep over how much longer I’d have to force myself to write about topics I had zero interest in writing about.
But what have I accomplished? I’ve conquered the worst of my depression. I’ve gotten through an intense program that I wasn’t sure about at first. I’ve been to 11 different cities in 7 different countries since September (and haven’t gone broke). All of those things took discipline. All of those things took skill. And all of those things took me trying to do it before talking myself out of getting it done. Do I have the motivation to do these things everyday though?
Everyday isn’t a defining moment for me. Nor is everyday a step in the right direction. I stall and I detour. I have productive mornings and I have self-destructing nights. I live quite an imperfect life.
How did I really lose my job though? I was too afraid to fail that I forced myself to do my job anyway. But you know what? I’m more successful in knowing that with patience comes perseverance, with faith comes genuine effort, and with failure comes the REAL success.
And failure has never felt this good before.