The Bigger Picture
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The Bigger Picture

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

I’ve been on this professional journey for a long time. So long I can’t even put a number on the days, weeks, or years I’ve been traveling this road, with curves out of sight and a fog covering the way ahead.

Somewhere along the road, I feel as if I lost my way…like I threw away the map for my own navigation. In certain situations, this way of travel can be advantageous. But for individuals like me who need structure and guidance at the outset of any new trip, I quickly got lost out of my own impatience.

See, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I knew from the time I was in middle school until I went off to college. Language Arts was my focus, and initially I was excited about the prospect of educating young people, provoking in them the same love of vocabulary and grammar and stories. The thought of being an active shaper of minds, making a lifelong impact on the lives of my students, acting not only as a teacher, but mentor. I wanted to impart the same type of inspiration and love of learning to my students as my teachers did for me.

But I was impatient. Unfocused. Distracted by a desire for an easy out.

I quickly gave up on my dream to be a teacher for a momentary dissatisfaction with my coursework. And instead of recalculating, finding a new focus area, and getting my teaching license, I settled for a general degree with zero attachment to any passion or purpose.

HUGE mistake.

I am still paying for my impatience almost 22 years later.

I have bounced from one job to another after a year or two — or three if I’m lucky. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every opportunity I have been given to use my skills and talents. However, I find myself being a jack of all trades, master of none. And that is frustrating. I don’t feel as if I’m making an impact on anyone or anything. I’m unable to find what truly makes me happy on a daily basis. I feel purposeless. I feel unfulfilled. Like I am on this unending search, and I am never satisfied.

In January 2011 after losing my job as an office manager, I pursued a master’s degree in business administration believing it would be of great benefit to step outside my comfort zone. Try something new. Investigate the possibilities in an area unfamiliar to me. Business. I thought it would broaden my prospects professionally.

President Barack Obama once said (I am paraphrasing) that he went to graduate school to get the letters after his name because he felt it would give him greater clout, more respect with people he was attempting to influence, and greater access to opportunities. ‘Yes!’ I thought. ‘This is exactly what I believe!’

So in September 2013, I received my MBA with a concentration in public administration. I thought for sure I would have job prospects left and right. With my previous administrator experience, I just knew in my heart I would be highly marketable to any and every company I sought.

Oh how I was wrong. I’ve been unemployed now since July 2016.

I have been jerked back into the reality of a nonstop search for the perfect position. Now, I am not being picky, but I do know the experience and expertise I bring to the table. Problem is, apparently it’s a table for one at this point in time.

Am I giving up? No.

Am I discouraged? Yes.

Pissed off, really. For all the education and experience I have, I am still searching after a year. Full disclosure.

Impatience got me into this mess, but it will be my patience in the search now that will pay off in the end.

Preaching to myself. Every day. Some days it’s as if I’m hearing a never-ending sermon.

Training my ear to the words, thinking ‘I must be missing something. I’ve got to listen harder.’

I thought by making it through the deaths of both my parents within two and a half months of each other (still surreal when I see those words on the screen), I’d be able to conquer just about anything.

But to see nothing changing from day to day, and no clear direction…in all honesty, I am holding on to a thin shred of faith. I don’t understand anything happening. What I’m supposed to do. Where I’m supposed to be. How I’m going to stay financially afloat.

I sold my car last week to keep from being evicted from my apartment. The sheriff’s deputy came by to serve me with papers today. Even though it was just a formality since I used the money from the sale of my car to cover rent for two months, it still scared the shit out of me.

The prospect of losing my home after the hell of the past two years made me sick. I needed a drink. A stiff one.

I don’t want anyone to SAVE ME…I just want the opportunity to use all I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained to SAVE MYSELF. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am capable. I just need the opportunity to try.

So I’ll get up tomorrow morning and fight another day.