There’s not a day I am not thankful that I didn’t find the job I wanted, the one was trained for and loved and was skilled at – sixteen years ago. But wait – that’s such a vague statement. Some backstory would be handy here, eh?
Back in 1997, I decided to get married, much to the relief and amusement of my rather large family. Oh, it was only Mom and me, but her eight siblings and their children made us a big family. And therefore, also aided and abetted in raising Mom’s worry quotient. For, was it not utterly ridiculous for a “girl” to cross 30 and still not be married?
So anyway, to cut that long story short – here’s what happened. At 33, I decided to marry. I quit my posh corporate job, with the collective sigh of horror in the background from my folks, because who is so foolish? That answer was obvious to them. I moved to a different city, intending to get back to work after a brief hiatus. Except, my son came along nine months later, and life was naturally filled with joy.
We moved cities, via my husband’s work. My intention was to jobhunt just as soon as we settled in, except, one can only wish – not orchestrate events, right? Fate volunteered for that little job. Anyway, time passed, the job market was in bad shape. I confess that I got a little desperate, as we needed the money, what with a growing child and Mom’s failing health.
Hardship doesn’t even begin to describe my state of mind at the time, or so it seemed.
Turning Troubles into Triumphs
However, angels in my life helped me keep my sanity.
They made me realize that I was capable of far more than I gave myself credit for. The thing is, when we’re used to something and also do it well, we tend to want to stick there. Safe, you know. But at this point, it was clear that i wouldn’t be seeing that space again for various reasons, not the least of which was the non-availability of a suitable job. Of course I kicked myself for not accepting the invitation from the company I quit, to return. I thought, how could I manage 20 days of travel with a two-year old son?
Best decision ever, though.
Not getting that perfect job helped me stretch.
It helped me look within and explore possibilities.
It opened my eyes to opportunities I would never have noticed, otherwise.
“What do you dream of doing, if you didn’t have to worry about money?” asked my Mom.
As outrageous as the question sounded, and even as I breathed heavily trying to muster up the courage to answer honestly, she went on, “Look, since you can’t find the job you want, you may as well dream a little. Be bold”.
I said I’d like to write for a living. In a rather tiny voice.
She said, “Tell the Universe”
A more optimistic person I am yet to meet.
Tentatively and then a little more convincingly, I told the people I met that I was looking for freelance work. In days, a friend got in touch to ask if I would be interested in joining him as a co-editor for a business magazine. Six months later, the owner decided to wrap up. But by now, my wings were a little stronger, and my intentions were, too.
I joined a content writing outfit as a freelance writer, and there was no looking back afterwards.
The priceless perks of my not getting a job when I was desperate?
The privilege of working from home
Being there for my son
Being there for my Mom
Flexible working hours
A whole new career
So the income was variable, and still is. But over time, I’ve invested in myself, my writing and consequently, my friends and associates.
Sure I missed “dressing up” to work, the lipstick carousel, the array of perfumes and the high heels. Not that there was anything to stop me from wearing them – but suddenly I was enjoying the freedom of “dressing down”. No, I didn’t work in my PJs – oh, who am I kidding – of course I did, occasionally.
We did spend sleepless nights balancing our meagre finances for a few years before things looked up.
But I am most thankful for my happiness at being there for my people when they needed me most.
I am glad I had the courage to change that hardship into a blessing, because that’s what it was.
I am also living my dream of supporting children in welfare homes.
Sometimes the seemingly worst thing is the best thing to happen.
When life hands us lemons, there’s only one thing to do. Make delicious lemonade.
This is a Finish The Sentence Friday post. This week’s prompt is
“The hardship I am most thankful for … “
I invite you to join us with your own response to the prompt and link up!