The last year has been crazy. Full of boulders I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to move. And full of excuses, excuses that I’m still struggling with, but we’ll get to those a little later. First the boulders.
A year ago I was going through my last two weeks at my corporate job and contemplating the monumental task before me of trying to find a communications/environmental/awesome job in the middle of a cornfield. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
What I did know was that I had moved back home to a county of less than 20,000 people, in a poor economy for a guy who still had not “officially” proposed to me. And I had just lost my job. To my credit I stayed relatively composed. I didn’t flip out on my boyfriend until Christmas. I lowered my expectation of finding something in my field. I was too proud to file for unemployment and instead worked as a substitute teacher and a janitor, then as a bank teller, then in my family’s store.
Those few months rotted me from the inside out. I felt like a Halloween pumpkin slowly collapsing into its own mush. I guess I’m proud. No, I know I’m proud. I think too much of my own intelligence and creativity and drive. Blame it on my mother, she was very encouraging.
It wasn’t that I thought I was better than these jobs, it was that I thought I could do more, contribute more, create more, live more than just what I was doing. I’m a romantic you see, and an optimist. I wanted a job I could be passionate about.
I was getting tired, tired of pushing boulders that seemed like they would never budge. I had pushed through to find a job after college (when the economy was just beginning to look bad), only to leave that job and be faced with an even bigger boulder, finding a job in a sparsely populated area in an even worse economy.
But I kept shoving and prodding the world to bend to my will. I’m determined. At least that’s what my PE teacher told me, when, after the 10th attempt to climb a rock wall, I got back up to try again. I was exhausted but it didn’t matter. I wouldn’t quit.
And eight months ago, I was still exhausted and still determined. I finally found a job at a newspaper. I wasn’t full time, the company left much to be desired, the pay wasn’t great and I had to occasionally commute long distances. But it was in my field, I had experience, and for the most part I enjoyed it. I was still scanning the water for the next big fish.
And I caught it. I’m now the recycling director for my county. I’m looking forward to utilizing my communications and environmental skills for this position and (hopefully) making some sort of an impact. It’s a job I can be passionate about. If the bags of used diapers left at the recycling centers in the county don’t crush my willpower, which is unlikely because I’m very strong willed. (Yes, people DO leave large bags of used diapers there and many other strange and awful things, which you, lucky you, might get the joy of reading about and seeing pictures on this very blog. People who care share.)
Now it’s time for the excuses explanation. While I carved out several jobs for myself the last few months, I’ve also made excuses. I could have found time to take an InDesign or Dreamweaver class. I could have utilized this blog more. I could have posted more things on Etsy. Instead I made excuses, such as:
I don’t have time
I don’t have the money/skills to invest in this
I’m not sure what to write/post/enroll in
I won’t be able to apply that
I should just lower my expectations
I’ll never be able to find something
These were excuses. Things I thought or said because I was frustrated and discouraged, but I can’t let them get in my way anymore. Receiving the recycling position is great, I feel like I have a direction and purpose once again and I can’t let that hope and enthusiasm burn out, I have to build up a roaring fire, and get some dynamite and blow the biggest boulders, my excuses, to bits.