Inspire · Memoir · Reflections

Thankful I’m Not There Yet 

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor.I’ve had so many “when will it my time” moments over the past few years.

In college I worked so hard for my College newspaper, resulting in an award for investigative journalism. Fresh off graduation I secured a position as a Copy Editor with a multi-title publishing company. I put my head down, worked my butt off, and took on any extra project I could, only to get laid off, alongside my entire editing team, less than a year later.

Amid our country’s recent-enough economic crisis my dreams were dashed to smithereens. Newly married and living in a new State I found finding a new job in my field to be near impossible. Despite all my efforts my future as a writer looked bleak. I took a sales job with an email marketing company and ghostwrote for a friend in the industry to keep my toes in the water. I made pitiful money for my efforts and couldn’t even use my own by-line. I didn’t exsist, and yet I was grateful for the work.

Move and life-change after another I kept my freelance gig finally working myself into a fairly lucrative position editing and writing for a large audience automotive magazine. Finally I was getting somewhere. Until I received an email that the current editor would be resigning. Within weeks the work dried up. Emails went unanswered and all these years later I’ve still yet to receive payment for my final invoice.

Devastated I found myself asking “when will it be my time?”

My professional life got quiet just as my personal life was exploding. Another job change was on the horizon for my husband and I was half-way through the very difficult pregnancy of my daughter. Suddenly, we were packing up our apartment and moving in with family. The difficulty of my pregnancy increased, turning into one miserable day after the next. I set even the smallest of projects aside to hold my little boy for the last few precious weeks we’d have before welcoming his sister into the world.

She came late February, mere weeks after my boy turned four. Our little family lived in the joy of her arrival alongside the pain caused by Daddy not yet having a job. I nursed her and posted my resume on every job board out there, devesated by the possibility of going back to work before she/we were ready. My husband and I were getting desperate, no, beyond desperate. Our savings were becoming obsolete and we were beginning to panic. We’d lay in bed and pray and cry.

During my husband’s job hunt he went on almost 100 interviews. He flew all over the country for interviews. He got call after call and made it to the final interview until someone would call him and tell him that they went with the other guy. Finally after almost a year of unemployment my husband was offered two jobs in the same week.

Again we loaded up a moving truck and re-started our lives.

I’ve learned some things from that experience. I’ve learned that I can’t always be the solution. During that whole year I put out resume after resume, reached out to all my connections and didn’t get a single response, email or otherwise. I would have done anything to help my family, but I learned through that season that sometimes it’s okay to lean back and let your family help you. I learned that my husband is my rock, gainfully employed or poorly unemployed. I’ve learned that if we hold on to  our faith first and each other next that we’ll be okay. I’ve learned that my dreams and aspirations will be furfilled, but maybe not on the timeline I set for myself.

It’s been almost nine years since I was laid off from my editorial position, in that time I’ve grasped and grabbed at a “dream” that I thought was mine. Through the shaping of my life, my marriage, my soul, I’ve learned that my dream is different than I originally thought it to be.

I’ve stopped asking “when will I get there, when will it be my time” and started investing into a life and little lives that matter so much more. As I’ve done that things have started to happen, an article here, a conversation with an editor there.

But tonight, as I scroll though my social media feed I see a picture of an author I follow. Her baby girl, who is only weeks older than my baby girl, clings to her legs as she packs for a weekend work trip. I thought of my baby girl, how I had just kissed her and tucked her into bed after a wonderful day of playing. I then said out loud, “thank God I’m not there yet.”

The words surprised me, but I know them to be true, “Thank God I’m not there yet.”

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