Life changes on us faster than we even have time to process sometimes. We know it is inevitable, but still, unexpected changes can throw us for a loop. Cue Serenity Prayer…
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Aaaaahhh yesssss. Time and time again many of us have heard, or read this to ourselves and thought, “wow, that makes so much sense.” However simple it is to understand, it doesn’t make it easily applicable. I remember always reading the prayer from a young age, as it was framed in my grandprent’s home. It always stood out to me. There is just something special about this reflection– whether you’re religious, or not.
My entire young life, all I wanted to do was hurry up and be an adult, so I could be in control of my life and make my own decisions. I would day dream of “adulting” and part of that included graduating college and finding a stable career with a decent salary. My interests led to either teaching, counseling, administration in higher education, or marketing for an innovative company. I had a vision for myself and an idea of what types of careers would satisfy me and validate my success as an adult. I was chasing after a token to mark my place in life as having “made it”.
I quickly learned job hunting was more challenging than I imagined–especially as a mother. Simply because employers sometimes are under the impression working mothers are incapable in giving 100% commitment to the job. So, I made sure to not bring this up in interviews. However, it didn’t really matter. I tried relentlessly, landing interviews with various institutions, universities and companies, only to remain stuck in a job that I was enjoying, but wasn’t feeling challenged in.
It was my second job after college and I was there for over 3 years. For a long time the job was great. I had many amazing co-workers, whom are now friends I keep in touch with to this day. I learned so much from them. They would lend an ear and listen to me talk and (mostly) complain more and more about my position and how I needed out. This is behavior I’m not proud of. Whether, or not they grew frustrated with my incessant negativity, they continuously encouraged me, supported me and helped out when they could. All in all, I had support from Matios, my family and my friends and yet, I wasn’t succeeding as I had envisioned.
I noticed friends achieving and I caught myself comparing my progress to their’s. I began to feel as though something was wrong with me. I beat myself up wondering why I wasn’t chosen for positions over and over again. I practiced interviewing, typing and reviewing every piece of the job description. I put every ounce of energy I had into my reumes, cover letters and interviews. Despite this, I never landed the jobs I wanted and it slowly made me lose my confidence. Frequently, I would remind myself how competitive the job market could be especially some positions I was drawn to. Still, it didn’t make it any easier.
When I had no luck, we finally decided I should leave my job and stay home with our kids. I was not happy there anymore and our kids needed me, but it still wasn’t an easy decision. However, the day I handed in my resignation letter I was suddenly able to breath. I immediately felt a sense of serenity in letting go and embracing this transition from working mother to stay at home parent. I’ll admit I was pretty scared, but I was happy.
This leap of faith was the best thing I have ever done in my life. I know my kids better and our relationship has grown. Also, I know myself now. I was blessed with time to step away from the rat race and find myself. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but its true. I took control of my health and began trying to understand how you even begin to budget for a family of 5 on one income. I read more, wrote more and took things a lot slower. Well, lets be real… we have 3 kids ages 4, 3, and 2– shit get crazy sometimes. BUT I share this all because I learned one very important thing:
Unexpected paths may lead us to the place we belong.
I have a hard time with change and letting go of the things I can’t control. This moment in my life tested me. Luckily, I learned the value of patience and how important it is to avoid making impulsive decisions. Hard work and goal setting is important, but so are the unexpected things. I used the past year to teach myself to better adapt to going with the flow in a wise way rather than a reckless way. Sometimes the best we can do is change the things we can, and let go of the things we can’t.
Be patient, seek opportunity, and make wise choices. Eventually, you’ll end up in the right place.