Friday, September 3, 2010

Always a Light at the End of Every Tunnel in Life

After over a year of unemployment I recently found a job. I was so grateful because the timing could not be any better; just as my last card was about to be maxed out and all of my monthly bills were to come in, I was offered the position I had been hoping for effective immediately. It is far from my dream job, but for where I am currently living it is the best and most convenient and just the job I need to get back on my feet, reclaim my independence and save so that I can relocate when I find a job that is more suitable for me. A little over a year ago, within a few days, I got a broken heart which I blamed myself for (even for his actions, I know, how irrational of me! :p) and found out that the place I was working at was closing down and I was not eligible for unemployment. I had some money saved, but after a couple of months of searching I could not find a job that could work around my demanding school schedule that I had already registered for. My time was up and I had to make a decision: either give up my place and move back to my parents home far from the life that I built and love or give up school so I was free to take any job and stay. I chose the first which was a difficult decision since, as much as I adore my family and enjoy passing time with them as a visitor, I was just never happy there for several reasons. After 7 years away, I packed my bags and my roommate and I said our tearful goodbyes as I embarked on a new beginning. I felt I owed it to my education and all the work and money I had already invested into it. I titled this chapter of my life “Mysterious New Beginnings”. Unfortunately, as 2009 came to an end and winter deepened, I found myself in a serious depression. I was lonely, felt isolated, rejected (love those broken hearts and how one can start to see themselves through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know them) and could not focus on school. My car had broken down shortly after my move for good which put me more than two hours from my close social network and preventing me from getting myself involved in extra curricular activities out here. I felt as though my freedom, independence and traveling safety were gone. Without the balance of work, socializing, like minded people, dance training and school I began to see my life as a failure. I was no longer rational enough to remember that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel and that I had to put the time alone to productive use. I no longer felt like myself and even when I had the chance to be around people, I did not feel good anymore because I did not even know the girl that took over me. I began to dwell on things that normally would not matter as much to me. Because I was not doing anything that I felt was productive, my self esteem plummeted into the ground. The close of the semester and the arrival of summer made things easier and I saw that I was beginning to heal slowly. When I received notice that I was hired for a job last week, I realized how important work, fulfilling a purpose and making my own money were to me; I am extremely independent. The day before I was supposed to start training I went to the doctor to get test results for a mandatory medical examination. I tested positive for tuberculosis. I couldn’t believe my ears, in fact I laughed thinking it was a joke, but that comical little doctor was joking around anymore. I could not start training until I was on medication and further tests were done to make sure that the illness didn’t develop. Since training is done in intervals, I knew that meant I would not be working until October which meant that I did not have a job “just in time”. Surprisingly, this did not phase me much. I was upset for a total of five minutes before I realized that timing was in fact just perfect; the only thing that wasn’t coming just in time was my paycheck. Everything happens for a reason. Had I not been hired I would have never had a TB testing done and I could have developed tuberculosis never knowing that I had to be on medication to kill the germ I had been exposed to. My additional tests came back fine which means I have no worries now of developing tuberculosis or being contagious; I am taken care of. I can still work, I just have to lay low until October training begins and perhaps I am not even meant to work there. So much can happen in a month. The job offer may have came at this time simply so that I could solve a health problem before it started; God and the Universe takes care of us, we just have to have faith. I was not meant to start work there at this time, but I needed to get to the doctor and didn’t know it.

Spiritually, I have been in a bad place for just over a year and I basically lost sight of myself, my spirit and personality. I was still kind and knew my heart and its desires, but I was never happy and it showed. The only time I was positive was when it was to give others encouragement but felt horrible about myself. No matter how good of a person I was, I was not putting out the energy to receive the type of energy I wanted and needed in return. In reviewing my past year, there are a few lessons I have learned here to share:

Work hard and play even harder; we need to take time to smell the roses, surround ourselves with things that we love, expose ourselves to new things and interact with other people. Even if you think you are happy being a loner, nothing can replace the gift of being out in the world and interacting with and helping others. It’s motivating, empowering, educational and will most likely inspire your work when you return to it. I missed out on much of that this year and plan to never let that happen again. As the song goes, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

There is NEVER a black cloud over your head; it’s not an easy thing to believe when one thing after another is happening to you, and that’s okay, we are all human and bound to be down sometimes. What we need to do, though, is remind ourselves as often as we can that there is absolutely nothing bad that can happen to that something good won’t come out of. No hay mal que por bien no venga is a popular saying in Spanish (Gloria Estefan actually wrote a song titled that). It means that there is nothing bad in which good does not come out of. Life won’t hand us one hard ship without giving us something good in exchange, just continue to send out positive energy and good intentions and have faith.

Though personal and therefore not in full detail, I am sharing the outline of my past year because I am sure there are people who are out there that can relate and may feel alone just as I did. I hope that what I have learned from it can help someone feeling this way to feel hope or to prevent it before it happens. Every obstacle does serve a meaningful purpose in life, sometimes it just takes time to see and understand why. I am finally healing and feeling like myself again and I don’t ever want to let “me” go again. I now this is cliché, but no matter how tough things seem, they can always be worse, so we need to try and cherish every moment, every person and most of all ourselves.

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