A year ago, today, my family and I finished moving into a new home as I started a new job. It was the opportunity we’d been waiting for since I graduated from college 4 and a half years prior. If anyone had told me then that that was the beginning of the end of my marriage, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.
Last December, after the separation, I found myself working a temp job with UPS. The 3 weeks I spent inside the cab of a UPS truck were the most agonizing of my life as I sat quietly with my thoughts, wondering what the final fate of my circumstances would be. After 4 days without a word to my coworker, I finally revealed my sad story to him. I didn’t care who knew anymore. I had to talk about this with someone. Over several days, I shared with him, little-by-little, the course of events that led me to where I was then. His comment to me has since proven to be monumental in its scope and depth, “If 2017 is the worst year of your life, then 2018 will be the best yet.”
Eight months later, after a long and bitter dispute, I am now divorced. I can truthfully say that this year indeed has been the worst year of my life. During that time, I have been redefining and rebuilding. I found work in my cousin’s business doing vinyl, leather and fabric repair. I began this job without a vision of the direction my life would take. I needed a temporary living with a schedule that would accommodate the time with my kids. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and completely unrelated to my education and experience. To be honest, I am amazed at the stick-to-it-iveness and resilience I have shown in this capacity. Throughout my life, if there was ever something I didn’t understand that was outside of my expertise and even challenged me, I ran away from it. For the first time in my life, I really had no other choice. What else would I do? Without a challenge, something to conquer, something that would occupy my time and my thoughts, I would have probably ended my life.
I have persevered through eight months of this. I have looked fear in the face. My flaws & weaknesses have been exposed, but when I view the whole experience in the proper frame of mind, I see a raw inner strength that is firm and durable. I have found confidence in a skill, and learned a lot about business, relationships and life, in general. I still don’t genuinely love this job, but I enjoy the freedom, and the feeling of satisfaction when I’ve done my best. I like it enough that I am reluctant to take another job.
As I write this, I have finished an 11-day stretch with my kids. While they were here, I interviewed for a position that is more in line with my field of study. Everything that’s happened this last year has made being a dad my biggest priority. Above all else, I want to spend quality time with my kids. I will not allow anything to prevent me from being with them when they are here. I went into this interview with this priority firmly set in my mind, and knowing full well that it wouldn’t be acceptable.
I couldn’t have been more surprised when they offered me the job, said they could work around this, and would pay me a salary that is better than any salary I’ve ever been given.
As I mentioned before, I can vouch for the first part of this statement. I don’t know what’s in store for 2018, but so far it’s shaping up to be a pretty good year.
The question is…what now? Reluctance & Change are the new words of the day for me.