It's funny how I always seem to be waiting for something in my life. And by funny, I don't mean "haha" funny, but more strange. All my life, I've been a few steps ahead of myself. In high school, I was waiting to go to college and get out of my hometown. In college, I was waiting to graduate and start working at my dream job. When my husband and I were dating, I was waiting to get engaged, and when we were engaged, I was waiting to get married. When I was married and had a real job, I was waiting to buy a house and start a family.
And while I was waiting for all these things, my life was passing me by. Someday, I'm going to look back, and all these moments I spent waiting are what will make up my life. What a boring life!
I must admit, these past 5 months have really been a transformation for me, a transformation I don't think I ever could have seen for myself. You see, it's in my nature to want to take care of other people. It always has been. I'm also a planner. The idea that you have to work your way towards what you want is deeply ingrained in me. I never allowed myself any kind of instant gratification. But while I was planning for the future and taking care of the people I love, it never really sunk in how important it was for me to take care of myself. I deserve to be happy and to enjoy my life. And not only that, but if I'm truly happy, I have more to give to the people that surround me.
The job I was laid off from is not an environment I would wish on anyone. Being laid off was, and at times still is, scary! But somehow I find that I feel incredibly blessed to have had both experiences. I always say that I'm a true believer that everything, good and bad, happens for a reason, and I am. Every experience we have had really does makes us into the person we are.
We grow and change and the obstacles we face become the "knots" in the "tree" that is our character. Our "bark" may be worn in spots, but that doesn't make us weak, and it just makes us all the more interesting and unique.
No one has higher expectations of me than I have for myself. And while I still feel it's important to expect a lot from yourself and to continue to grow and learn, I've learned that it's OK to ask for help and it's not only OK to let myself be happy, it's essential! I am not perfect and I shouldn't expect myself to be. I've unfortunately experienced far too many times, in my 26 years, that life is short. And I'm learning not to take that for granted.
So as I approach the 5 month mark of being laid off, instead of feeling entirely overwhelmed with the idea that I still don't have a job and that I'm not living up to my potential, I'm mostly feeling happy. Happy that I've learned this life lesson at 26 and not 46. Happy that I've discovered a whole new part of myself that I never knew existed. Happy that I have more of myself to give to the people I love. And happy that I've finally allowed myself to just be happy.