blessed

So I wrote this thing about a month ago, when the reality of being unemployed truthfully settled in and my emotions surrounding that were at an all time high. Although now, I am employed. I actually start orientation tomorrow, so life came at me fast. But our generation has a tendency to only show the peachy, positive, bright side of life on social media. Too often, we only celebrate our successes, but don’t embrace our failures. I wanted to delete what I wrote, because I thought it was too whiny, too spiteful, and now, too irrelevant. However, I’m hoping to speak to people like me, who find it hard to rejoice when others are doing really well or seemingly better. For people who want to be or do something somewhere else, but don’t know what that “else” is.

 

My spirits have been up and down. I know the job search is difficult. I was warned it’d be a long process, and potentially a discouraging one, but that I would need to remain encouraged and persistent. I know that most of everyone has been through this stage. Some unemployment periods longer than others, but many people have had the sheer joy of doing 30-45 minute long applications, never hearing back for weeks, and then finally getting an email that just says something along the lines of “we decided to pursue another candidate”.

I know in a few months time, I’ll look back and scoff at how worried I was. I’ll get something eventually, and have a new list of concerns that don’t include being unemployed. But right now, I’m really not in the mood for people to tell me my time is coming, to be patient, and to enjoy this time. Because I am doing all of those things. I feel good most days. I have plenty of time to workout, I can make my own meals, and I get to read books for fun in my spare time. Money is tight, but I’ve been getting by with the help of really loving parents. I’ve been able to refresh and keep up so many good friendships, and have been able to invest more time into church and ministry. But when you apply for 5-10 jobs a day, for weeks and weeks at a time, it feels like it’s own job. I’m tired of talking myself up in these copy pasted cover letters when those words can’t sum me up in person. The more jobs I get rejected from, the less I want to apply. And the more time I spend in bed. And the more baked goods I eat. And the sadder I feel.

As graduation was approaching in the spring, I started to make efforts to change my attitude about certain things. In March, I made the decision to a.) Not compare my journey to others’, and b.) Celebrate my friends who are getting jobs even when I’m still looking.

And it has been really difficult. I deleted all of my social media for a month this summer, hoping to avoid those God-awful “I’m pleased to announce” posts. Those have always rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously, it’s great that you got exactly what you wanted at this world-renowned organization that loves you so much. YAY let all of Facebook join hands and praise your success. Like seriously, did you do that to inform your friends and family that you’re doing well, or did you do it out of vain? I don’t plan on doing that whenever I get a job. And now, I have friends who are close to me getting interviews for the same exact jobs I applied for. It’s nearly impossible for me not to constantly debate in my head whether or not I did something wrong or that I’m just simply not good enough. I’m just kinda over this whole thing.

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I’m trying not be down about it, and I’m trying not to compare myself to others. I’ve been doing pretty well about remaining optimistic. But today is particularly hard. And I kinda just want to cry and watch This Is Us.

You would think by now that I finally found the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a job now! I can finally pay for my car without help, I can stop getting samples of makeup from Sephora and just get the real thing, and actually get more than just a drink when I’m out to eat. But it’s funny how we can be when God gives what we’ve been asking for. I’ve been waiting to be out of this awkward post-grad stage, and now that I’m on my way out, I’m kinda asking God to rethink His decisions and take back what He’s given me. A friend of mine said “I have to remind myself that everything I used to pray for is what I have now. Too often, we beg God for things, and once He delivers, we say it’s too much.” And that spoke to me because that’s where I’m at.

I realized my motivation in not posting about my new job wasn’t genuine. I didn’t do it because I wasn’t proud, and because it wasn’t my dream job. If I had got hired at one of the best hospitals in my area, there would’ve been no hesitation in broadcasting that. Because that’s what we want people to see. But that didn’t happen. I’m working at a hospital I didn’t anticipate, on a floor and with a population I didn’t expect. And that is okay.

I’ve been reminded to always celebrate those doing well around you. There’s something so special and humbling about sharing excitement with your achieving friends. Their victory becomes your victory.

I’ve been reminded that the timing may not be what we expect, and the blessing may not be what we think, but we’re still blessed. God doesn’t play favorites; He has our best interest always and has purpose and reason behind everything.

I’m anxious about working and getting a taste of the real world for sure, but I’m also really excited to start a new journey. It’s going to be challenging, and my perpetual state of exhaustion will only be heightened. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by fantastic human beings who are all in with me, willing to meet me where I’m at, and share in my victory.

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a love that doesn’t leave

August 11th, 2014. Top 5 worst days of my life. My parents are away in Georgia, I’m moving back into college after living at home for a year, and the reality of my good friend Phil being killed in a car accident the day before decided to finally hit me.

Rewind to August 9th, 2014. Had such a fun time at our friend Denzel’s baby shower. His sister happens to be one of my best friends from high school. She goes to school over an hour away from us, so it was great seeing her and her family. The food was so SO good and Denzel was being his usual hilarious, ratchet self, and we got to catch up with high school friends. Phil, his best friend, shows up and immediately we all start cracking up. He looked high, which he probably was, but we didn’t care, we missed him so much! Haven’t got the chance to hang out since after high school graduation, so getting to catch up with him and his comedy was the best thing ever.

Fast forward back to August 11th, 2014. I’d been crying all morning. I didn’t want to leave my family. If anything, I needed them at that time. I didn’t want to live on campus. I didn’t want to train for a job, because I knew I would be surrounded by people that I didn’t know. How is it that someone I was just cracking jokes with could no longer be here? He wasn’t even driving, he didn’t do anything to deserve this. Are you kidding me, God? He’s seriously gone? I saw him two days ago HOW IS HE GONE. Just crying, sobbing, screaming. My siblings hugging and caressing me from all directions, trying to console me as I drive us to iHop for breakfast. I’m sure it was delicious, but I don’t remember, I lost my appetite.

 

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Super fast forward to the 2nd week of school, September 8th, 2014. Ate something contaminated a few days prior and cannot sleep because the pain in my stomach is so bad. Mom was working so I spent the night in the student health center (if you go to the University of Delaware, you know it’s a useless place). I had never in my life felt pain as bad as I did that night. Constantly wrenching in the bed, on the floor, in the bathroom. God knows what coming out of my body on both ends. I thought I was going to die. I thought that every ounce of liquid that was in me would leave my body and dehydrate me. I was so frustrated that I didn’t know what was wrong. I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t allowed to eat, and no one there knew what to do with me. Even with the nurses best care and presence, I had never felt more confused and alone.

Couple of days later, my mom takes me to the hospital after my pain only gets worse. All the drugs I learn about in my pharmacology course actually became real, as my pain subsided and drowsiness came over me. Turns out I had an E. Coli infection that inflamed most of my digestive system, causing colitis. Lasted for 8 days, and took about a week for me to recover and get back to normal college student speed.

A couple days later, I read an article about a kindergartener who died that day because of an E. coli infection via her turkey sandwich.

And I’m alive?

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Fast forward to now, December 11th, 2014. Just took my last final and can officially begin my real junior courses next semester! Lost my way last year and unfortunately had to withdraw from one of the hardest nursing classes here, and was asked to leave an internship I got. But after several hot cocoas, long days, missed events, and cramped hands, I re-took the class and gracefully passed. I even get to return to my internship! Finished my 1st semester as a resident assistant also, which is such an accomplishment for someone as worry some as myself. Being handed this job was such a blessing, but it can be stressful at times. Having to be the head honcho on a floor of college students, when you really just want them to understand you are exactly like them, creates a lot of pressure. Pressure to be a good role model, pressure to be likable, but also pressure to do what needs to be done!

 

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All of this reflection, just to say that I am truly grateful to be blessed in the way that I am. This was just a small glimpse into my semester, but now that it’s come to an end I can’t believe I made it. The fact that I made it out of the hospital, the fact that despite my friend’s death, I still found joy in the relationships I have, the fact that all pain I’ve ever felt has been temporary, and that regardless of what happens in my life, God is still good. There was bitterness and negligence towards Him for awhile because I thought He had forgotten about me. I thought everything I’d been through was my own doing. But God seriously loves me more in a second moment than any one could ever in a lifetime. It took a rough semester for me to finally understand that, but I’m going to hold on tightly to that truth and carry it with me as I continue on!