Oh heyyyyyy! I hope this blog post finds you well. The past eight weeks have been interesting for me. I say interesting because I don’t want to come right out and say sucky. Oh wait, I just did…oops! Ah, I’m joking. It hasn’t been all bad. It has a happy ending and that is all that matters.
After ending my time as a long-term substitute school counselor at a school I loved, working with people I loved -I was on the hunt for another job. As you may or may not know (depending on how long you have been reading) I finished my Master’s Degree in May, officially making me a School Guidance Counselor. Pretty much the job I have been working towards since I graduated High School over 10 years ago. Yeah…just typing that made me feel old. I spent the summer working for a program run by Massachusetts General Hospital for teens and young adults with Asperger’s. It was a fun job, but it was a summer job. All summer I applied for School Counseling jobs. Now it is no secret our economy is rough shape and jobs are hard to find and hard to hold on to. This has been especially true in my field for several years. I had been trying to mentally prepare myself for the idea that I:
- Might not get a full-time job as a school counselor this school year.
- Might not get a job as a school counselor AT ALL this school year.
- Might have to take a job back in High Education (where I worked for the past 8 years) for a year or two until I found a School Counselor position.
- Might have to take a job I was grossly over qualified for.
- Might not get a full-time job at all.
- Might have to piece together several part-time jobs to make ends meet.
However, if you have read this blog even once you are well aware that I am an eternal optimist sometimes to a fault. So as I was preparing myself for the several possible realities, I still only half believed them. Then I was informed that I was on the very short list (of 2 people) for a full-time School Counseling position in a district I would LOVE to work in. I tried got to get excited even though things looked great. But try as you might:
the possibility of me getting a job I feel is perfect for me + my natural optimism = EXCITEMENT…and lots of it!
Alas, I got an email one late August afternoon saying that the other candidate was chosen. I think coming in number 2 is worse than coming in dead last, because you know you were so damn close. I think my heart sank to my feet in that moment. It came about 30 minutes before the “girls night” I was hosting was about to start. I let myself be sad, disappointed and cried a little on my husband’s (beautifully broad) shoulder. Before I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Pour some wine, put on red lipstick and pull yourself together.” No one likes a weepy hostess! If you have a really bad day, a girl’s night is just what the doctor ordered. I sat in my kitchen with 6 of my closest girlfriends. It was the instant anti-depressant. I am a lucky girl. I am also a grateful girl.
So, what did I do? Well, for 8 weeks I did #6. I pieced together several part-time jobs to make ends meet:
- Restaurant hostess: which when you work at a popular restaurant that also happens to be small is A LOT like counseling and my caseload was up for 35 people a night
- “Tutor”: I worked with an incredible young man with Asperber’s as his- homework helper, personal organizer, Facebook tour guide, driver, confidant, sous chef (he is an amazing cook), dog walking assistant and nerf gun target.
- Wedding reception waitress: This only happened once. It was fun.I wore all black and spent the whole time covered in bright red heirloom tomato soup. #Slob
- Psychic Hotline “Psychic”: I could work from home whenever I wanted and was really good I convincing people they were going to win the lottery or should cut thick bangs. #MissCleo
Ok…the last one is not true. I was not a hotline psychic. But I know I would be good at it. Miss Cleo, call me!
I wore a lot of hats. I had a crazy and very undesirable schedule. But I am used to juggling a few different things as I live to have several ball in the air at once. All the while friends and family told me, “It will work out!” “Something will shake loose!” “A year from now you will look back and laugh!” And you know what, I believed it. I really did. I had every reason not to. But somehow I did. It was tough, I had bills to pay and I was stressed. Where there times I was convinced I lived under a black cloud? Yup! But here is what got me through:
- I was determined to be happy. Happiness lies in a place where you count your blessings while everyone else is whining about how they got dealt a sucky hand.
- I worked hard. I sacrificed. I missed several nights with my husband friends and family to work. I took ANY shift I could and any job I got offered. I was not “too good” for anything. I quit crossfit- too pricey. No more shopping, fancy coffee, grabbing a drink with friends, meeting for lunch, going to the movies, registering for races, expensive shampoos, pedicures.
- I prayed.
- I applied every day for as many jobs as I could find.
- I remained optimistic. I knew that if I worked hard, counted my blessings and put positivity out into the universe it would come back to me.
Last week the school I had interviewed with in summer called me offering me a position. They had an unexpected opening. I accepted. I am starting very soon and I am elated. I think I have smiled non-stop since I verbally accepted that offer.
Looking back these last few months have been interesting and humbling. I have learned a lot about disappointment and victory, hard work and sacrifice. I have learned a lot about my friendships, my family and my marriage. I have learned that when it gets tough I have a lot of people around me that will help, understand and keep me positive. I am grateful. I’m not saying I was glad I experienced this. It was not fun. But I have learned to value what I have and who I have in my life. My ego took a hit for a while, but looking back on how I handled it makes me more confident and more proud of who I am.
Oh…and here is my breakfast today
2 kashi waffles, 1 banana sliced, chopped walnuts, natural syrup and pumpkin coffee with half and half.
Thanks for bearing with my weird and sometimes non-existent blogging. Thanks for your emails, tweets and comments.
See ya soon,