In November 2008, I went through a terrible break up. It affected my work place because silly me my ex also worked with me. Shortly after our break up he began to date another coworker. I was devastated and not so much because of the loss of the relationship since I knew it was not good for either of us, but more of the embarrassment that he was now dating a coworker. It was terrible and I wanted to find another job ASAP. As a social worker, my job as a child protective worker paid well. I decided at that moment that I was going to apply to grad school. By this time it was late November and the application deadline was the first week of January 2009. I only had a few weeks to get my essay and application ready. I work diligently; day and night on it. The Social Work Masters Program at the local university was very competitive and I wasn't sure if I was going to be accepted, but what I did know was that I wanted the essay to convey exactly who I was. I looked passed people's advice that I needed to be what they wanted me to be and rather than quoting Ghandi, I quoted who I love, Madonna. Well, it worked and I was accepted. I graduated in May 2011.
In January 2010, while enjoying some karaoke with some friends at a local bar we witnessed a man shoot his wife twice and then take his own life. It is an image and still replays in my mind very vividly. He was only feet away from us and the chaos that surrounded me as people scattered everywhere. Horror movies always show the victims standing still or falling as they are running and I have been one of those who have shouted at the television, "run, run, run", but in that moment fear took over my body and I was paralyzed. I had been dating someone at the time and that relationship quickly fizzed shortly afterwards. I don't think he was strong enough to handle what I was going through at the time. I didn't even know what I was going through. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I couldn't work. It affected me and like a nightmare it played over and over again. I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One month after the shooting, I booked a trip to the Azores. This was a big deal for me because I was deathly afraid of being on airplanes and hadn't been on one since I was 12. I figured that I could die just sitting at a bar enjoying some music so why not travel and see the world. And see the world I have after that tragic event. I have been to the Azores twice, California three times, Las Vegas and Punta Cana. All trips that I would never have gone to had it not been for that event.
Another good thing that came out of that tragic event was that I realized that I was just dating the same guy over and over again. Sure, their names were different, but they were all the same type. Guys that I either knew growing up or they were the friend of a friend. I needed a change and I decided to join Match. com. Again, being a child protective worker most of my work friends told me not to join because what if my client saw my profile and found out I was online looking for a mate. The shame that people made me feel kept me away from the site for a while, but after the shooting I didn't care about how anyone felt and I was "doing me". So, I joined in the first week of March 2010. I met my future husband on March 26, 2010. I canceled my membership in April 2010. I often joke with him that he was the best $30 I have ever spent.
Fast forward to this past year. While out on maternity leave from work a position at my job became available. It had been my dream job. I had applied for it the year before and was told that I did not get it because the position was not in my office and was given to someone who worked in that office. I was told that I was "perfect" and "have nothing to work on". I was also encouraged to apply once the position became available in my office. In June 2013, the position was posted for my office. I was delighted and applied right away. I had been working hard on making myself the best candidate and I worked hours joining countless groups, seminars, etc that was related to that job in order to promote myself as the best person for the job. Then the interview came and most of the questions were not related to my skills and accomplishments, but mainly focused on their "valid concerns" of how I would be able to be flexible with a baby. I remember leaving that interview knowing in my heart that I was not going to get the job, a job that the year before, when I wasn't a mother or pregnant, I was told I was perfect for. I cried. I cried a lot. The whole interview I was on the defense and could not stop thinking about how they did not want me because I had a baby. A few weeks later I was called for a second interview, but at that point, I knew that the job was not mine. They had not even called my references. I mean, how does one have a second interview but their references are never even contacted. I was devastated. This was my career as I saw it falling apart. It was now September and I was set to return to work in October and my husband turned to me and said, "well, why don't you stay home and raise Marisol and get your social work license that way you can go out on your own". I recall sitting there thinking, I could never just quit my job! Yet, I could not picture giving my baby to a day care to raise. So, I made the choice to stay home and it has been THE BEST! Sure, I miss the financial gains that my job provided me, but I don't miss the stress and heartache that dealing with children who are abused and neglected.
So, right now I am a stay at home mom studying for my license (which is so intense), raising my little one and building my Etsy shop as well as this blog. It is a journey that I would have never thought would have happened to me, but this is where I am meant to be.
The Daily Boost offers daily inspiration for $1 a month and they offer new free monday Podcasts which is what I have been opting for at the moment. It is some powerful thought provoking stuff. I encourage you to think back at your life. Have there been moments were your greatest achievements came through some adversity or loss?