Saturday, June 21, 2014

A New State (Get Yours)

Courtesy of my lovely friend and former student, Mah-G, a magical human being. :-)

State commonly refers to… the present condition of a system or entity…
(Courtesy of everyone's friend, Wikipedia.)

I just started a new job in a new state last week.

Over the past six months, I'd written a few blog posts about my decision to leave the job I'd had for almost seven years and move to a different state (which you can read here, here, and here, if you are so inclined).  In those posts, I touched on some of the practical aspects of unemployment, but mostly, I discussed the things I was learning throughout that part of my life's journey.  I thought that once I found employment, I would write a post about the end of that process, but what I find interesting is that I don't feel like there is an "end" to write about, besides saying, "I got a job" after almost six months of being unemployed.

So, yes, I got a job, and I started it last week.  I moved to a new apartment in a new state.  But that's not the end of the story.

I keep getting asked the question, "How is your new job?" And to be honest, I don't have a great answer. So far, so good, is the best answer I can give.  I like the people, and I like that my schedule is flexible and that I can wear jeans on Fridays (Yay!). I like that my new supervisor seems to be someone who will help me grow professionally and who is a down to earth, confident woman of color with no apparent ego issues (More yay!). Other than that, there isn't much I can say. I'm thankful to be employed.

While part of the reason why I left my previous job was because it was really just time to go, another reason was because my spirit and soul were not being fed in that region of the state (or country, but go with me here).  I needed to leave from that place because nothing was changing around me, and everything within me was screaming for change.  I felt as if I was dying inside, and honestly, I don't know if I ever didn't feel that way for the thirteen years I was there, I think I just tried my best to deal with the situation I was in.

State commonly refers to… the present condition of a system or entity…

So yes, I took the plunge and moved, first to a state where I had family and friends, and now to the state where my current position is located (thankfully, still close enough to family and friends).  And I really don't know what I expected to happen between the time that I left my previous job and now.  I thought I would probably spend more time writing my book.  I thought that I would read more and work out more.  I thought I would have some type of epiphany and discover what I was supposed to do.  I thought that some of the people I met along the way would be people I would become friends with.  I thought I had found a new mentor.  None of that really happened.  I really just moved to a new state and started a new job, and there is nothing magical about either of those things (if we're being pragmatic, which I am not prone to be).  

This process of going from being employed, to unemployment, to being employed again wasn't really about work, if you ask the people who know me best.  They would say that I have worked really hard and that I deserved a break.  And even I would say that I moved so that I could focus more on family, both my immediate family as well as the family I hope to have one day.  However, I learned how much I value work while I was unemployed.  I didn't do any of the things that I thought I would do during my break because I spent so much of that time focused on work: looking for work, doing part-time work, working on my job-search skills, networking, working on letters to help people get into school so that they can find meaningful work, and doing housework.  I viewed the six months I had off from work as more work, and I took on any and everything that would make me feel like a contributing member of society.  I didn't rest and relax as much as I could, or should have.  And I don't regret that. I don't apologize for it.  Even though I wasn't gainfully employed for half of this year, I was busy working to get to where I am today.  At this new job and in this new apartment in this new state; both a physical state as well as a spiritual, emotional, and mental state.

State commonly refers to… the present condition of a system or entity…

If there is anything that I learned in the past six months, it's that putting yourself in a position to receive something new takes work on your behalf.  It doesn't just happen because "it's meant to be".  I do tend to use that phrase often, but in reality, if I had not put in the time, energy, or effort to pack up and move, or to create the Excel chart to keep track of my job search, or to connect with any and everybody I needed to support me in this process, I would not be here today.  I believe that people and events do align to create the opportunities for new things to happen in our lives, but that only works if we are open to those people, and if we play our part at those events.  Nothing happens to me that I have not set in motion to occur.  You have to make your destiny, and along the way, God, people, and situations will lift you, hold you, and guide you towards that destiny.

I woke up one morning and DECIDED that the life I was living was no longer the life I wanted to live.  I CHOSE to step into many unknowns, with faith in God and the support of my family and friends.  I BELIEVED that wherever I landed, I would land safely.  And I TRUST that this is not the end of my story that began December 22, 2013, when I drove away from the state, and the condition, that I'd inhabited for thirteen years.  I KNOW that this is only the beginning of something new and great, and my soul and spirit are excited to see what new adventures await, in this new state of being that I have worked to reach.

A new state.  Get yours.  It takes work, but it's worth it. 

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