motivational monday.

Monday, June 04, 2012

At the start of my 2nd week at my job (cue the squeeing) I was told that I was wanted on full time until I was, eventually because it's a temp job, not needed any longer. That was then followed by my superior telling me that it was too bad I was going to grad school because they would have hired me. And that's when my entire confidence in everything I had spent months and months debating about, fighting myself over, and the like, completely and totally deflated. In one itty bitty, kindhearted sentence. Despite the fact that a few hours earlier I had been mistaken for an intern & suddenly felt like I totally didn't belong (& what was I thinking!), suddenly the wheels began to turn. What if this was IT? You know, THE job. What I REALLY wanted to do. Lord knows I hadn't thought about Psychology in months. Immediately I was frozen at my chair, like I was exactly 3 months ago across the way as an intern. Absolutely petrified. What if this was a sign? What if this was supposed to be my future and I was just too scared to jump at it or was avoiding it? Was this fate? I spent the rest of the gray, rainy day burying my head in my work trying not to make myself sick with the thought.

I like to think that I have very fond love affairs, here and there, with moments in my life. Those rare, lucky times when it hits me that, despite how perfect everything is around me, I'm not dreaming. That things really are great, and true, and real-- and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at that very moment. Where my mind and body finally catch up to one another, like two photos being overlayed to make one image. And I feel it; that great swell of life rising up inside. Where I am reminded that there are those moments that really do take your breath away, or build you back into the strong person the world had beaten up for a little, or give you a little bit of happiness to escape to in your brain whenever you get sad.

I was walking home one day when I had one of those moments. And it hit me. Everything that I had done for the past 10 years has led me to here, this exact spot. For one of the first times in my life I stopped and looked around. There I was, a 21 year old girl in the middle of New York City, jetting off to the train, living a life I had only thought of existing in movies. And I had gotten myself there. All by myself. I had earned it. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I had never felt so present and invincible in all of my life, and I finally just got it.

I realized that, although this is where I am supposed to be right this second, it is exactly what I knew it was from the beginning-- temporary. And sometimes that is more than enough.

This job, this fantastic thing that picked me back up off of the very mean, hard ground I had gotten to know so well, dusted me off, and gave me back my footing, is going to do it's job until my last day when I hand it over to another lucky soul (who will then take it and make something amazing out of it, too). And I'll be ready (even if I think that I'm not and beg for it to come back). Life was meant to be amazing for me for a little bit so that I remembered how I got here in the first place. So that when I am knee deep in patients' problems or spending my 25th hour at the library working for my doctorate degree in my field, that I can think back to these amazing moments where my hard work paid off and I got to live a life people dream of having-- actually get it and live it all on my own-- and it wasn't a dream at all. It was me who got me there, even when I didn't believe I was worth anything; hard work pays off. And sometimes just having that feeling to go back to is plenty. 

Truth be told, had I not been offered this job, had they not called, I have no idea how I would be feeling right now. Hopeless? Most likely. Down and out? Without question. Confident? Nowhere near when I am now. Decades away from happiness, I'm sure. And while I won't be jetting up the agency ladder anytime soon, I will be pushing farther in my career than I thought I could because now I truly believe that I can do it. I never would have gotten that had this entire experience passed me by.

Never underestimate the power of yourself and your hard work. If you bust your ass, do your job well and to the best of your ability, someone will see it and give you an opportunity. It may not be right this second. It may not be tomorrow. But it will happen. And even if it only lasts for a short time, it may revive that little piece of your soul that had already given up. And plopping me into the middle of NYC to do a job that was more than my usual everyday grunt work did just that. I'm not sitting here like I was a month ago going, "I don't think I can do this," I'm actually excited for what is to come: orientation in June, grad school in August, and a summer of enjoyment and who knows what in between. I have no idea where life will take me, but for the first time in what seems like forever, I'm not afraid. For once, I'm not mourning the ending of an opportunity or a job or an experience, but taking everything it's given me with me.

I think that, for once, I finally realized that you can have it all-- all the time. But when you can, for those few days, months, weeks-- hours! enjoy it. Every single second. Enjoy the feeling it gives you. The fire it ignites in you. The thoughts of invincibility it holds in your brain. Enjoy the spontaneity. Enjoy just being there and making a fool of yourself.

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it isn't the destination that is fulfilling, but the journey itself. And that, even though we are content on the way to a bigger place, it does not mean that our destination has been reached. Sometimes amazing things are meant to happen on your way to your life, but that doesn't mean that those little moments, those small victories, aren't worth anything. They're worth everything, actually. So while I won't be climbing the ad agency ladder anytime soon, I will be moving toward my true destination with a fire ignited inside of me and a new beginning, and the knowledge that, sometimes, things work out. Like catching that train right before the doors close, or getting the last parking space, or getting that break you've been begging for. Life really is amazing sometimes-- and so are you. And don't ever, ever forget it!

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