Tag Archives: hope

Gratitude Challenge Day 18 of 30

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Day 18 of 30 – Gratitude for something that fills me with hope

These past few years post-divorce have left me pretty hopeless. Where as once upon a time I knew what I would do five years from now, I found myself barely motivated to make it to the next day.

Something really needed to change. One day I got this idea into my head that I could combine my background in science with my newfound passion for education and become an science teacher. So before I left to walk the Camino de Santiago I took the Middle School Science Praxis test for the hell of it. This measures whether or not you’re capable in the subject matter. I thought, if I don’t pass it is a sign. If I do, no more excuses. Get to it!

While walking on the Camino I learned that I did in fact pass. When I realized that there were no longer any excuses left for not taking the next step, that I was capable of even more than I realized and I was about to walk 500 miles across an entire country, hope along with motivation, suddenly returned.

So, I am filled with hope for becoming a science teacher and I am so grateful that I have something to look forward to again.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Just Do You

Many of us have experienced the feeling of hope curdling into disappointment.  How about when you show up to a job with the eagerness of a kid in a candy store, bring your qualifications and experience and suddenly this awesome opportunity turns sour because your boss or coworker begins belittling, disrespecting and generally humiliating you? 

To say the least, you’re torn in two.¬† One part of you wants to say F-off! ¬†Another part is still trying to figure out how to hang on despite the turn of events because you want / need to do the job so badly.¬† So what can you do?

Let me give you an example of something that I recently experienced and share what I decided to do.

While I was excited about the opportunity to work with a trainer who had a lot of experience in the business, after a couple of meetings, that excitement turned into a mixture of anxiety and disgust.

I watched him interact with other clients during a group class and I was disappointed by the disrespectful tone in which I heard him address people.¬† Picture this, there I am cycling away like a little gerbil while watching him bully his “target” until they would give in and stop protesting.¬† Needless to say my motivation dropped significantly after this.¬† I started to question what this guy’s training philosophy was.

After the class, I asked him if he could give me an idea of what the plan was for working together as I understood he would provide the clients, take a cut and I’d train them. When I asked him during the first meeting I couldn’t really get a straight answer, so I tried again.¬†

ImageThis is when he decided to trash my credentials, belittle my training experience, and tell me that nobody trains his clients until they’ve learned “his” way.¬† As if this weren’t enough he went on to say that I need to think about whether I want to work with him since I seem like I think I know it all and want to start my own business.¬†

I called him on his claims and he had nothing to back it up.¬† I also reminded him that he already knew I had my own clients, so why is it a problem now when it wasn’t 2 days ago?¬† Again, nothing.

We were supposed to meet in a few days after I checked out another gym where I’d be training some clients.¬† As time went on, I couldn’t shake this sick feeling building up inside of me.¬† I tried everything I could think of to make it ok somehow, but I couldn’t work it out in my head.¬†

Basically, it came down to a few of decision making questions:

1.  Q.  Even if he were respectful on the next meeting, would I be ok working with him on a        
           continuous basis?
     A.  No. Because if a person can switch that much in personality from one meeting to the next,
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† it’s a set up for a world of hurt.

 2.  Q.  Are our training philosophies compatible?
¬† ¬† ¬† A.¬† No. I believe in training people utilitizing positive reinforcement and encouragement.¬† I’m
          tough but in a
way that I show you that you can do more than you think.  He on the other  
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† hand thinks that “breaking¬†
someone down” to get them to submit to his every whim is the
          way to get results.

3.  Q.  Is this the only opportunity I will have to work with a well experienced trainer in my career?
¬† ¬† ¬†A.¬† Not if I don’t want it to be.¬†

I think that number 3 is what trips a lot of people up.¬† This was actually my hardest one.¬† It is this feeling of foreboding that if you don’t make this work, then there will be no other chance.¬† It’s fatalistic thinking.¬† As if you should take the abuse and somehow you’ll be better off in the end if you just “hang in there”.¬†

This is about the time, you have to reach deep down and dig up your last shred of self-respect and walk the hell away ASAP.

It took me three days of contemplating, before I let him know, that this is not going to be a good fit and I need to cancel our next appointment. 

Am I disappointed? Yes.
Do I feel better having held on to my values?  No doubt. 
Do I know what’s next? Absolutely not!¬†

I want to be the best trainer I can be, but I am not willing to compromise my integrity or values because then I’m really not my best after all.

I believe that when you draw a line in the sand and stand up for who you are, eventually, you are surrounded mostly by like minded people who help you get where you want to go and feel good along the way.

What’s your take?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

If you’ve ever had to do something you’d rather not do just to achieve a goal, this post is for you.

What follows is a recount of some of the things I had to do to get my house back post-divorce. The point of my whole long drawn out explanation and partial life history ūüôā is to ask you to¬†remember two things in this life when you’re losing hope. ¬†¬†

When my business starting bringing in less and less contracts, I knew I had to come to terms with it and move on to something else. It was tough to walk away, but the market was changing and after a good run for 8 years, I saw the writing on the wall. ¬†My husband and I had talked about whether we could make it work on one income while I found an alternative. Everything was set. ¬†Or so I thought….shortly after he asked for a divorce.

He walked away like it was nothing and left behind a long trail of responsibilities for me. ¬†First and foremost was my house. ¬†A house we’d bought only 6 months prior. ¬†It was a huge sum for me to have to find every month and selling it would have offered me no reprieve since it was when the housing bubble burst. ¬†I couldn’t rent something either because I didn’t have a paycheck anymore and it would have cost me almost the same as my mortgage. ¬†Catch 22. ¬†

To add to the stress, our divorce agreement stated that I had one year to refinance it into my name or my ex- could sell it outright. ¬† Originally, he offered 6 months. ¬†I negotiated for more time. ¬†Apparently a year felt generous to him in a failing job and housing market. ¬†Not that he was paying for a darn thing. Apparently, he just didn’t want to be bound to me in any way. ¬†Who was this man?

No time to answer that one, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and get the heck out of dodge.  

I didn’t have a lot of time to wax longingly about my “dream job”. ¬†I needed money and fast! ¬†I sent out application after application and zero, zilch, nada. ¬†Here I was with a B.S. in Biology and an MBA struggling to find work in anything I was qualified for. ¬†I thought the whole world turned upside down, not just my personal life.

I finally turned to craigslist to see if there was an opportunity. ¬†I interviewed and accepted a job doing face-to-face fundraising for charity. ¬†If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically stopping people as they walk by and trying to persuade them to make monthly donations to assist less fortunate nations of people. ¬†It turned out I was good at this. ¬†Poverty was something I could really talk about. I’d seen and worked with it so much in my travels. I knew how people’s lives were impacted. ¬†Frankly, I was also pretty hungry to pay my bills too so that was a big motivator.

I tried to refinance with this job and about a month out from finalizing, the company I worked for did a “corporate restructuring” and decided to drop their program. ¬†I explained my situation and expressed my frustration to the loan officer on the phone. ¬†I said, “What do I have to do? ¬†Get a job at the bank that holds my mortgage to finally get this settled?” ¬†

The customer service representative took what I said seriously and asked me about my background. ¬†I explained it to him. ¬†He said, would you be interested in becoming a personal banker because you’d be qualified for it? ¬†I said, honestly if it helps me get my house back, I’ll do it. ¬†He told me to put an application online at the bank website and assured me he’d talk to someone in HR on my behalf. We became friends on FB. ¬†I didn’t expect much to come out of it.

Back to the drawing board.

More applications sent out, only the sound of crickets in return. ¬†Hello again, craigslist. ¬†This time, I scored a job that was freelance. They called it a “unique hair opportunity”. ¬†I thought ok. My mom owned a hair salon. ¬†She taught me a lot. ¬†How bad could this mystery job be??? ¬†

Well long story short, I became a trained “Lice Remediation Specialist”. ¬†The company supplied me with everything I needed and I’d get called or texted to go out to a job at someone’s house. ¬†It wasn’t too bad actually. ¬†It helped pay the bills so I was willing to do what I had to do. ¬†I knew that I couldn’t refinance my house with that kind of job though. ¬†So, I cranked up the engine again to find the next step.¬†

I resolved to get that bank job. In no way did working at a bank appeal to me. ¬†But I was running out of time and money. ¬†I reached out to the loan officer and asked him if he’d heard anything about my application. ¬†He got into contact with HR and I went in for an interview. ¬†I got the job. ¬†

I worked a very difficult 6 day/ week schedule. ¬†I didn’t like the work one bit. ¬†I just kept telling myself it’s for your house. Eye on the prize. ¬†I was running out of time. ¬†My ex- was dialing up the pressure with his not so helpful reminders about the 1 year time limit that was coming to a close. ¬†

I put in my refi application. ¬†Then, the communication seemed to drop dead and no one would return my calls. ¬†When I finally reached someone, it was after I received a letter stating that they couldn’t refinance my house because I’d been in the job for less than 1 year. Everything else was fine. Credit score excellent, no major unsecured debt. ¬†None of this was a problem. ¬†I couldn’t believe my ears.¬†

I was furious that my employer didn’t mind having me sell mortgages and investments to other clients, but wouldn’t even back me with one that THEY held!!! ¬†

I had heard that this bank was planning to acquire another bank that I was affiliated with. ¬†I figured while I’m on the inside I’ll do some research. I learned that their criteria were less conservative. ¬†So, I thought, let me see if I can get a loan through them before the acquisition. ¬†Within one month, I got the loan and I was at closing. ¬†The house was FINALLY in my ¬†name and for a payment I could afford!

I quit the bank the month after that. I wanted nothing to do with them. ¬†It was hurtful to me to be put in the position to be used to sell mortgages to others while realizing my employer wouldn’t support refinancing my own home. ¬†

I had had so much stress with jobs and this house refi that I wanted something easier and consistent for a while. ¬†I needed to chill and get my bearings. ¬†So, I heard about this gym that was going to open from a friend in the fitness community I was involved in. ¬†I applied for that and got that job. ¬†I’ve worked there for over a year now. ¬†I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I needed a breather before I moved on. ¬†It’s been good to me and served its purpose.

And now I have yet another new job that has some better benefits than the last one….and on and on it goes….where I stop? ¬†I’ll know it when I feel it.

Remember two things as you go through this life and face challenges:

  1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  2. It’s only temporary.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it. ¬†Even when you’re ready to tear your hair out. ¬†When you feel like a failure. ¬†Even when no one else has got your back and you feel as lonely as a child in the wilderness.¬†

Say to yourself over and over again,¬†Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do,__________(insert name).¬†It’s only temporary, _____________(insert name). ¬†

I still have not arrived at a place that I feel completely comfortable in my own life.  And I have to remind myself of this mantra from time to time.  But when I look back I see that despite the fear and confusion and uncertainty, I did carry on.  It took a lot of perseverance and even more patience, but I did reach one of my goals after all. 

Consider making this your daily mantra for all the challenges you face. ¬†And remember, there’s another step ahead of the one you’ve taken. ¬†There will be solid ground beneath your feet. ¬†Just do what you have to do to get through, then take the next step.

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Make no mistake, YOU are a success no matter how big or how small the result. ¬†Let’s help each other out by leaving comments and sharing so we all feel a little less alone in this world.

What kinds of challenges have you had to face where you found yourself doing what YOU had to do to get through?  Share your success stories with us. 

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ