Anyone who has ever lost a job knows that it is a slight blow to one’s ego, one’s pride. In 2012, I was ‘restructured’ out of my job. Looking back I can honestly say that it was the best thing that ever happened to me; for it forced me to dig deep.
I worked as an administrative assistant for a local company. I can honestly say that I liked my work, but didn’t particularly care for the majority of the people or the cut-throat attitudes that were seen across the departments.
They claimed from the beginning that it was a family oriented workplace. I am quite sure that we held different ideals of what ‘family’ is.
They claimed that they were a ‘fair’ company. There were many rules; many rules that only certain individuals had to follow. The rules did not apply to everyone; only those that would not conform to their way of thinking.
I had a hard time playing their games.
It may appear that I come across as a scorned ‘restructured-out-of-a-job-employee’ but honestly, I am not.
I was actually advised by one higher-up to start documenting; to take videos and/or pictures.
Discrimination runs wild within that work place, although they claim the opposite.
I considered hiring an attorney as suggested by a supervisor, but after much consideration I chose my battles.
I knew I wanted more than that 9-5; I knew that deep down. I did not know what I wanted, but I knew I wanted more.
I remember the anxiety when I felt it coming. They tried to hide it. I remember all of the closed door meetings.
My intuition has been proved correct many times; a gift or a curse, I haven’t decided yet.
I remember talking to my friend; a coworker. I told her they were going to fire me. She thought I was over-reacting.
Apparently it is custom to let people go on Friday’s. I believe it was Tuesday or Wednesday. I walked into my supervisor’s supervisors’ office and I closed the door.
I took a risk in the event that my intuition was wrong.
I told him that I did not want to wait until Friday.
“I know you are going to let me go. I ask that you do it now. Give me that. Don’t make me walk the guillotine.”
Within an hour, I was in the HR office. They called it ‘restructuring’.
I called it saving face.
It is what it is.
The first few weeks that I was jobless, I went through the usual self-pity; woe is me. I believe this is par for the course, but there is a time limit on this; a time limit on self-pity before it throws you into despair. I knew this.
This obstacle became one of the best things that has ever happened to me because as I said earlier it forced me to reflect on myself.
I had a lengthy talk with my husband. He suggested I go back to college. I thought about statistics. I dreaded statistics.
He suggested I follow my heart and my dreams. He gave me the freedom to fly.
I enrolled in SUNY Empire Distance Learning and majored in Human Services. I was going to attempt to get my Bachelors of Science.
When I majored in Human Services, I never expected to learn so much about myself; this is honest. I was able to choose many of my own classes in this field and honestly, some of the classes were difficult from a personal standpoint: Grief & Loss, Human Development, Attachment, etc. I wanted to learn and understand the world around me and the people within it. What I didn’t expect was to learn about myself along the way; my life, my choices and everything in between.
I also procrastinated with Statistics. It was still a degree requirement that I could not avoid.
I hated that!!
I put off Stats until the final semester; the final semester that I took extra classes in order to finish early.
That semester my husband was in a bad car accident. It brought back a lot of fear of accidents (read ‘The Fork in the Road’). It was slightly challenging from an emotional standpoint.
Honestly, I was lost in Stats about the 2nd chapter in. I knew I needed help and yet, I didn’t want to ask for help.
There comes a point in life when you realize you have to ask for help. If you negate this than I would probably think you are in denial; for no one can do everything ‘well’ on their own.
I received an extension from my professor.
There were times when I cried out of sheer frustration. I knew I needed this class in order to graduate.
Maybe I should be completely honest….
My cousin is married to a previous Statistics professor. I spoke to him about doing the work for me and paying him.
I had a conversation with my oldest son in the kitchen one night about this after he heard my proposal.
He said, “Mom, I know you think you can’t do this, but you can. I know you can. And I know you. If you go down this path, you will never feel good about it. You need to dig deep and do it yourself. You can do it.”
I didn’t sleep well that night.
Deep down, I knew he was so right.
It was about integrity.
I wanted integrity.
I respect integrity.
I needed integrity.
I called my cousin the following day. I told her nevermind.
Come hell or high water I would figure out a way to do this; with integrity.
I called the college and got a tutor. The tutor didn’t work fast enough to meet my extension deadline. It was the only class needed to obtain my Bachelors.
There was a point when I got so frustrated that I considered just giving up. I remember sitting in my computer room and putting my head down on the desk and sobbing. I was so frustrated. I hated statistics more than anything. It was such a challenge.
I wanted a cheerleading team, but nobody understood how deep the statistics challenge ran with me.
We can have encouragers and cheerleaders throughout many times of our trials, but there comes a point when we have to stand up and do it for ourselves; this is honest and this is real. Perhaps not what we want to hear, but it is truth.
I knew that deep down; this one was up to me.
I needed to dig deep, very deep. I needed to get over my fear. I needed to overcome statistics and everything it represented in my life from birth.
A child of divorce…..
A child that grows up in an abusive home…
A child that is taught fear and condemnation of God….
A child that is molested…
A child that is raped…
A woman that married into abuse…
A widow of four small children….
A blended family….
The list goes on…
Statistics ticked me off. I hated stats! I wanted so badly to break away from the statistics.
I did not want to be in the negative.
I did not want my past to dictate my future.
I dug deep; very deep.
I stayed up late working on stats. I Googled how-to’s. I paid money for an online tutor because my SUNY Empire tutor could only meet with me once a week.
I needed to propel. I needed to climb out of being stuck. I found a quote that self-encouraged.
I needed this.
No one could do this for me; I knew this.
Deep down, I knew this.
There just comes a point in your life when it is all up to you. Where you can no longer stay stuck in the past unless you are willing to let it eat you up and throw you into a padded cell. I never wanted that; for I am a survivor.
I am a thriver.
I have had many times in my life when I realized this and yet statistics was such a challenge.
Many tears were shed for this class.
There came a point when my instructor told me that I had a ‘B’ without the final.
I remember thinking, “Holy Cow, a ‘B’, I can take that.”
And yet, I thought why not try to do the final project?
What if I kicked its ass?
What if I got an ‘A’ in the most challenging class of my life?
I dug deeper.
I completed the final project and the professor sent me a message.
“Your final grade is 91 or A-. Go drink your champagne. I am going to submit your grade.”
Climbing mountains throughout life is often challenging. But climbing personal mountains that other people cannot/do not understand is even bigger. It’s pretty cool when other people amaze you, but when you amaze yourself and you push yourself to succeed at something that runs deep, well that’s pretty damn awesome!
I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Human Services in the spring of this year (2014).
I faced every fear. I faced every laugh head on. I faced my own self-doubt.
I DID IT!!
I wanted encouragement. I needed encouragement. But at the end of the day, I had to do it myself.
It was all up to me; and to do it with integrity.
I DID IT!!
And you know what else I did?
I figured out what I wanted to do along the journey. Perhaps my life experiences were not all about me..
Perhaps it was to give me understanding or empathy to others.
I’m not sure.
I knew I wanted to keep going. Originally I wanted to go for my Masters in Social Work, but the more I looked into it, the more I knew I wanted a different avenue.
I love the idea of limitations.
Because honestly, who decides where the limitations are?
I love the idea of exceeding the impossible.
We all have our own interpretation of ‘impossible’.
Statistics was mine and it was very personal.
Some may understand this.
Some may not.
The thing is, you never know… you have to come to a place in your life where you have to evaluate your own limitations. You have to think who placed the limitations on you?
I graduated college this spring and I applied to graduate school, but this is another story…..
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