A year ago, I had a job I loved working as a one-on-one in a pre-school disabled classroom. Here, I not only worked with a group of people who made coming to work worthwhile but the 4-year-old girl I was assigned to made every day more amusing than the last. The children in Room 31 helped teach me the importance of not only patience but time. I remember acknowledging how much of a blessing this job was.
For six months, I looked forward to working and watching the children in the classroom develop. However, when it came time to apply to return the next year, I was told that I could not return because the school board had passed a rule that relatives could no longer work in the same building. My father worked in maintenance there and because he had been there longer than I had, he was granted seniority.
I was devastated. All the advice I received from my colleagues and friends told me to fight the decision. There was a little girl who needed me and now was not the time to have another person taken out of her life.
But I ignored the advice. My faith told me that there was a reason for it all, even if I could not see it. Perhaps her new aide could offer her something that I couldn’t or, better yet, maybe there was something better out there for me.
The week I was told I could not return, I got a call from a job I had applied for earlier that year asking me if I was still interested. I took that as confirmation that God knew what he was doing.
A year later, I was unhappy with where my life was. I thought that at 22, I should have more to show for myself. Instead, here I was with no car, no money to buy the things I wanted and I was not progressing in any aspect of my life. The job that had rescued me from unemployment was now one that had become more of a ritual than a growth experience and I began to feel stuck.
I started feeling like less and less of an adult and more and more like the girl I was before I went off to college. I mean, aside from having a job, many aspects of my life were still the same as they were in high school; I was still living at home with my mom, I still had no car and no money to buy the things I wanted. I still looked for my parents approval before I made decisions and, despite the fact that I now had a degree, I still had no idea what I wanted to do in life.
So I searched for an escape. I was looking for any and every way out of my situation. I thought of ways to just up and leave where I was, no matter if I had the finances or not. I started looking into the cost of cheap plane or bus tickets to anywhere. I didn’t care about the destination. I just wanted to take a chance; I wanted to find myself and I could not for the life of me see it happening where I was.
No opportunities were opening up for me so I concocted this notion that the only way I was going to find it was to go searching for it. As much as I wanted to wait for opportunity to come knocking, I started to feel like maybe it didn’t have my address.
One day (after not having the courage to pack up and leave), I forced myself to sit down and assess what exactly I was feeling. After my emotions had settled, I started to think about what exactly I was doing. The answer I came up with made me immediately hit the brakes: I was running. I did not have the strength to face all my issues head on so the only other option I could think of was to run from them. If I did not have to look at my problems, I would not stress about solving them.
As much as I have faith that things will eventually work out, I kept getting the feeling that running was not the way to go. What would I be learning if I ran from my problems instead of finding ways to solve them? How would that be helping me progress?
Slowly but surely, my perspective started to change. I began talking to God more than ever praying he’d show me what He wanted me to do. I started reading every book and/or article that I could find that would encourage me to have strength; whether it was the Bible, an article online or some self-help book I checked out at the library (I will go in detail about what exactly I read later in a future entry).
After all my reading, praying and fasting, I began to see where I had gone wrong. I had seen the fact that I could not find any opportunities as meaning that I was not meant to be where I am. However, I have now come to see that that simply meant was not ready for them. I needed to feel the things that I felt in order to get in touch with myself and discover where I wanted to be. If I had gotten what I wanted when I wanted it, I would not have appreciated it.
I began to see how much my mindset was affecting my views. I soon realized that there are opportunities to do something great no matter where you are. They may not come in the form that you expect them to but they are there. Since I have acknowledged that, I have been presented with more opportunities than ever before! I can remember a time when I could not find one job, yet in the past month alone, I have been presented with four! I do not find that to be any sort of coincidence.
I found that if things are not going your way, there is a possibility that your view on your situation could be to blame. Negativity could be blocking you from not only seeing your opportunity but allowing your opportunity to find you. After all, opportunity finds you a lot faster when you help give it directions.