Hello New Year! Holy shit. I wasn’t quite ready for that one. What a crazy wild ride 2014 was – filled with many changes (good and bad). I lost a job, was rejected by new jobs more times than I can count, moved to Minneapolis, traveled to 2 brand new cities… and a lot more.
Loss is a terrible, but uplifting thing
Something most twenty-somethings/Millennials have probably happened across at some point in their young adult life is loss, in some tangible or intangible way. So what do we do about it? We can’t use our adolescence as an excuse anymore, and may not have the support system we once knew so well. I can say from direct experience I have and still encounter the gut-wrenching feeling of loss quite frequently.
Let me back up for a brief moment to help those reading (if anyone is reading this, that is. Hello? Ok, it might just be me here) understand my background and reason for this specific post.
I am an only child, and my mother was diagnosed with an extremely rare stage 4 sarcoma cancer when I was 14. I spent my teenage years in major denial because my mother was selfless enough to make my life as normal as any other family. I still haven’t quite figured out if that was a good or a bad thing for me. Three days shy of my high school graduation, she lost her battle. My life didn’t, and still hasn’t stopped. I went off to college at summer’s end, and started my new life at St. Cloud State, an hour away from my hometown.
How I Persevered
Reflecting back to the four and a half years I spent as an undergraduate, I didn’t stop once, not even to breathe (it felt like, at times). What was pushing me to move forward? Why didn’t this crippling loss put me into a downward spiral? Is there something wrong me? No, because everyone heals differently. I healed (better put, am still healing) by surrounding myself with things and people I love, that is what made me feel better.
Once I graduated, things still didn’t stop. I immediately went into a full-time job that I lost 6 months later. Worst. day. ever. All of my hard work clearly didn’t pay off, and I was unemployed at 23.
But looking back, it was life’s way of telling me to slow down and find myself. It was a tough few months, but I learned how to live on an extremely tight budget and basically had to reinvent myself as I looked ahead to my future. What did I want to do with my life? The opportunities were endless (not totally endless… considering my unemployment status), and this was my chance to land my dream job and begin to pave the way to my future.
Positivity is Key
The only way to keep moving is to stay positive. I made the mistake of moving too quickly, and staying positive for too long – so that brought me way down at times. But it’s really all about balance, because each and every person goes through some form of loss all throughout their lives. Keeping a positive attitude and outlook on life has truly been my key in persevering through all of life’s hardships.
Cheers to 2015 as I start my next adventure!