One Year And All That Has Changed

One year ago I was a month deep into unemployment. The other day I was sitting at my desk, looking out the window and wishing I had the summers off. I was immediately thrown back into last year when I DID have the summer off. It caused my mind to race and think about all of the ups and (mostly) downs of last summer. How long some of the days are, how many tears I cried, how low my self esteem was, how stressed out I was...all of the bad things. Granted there were a few good things about having the summer off...I read a ton of books, I got my wedding planned, and I realized how hard life can be. What a wake up call last summer was to me in both positive and negative ways.

My mind eventually went to how much different I am this summer than I was last summer. Not only am I now employed but I have my self esteem back..(most days!) I feel like I am a real human again. I have social interactions with more than just myself, my husband and my family. I have a reason to get up in the morning (even though some days are harder than others) and I am a productive member of society. I bring income into our family. I don't need to pinch all of my pennies. I feel like I am a completely different, yet the same, person.

What really bothered me during my unemployment was how people thought I should be enjoying it more than I did. What I would also tell them was I was so blessed and lucky to be able to not settle for a job and still pay my bills. I would tell then that I had chosen to be unemployed I would've enjoyed it 100% more than i did. Did I hate not? Not all of the time. I loved being able to sit outside and read books and go to the grocery store before the 5:00pm rush. What I hated was the reason WHY I was spending my days at home.

While I am only a few weeks away from hitting my 6 months of employment for the Center for New Americans I have taken some time to reflect on the past 6 months, and not only how I have grown as a person, but how I have grown professionally. My job is something completely different than I have ever done before and I have learned so much about the refugee population. I have met some wonderful people and have gotten to know a few of my co workers that are from different cultures. I also took the leap of faith I've been talking about doing for so long and applied for my social work licensure exam. All I need to do is take one more giant leap and take the exam.

A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same. But I can look you in the face and tell you I am happy (and mean it), and that isn't always the case with me.


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