It’s been a bumpy year for me. This time, last year, I was approaching 2012 with a really big personal obstacle in front of me. Having overcome that at the turn of the year, I entered 2012 with my bit of brazen attitude and said to it that it better have something amazing in store. Now, at the last month of it all, I look back at the course of this past year to see that I have been greeted with a lot of things to teach me defeat, to give me obstacles, but also to teach me hope, faith, and humility. In finding myself unemployed, I was given a chance to build from ground zero again. One of my favorite quotations during times where I feel my lowest comes from the renowned J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. In a time where she had recently come out of a divorce, with two young children at hand, no job, and all but being a woman kicked out onto the streets if not for still having a roof over her head, she said that rock bottom became the solid foundation on which she rebuilt her life. She gave this speech to a class of 2008 Harvard graduates, if I recall correctly. It’s really amazing to hear stories like this, especially behind such an incredible rush of success as she has now attained. She deserves it.
My time of uncertainty, while nowhere near as deprived or depressing as J. K. Rowling’s, has had its fair share of heartaches, accompanied by the shame of having to ask my parents for financial aid. And yet, it has merely given me another platform from which to assess myself, the opportunity from which I have a lot of space and time to reflect on whether or not I am where I want to be in life, if I am headed in the right direction. A direction that will make myself proud, and leave behind the type of legacy that will create the type of difference I am looking to make for others. We don’t always have the chance to look so closely at these things. It’s really easy to get lost in the rush of an 8 hour day, even more so when you work OT, and then your tedious rush hour commutes of going there and coming back… when your day gets so tiring that your only desire is to sleep enough when you get home so that you can exert that same energy, if not more, during the next 8 hour shift. It becomes a cycle in which time just slips through you.
So here I am, after having had a good dose of that cyclical lifestyle, at a place where I don’t need to do anything and still be in that lucky position where there is a roof over my head, and food on the table. Where I can get up, just sit at my desk, and think of where my next step should be. Where I can do something that sounds as silly as typing in “meaningful jobs” into google in my desperate search for inspiration. I have landed myself back at square 1. What to do, when starting all over? How many times in one’s life do we have the opportunity to face our search for meaning with hope, and encouragement from friends and family?
I have often felt pressure in their belief in me. I have so many people who care. So many people who tell me, “Wherever you end up, you’re going to do great things.” Or they say, “I am so excited to watch what is going to unfold for you.” People who are waiting for me to blossom into something. But into what? All they want is to encourage me, and give me the positivity from which to find the strength and courage to dig deep and discover myself. It’s like I’m on a stage, and all these people who love me are my audience, and they sit there, and stare. Hopeful. Waiting for the show to start. And they don’t know that I haven’t prepared anything for tonight’s performance, and I don’t know what to show or do for them. But I don’t want to let them down.
A few nights ago, I was watching a rerun of this week’s Glee episode. It ended with a song that I felt really lift me and remind me to not lose hope. It’s the end of the year, I have made it this far in minor accomplishments, a big one is still yet to come. I just have to not give up, and to keep dreaming. I think that this song speaks to all those who are feeling discouraged. The only time it’s over is when we lose hope, isn’t that right?