“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”
– Maria, The Sound of Music
I used to have really good luck finding a job. When I first graduated from college I quickly found out about a teaching assistantship program that would also pay for my Master’s Degree, and I jumped at the chance to do something right after college. After that, I was out of work just about two weeks before I got a position as a Public Relations Specialist, where I stayed until I got married and moved away.
I figured I wouldn’t have too much trouble finding a new place to work after I moved. I mean, I was well-educated, funny, talented, and a really, really hard worker; and hey, I landed every job I applied for on the first try. Surely this streak would extend for pretty much the rest of my life, right?
I moved to Pittsburgh in June of 2008 (pretty much right in the thick of the start of the economic downturn) and haven’t found a full-time job I could hold on to for longer than six months (I did work at one company for that amount of time, but I was laid off, along with a third of the company). And man, did my ego feel it. I felt pretty much every single negative emotion you could think of for six months: guilt (“I am not contributing at all for me and my husband!”), anger (“I hate my former boss, and I want his entire life to sink into a dark, never-ending, bottomless hole. His, AND his family’s, even if I’ve never met them!”), frustration (“I will never ever ever find another job that will be a perfect fit for me!”).
(Horrible, I know! But it gets worse.)
But most of all, I felt a lot of fear. I was afraid that I would never find work; because I never found work, my husband would resent me; because he would resent me, our marriage would suffer and we’d get divorced; I’d have to move back home, live with my parents single, alone, and childless, and eventually die without any hope or prospect for a good life.
(Hey, I warned you!)
After a while I was able to find part-time work as a barista at a local coffee shop, and while there are a ton of things I like about it (health insurance for my husband and myself, for one), I do still have a lot of guilt and – sometimes – shame that while I have a Master’s Degree, I don’t have a job that shows for it.
I apply for new jobs pretty often, and I know that there is a ton of competition out there, so I take it in stride when I don’t hear responses back. But I got two rejections today, plus there was a dude in my yoga class this afternoon who looked exactly like the boss that fired me, so I was in pretty dull spirits.
But not for that long! Because when things like this happen, it’s so easy to fall into the catastrophic “Oh no! Now I’ll never, ever…” way of thinking that chases after all of us and will pretty much consume us, if we let it.
So on days like today, I take a hint from The Sound of Music, think about the Lord opening windows and all my favorite things, and look forward to tomorrow!
I hope your week is going well, and you’re having a great day today. If you’re feeling blue, hang in there; if you’re feeling great, just know that helps those around you, too!