Monday, 24 November 2014

Let's Talk: Living In Limbo and How Things Turned Around

I've been very fortunate since returning from travelling that I've seriously landed on my feet - despite a few 'situations', shall we say, I seriously have.

I got back, had a couple of weeks of 'OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE'-related panic then landed a temp job. Temp jobs are fairly easy to come by anyway I guess but I applied, got a phone call within the hour and was asked to start on the Monday. Temp jobs often aren't fun - this certainly wasn't. It was monotonous data entry with a bit of product quality testing thrown in, hardly a role that would allow the day to fly by and I was constantly hungry, sat at a desk with my headphones in; minutes felt like hours, that kinda thing.

That ended and I wasn't entirely sure what to do. At that point, I was with my now-ex and planning to move in with him but was 100% determined I didn't want a 'convenient' job; I wanted THE job - the one that challenged me, the one that would be the start of my career and the one that would get me where I wanted to be. Although I wasn't exactly sure where this imagined destination was but I felt like my next job had all the answers.

I went to a few interviews, told each time that I couldn't be given any negative feedback and they were impressed, but alas, wasn't offered the jobs. Why? You bloody tell me! But you know what, I'm big believer in things happening for a reason - albeit a reason we don't get yet - but a reason all the same. My dad has always said that quite often things are out of our own control and sometimes we just have to go with the flow but something good will be around the corner. However, the inner cynic in me struggles with that sometimes.

Obviously the knockbacks, although not really knockbacks, made me feel pretty terrible because I felt like nobody would give me a chance, I still carried on applying for jobs. By this point, I had finally accepted that my relationship wasn't making me happy, a feeling I'd had for a while but I just didn't want to admit it to myself (although, here's an example of me 'coming along' as a person - pre-travelling I would have let this drag out for another 6 months-several years) so I felt at a loss. Plain and simple I thought, what the fuck am I doing? I'm 23, I'm unhappy, I feel incompetent and I need to get my shit together. I went travelling to escape, to run away from unhappy feelings and as much as I hate even saying this - by running away, I found the things that made me happy and I knew what I wanted (not necessarily in terms of life but I had a lot of self-re-evaluation) and I promised myself I would start being a bit more selfish. I'd be a better version of the person I was beginning to dislike. Pre-travelling I felt weak, miserable and I'd lost my 'muchness' (according to the people that knew me - I've never had much confidence in myself as it is) but anyway, I promised myself that I wouldn't do things I didn't want to do, I wouldn't be in situations that didn't make me happy. I would have more of a 'fuck it' mentality. So, that's what I did. The deeply buried confidence in me came out, I kept writing, practised yoga like it was going out of fashion and I just carried on (note: at this point I hadn't sacked off my relationship because well, I had a lot of other things in my head and kinda played an avoidance tactic by hiding at my parents house).

I then got an email from a job I'd applied for at M&S in marketing. I knew already that my lack of marketing degree would go against me and I pretty much went back to meltdown mode. I lay on the bench in my garden, crying to my mum about how worthless I was (seriously, this woman is amazing - she never gives up on me!) I cried, a lot and couldn't even follow my own coping tactics that usually help. I then got a call completely out of the blue from a recruitment company. A lovely lady (aka my employment saviour) told me she had seen my CV online, saw that I blogged and told me she had the perfect job for me. 'They all say that', I thought but the more she told me, the more I liked what I heard - Milan, travel, blogging, social media - this did sound exactly what I wanted. Problem was, I was mid-breakdown and I had to go in that afternoon (a two hour car journey, bearing in mind I was makeupless, stressed out and in no fit state to be interviewed - plus, I couldn't even prepare). 'They can only see you today and I honestly know they will love you', she said. My Parents both told me they thought this was a sign; this was the good thing to come when everything else felt pretty tragic. By this point I had already sacked off the M&S interview and I thought, I can't let my own lack of confidence get me for the rest of my life. I told her if she could bide me three hours to get ready and get down there, that I'd be on my way.

I hopped in the shower, frantically got ready and had my Mum reading through the website to me to try and help me prepare. This was the job and I couldn't even get prepared for it. The demons in my head told me it was pointless but I did it anyway. My gut feeling told me this was meant to be, and you know how I feel about trusting your gut instincts.

I arrived and sat in that board room, wondering what the hell I was doing but as we spoke, it was everything she had described and at that point, I saw the start of things to come. I realise this all sounds ridiculously cheesey but things like this don't happen to me and I was (still am!) amazed by this opportunity.

Long story short (although a long story...), within three hours I had been in floods of tears, got my shit together, whizzed down the M1 to be interviewed and been offered the job. Almost three months on I can honestly say I am happy and I am at the start of good things to come. Life doesn't run smoothly, I know but I feel completely in control of my own life now (also, a week after starting the job and still unhappy with my relationship, I ended it and moved in with my parents for a few weeks before finding a place to rent - just so you know the full story)

I'm looking forward to the future and it looks pretty darn good. I've eliminated the negativity from my life in many ways and I'm actually proud of how far I've come in this sense. I don't know where I'll end up, what I'll be doing or whether things will work out but I feel like I was given a break; this happened for a reason - good or bad.

I'm writing this, not to gloat - please don't mistake it for that. My life isn't even slightly perfect. I'm writing this to tell you, I've felt helpless and lost, like my life is stuck (way more than the once!) but I'm telling you - don't lose hope. Good things will be around the corner even if you can't seem them or believe that yet.

Don't give up hope or talk yourself out of things, sometimes you need to just go for it even if a slight opportunity arises. It might not even be right but you can't let worry, self doubt or negativity restrict you all the time (I can preach this because I used to and now I have a much healthier mind!)

5 and a half months ago I had no idea what I was doing (and most days I probably still don't) but fate will be on your side and I'm writing this to show you that although you might not be even slightly close to where you want to be, one day out of the blue, someone or something might give you that break that you need to believe in yourself, to stop living in limbo and to start you on that path to getting your shit together.


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