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Discovering the Silver Lining: Lessons Learned in Every Experience

The summer going into my senior year, I worked at a coffee shop. The coffee shop was small but steadily busy. It was located within a lakeside resort where families came to have laid back, happy-go-lucky summer vacations. I didn't take a ton of family vacations when I was growing up. Heck, I don't know if I ever had one family vacation with my mom and brother. So, I kind of marveled at the lifestyle of these folks who where carefree and enjoying vacations and such.

Working in that coffee shop, I would observe the young kids coming in charging lunch to their room - freely enjoying the spoils of their parents. I would watch the adults come in enjoying the fruits of their labor and sometimes leaving what felt like big tips for a cup of coffee. I was thankful for that! Back then, I thought why would folks want to come here for vacation. As someone who grew up in this small, quaint town - I couldn't appreciate the beauty of 'nothingness'.

As an adult, I get it. To escape from the grind is a blessing in and of itself. To have the option to do nothing is a blessing.

However, it's all about perspective and the lens through which you're peeking.

I'm officially over nothingness.

I'm eight months into unemployment, and I miss the grind. I miss having a deadline to meet. I miss a jam packed calendar with meetings that sometimes made absolutely no sense. I miss chit chatting with employees I've never met face-to-face but feel like I know. I miss the need to figure it out and problem solve (I was so good at that ... STRIKE THAT .. I AM (still) good that).

Even still, I am thanking God for the lessons I'm being taught from the obvious to the not-so-obvious during this #persist season!

I've always been one to appreciate the beauty around me. I will gasp with pure delight at the smallest and sometimes most insignificant thing like two squirrels scurrying around each other. To some, it is just two squirrels. To me, it's sibling squirrels and they are playing a game of tag. The beauty of connection within/amongst/between all things blows my mind.

As a young teen waiting on those customers who sometimes were younger than me was a lesson -- it taught me that there is a bigger world out there awaiting my time to travel, explore, and experience things. I learned that having a job was necessary for me to be able to contribute to my own cost(s). My mom was a single parent, and why shouldn't I make the load easier for her in anyway I could. Work, Girl, Work!

I learned to LOOK for the lesson that I'm being taught. What is the lesson in this (or that) experience? There's always a lesson.

Even now, there are a gazillion lessons to be learned about being unemployed in a job market that seems to swallow you whole from the minute you put your big toe in the #opentowork waters to test the temperature. It's stone, icy cold! Rejection cuts deep. But, there is a lesson. Always.

Lesson: Learn how to handle, deal with, and overcome the REJECTION hangover!

I'm being taught that rejection is not personal. It feels like CRAP and very personal. But, I can't sit around an absorb rejection after rejection. Some rejection stings a bit more than others. I accept it as a 'not meant to be for me' J O B & keep it moving.

About the 15th day after I learned that I had only an additional 15 days to find a job internally, I pulled out a pen and paper, Hole punched several pieces of paper today and made the following list:

1.       Bewilderment

2.       Denial

3.       Overwhelmed

4.       Confused

5.       Excited

6.       Frustrated

7.       Sad

8.       Acceptance

9.       Understanding

10.   Peace

*More to come on the list above -- a teaser for now.

Tip #2: Find the path of least resistance to your space of fulfillment in the midst of hurt, rejection, and disappointment. When you arrive that space, take solace in knowing that you weren't (and never will be) defined by what you do (did). Rather, you are defined more by WHO you are. Settle into the awesomeness that is YOU. Soak that up and in & stay "there" for a while. You deserve it!

Productively Unemployed,



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