The Story So Far

It’s about time for an update.  The big news for now is that I managed to get a job.  Yay!  So even though money is still tight, I won’t have to leave Columbus and move back to Youngstown.  And perhaps in even bigger news, I kind of love the job 🙂 It’s a really new feeling for me, but I could get used to it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about getting older.  Last month was my birthday, and I am officially 28 years old.  As with a lot of birthdays, now comes the time to whip out the old list of things I thought I’d be by this time and start comparing it to who I actually am.  As with most every year since high school, most of the stuff just doesn’t quite add up.  It’s a sobering thought when you realize your best laid plans got completely waylaid by life or circumstance or simply your own fears and insecurities.  You feel like you missed out or took a wrong turn or chickened out when you should have fought for what you wanted.  Either way, it’s probably your fault, so good luck dealing with that.

This summer has been about getting things back on track, and I have, to some degree, for a lot of the items on my list.  But I think what I’m really starting to realize is that just as much as I need to get on track, my list needs to get on track as well.  Life happens.  Circumstances change.  I cower when I should fight, and I quiet down when I should speak up.  It’s done.  There’s no changing how far I’ve come because I’m here now.  It is what it is.  And for a long time I felt stuck in this feeling that “it is what it is” . . . until I remembered that it doesn’t have to continue that way.

For almost a month now, I’ve been working at Target.  It’s funny because when you shop there, you always kind of think it would be a good company to work for, but now I know it is.  And compared with some of my previous positions, this one’s a dream come true.  I get to leave at the end of the day feeling like I accomplished something.  I have been praised for my hard work at least a dozen times so far, and according to my first check, I already got a raise!  I work with people who are there to get the job done and aren’t always complaining about how much “this job sucks” or how they’d rather be doing something else.  And the company does crazy things like giving everyone free Little Debbies for the heck of it, or encouraging us to be better people through store sponsored volunteer projects.  For all the retail experience I have, I’ve never done retail like this.  So again I say, I kind of love the job 🙂

The interesting thing about this is that while I was going through the hiring process at Target, I was also waiting to hear back from another much more list-friendly job.  One with a desk and a dress code that doesn’t require color coordination with coworkers.  The kind of job your grandparents want to tell their friends you have.  On the list-based map of my life, this would have been a big step forward.  But I didn’t get that job.  I got this one.  And even though on paper it might not look as impressive (or be as grandparently braggable), I’m sure I got the better of the two.

Sometimes you wake up one day and find your life a little bit disappointing.  And on those days the important thing to remember is that this is just the story so far.  It might not be as I expected, but it’s not over yet.

One of my best friends named Joel spent two years in jail.  When he was released I made him a dorky mix CD with songs of hope and bright futures (concluding, naturally, with Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”).  He of all people had every reason to be discouraged by his current situation and let that be the rudder for his life’s journey.  But he didn’t.  In four years he’s finished college and grad school, gotten married to a great girl, and landed a pretty awesome job doing something he loves.  It would be easy for me to feel like a lazy bum in comparison (and I might just a little bit . . .) but he never would have done that if he let his past define his future.

I’ve found a job that I love, but I’m not done yet.  And since this blog is as much about soul searching as it was about job searching, I will continue to keep you informed of all the stuff I discover during my exploration (sounds more like soul spelunking . . .)  Until next time, don’t be so hard on yourself if your life list doesn’t match your life.  Both of them can be revised.

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