(You don’t need to read Part 1 first, but you can if you like.)
In a month I’ll officially be 40 years old, which I think is great. Since my late 20s, I’ve had mystics tell me that once I approached 40, things in my life would get pretty awesome. I’d really start coming into my own, and apparently that meant something amazing. I have mentioned this to many of my close friends over the years, including my mom. I had no idea what they were talking about until a few months ago. And then stuff started to really change.
I feel like the cycle that began in January 2012 when I quit my job as a DBA without a net came to a close a couple weeks ago. That was a tough cycle for me. I floundered A LOT. I’d catch the scent of something I wanted to do or experience and move toward it, only to find it a mirage that vanished when I got closer. I had several jobs that I initially thought were going to be great for me, but they quickly proved to be a bad fit. I was volunteering a lot of my time, but barely scraping by. I remained fairly positive, but things just weren’t working. I tried to be a Ruby programmer, UX Designer, WordPress site designer, Web Content Manager… So many things in a couple years. And everything was just hard.
I got frustrated and discouraged. With each job, I’d try to figure out what I was doing wrong. “Why can’t I get myself to just DO THE WORK? I can do so many things, so why is this so hard for me? Why can’t I just buckle down and do it?” The answer eluded me, and it was maddening. I leaned a lot on friends and family for financial support. It has been a very uncomfortable time that way, and I’m still working through it. But thanks to my mom and a few amazing friends, I was able to maintain a decent lifestyle throughout.
Later the day I quit my last job that wasn’t working out, I had my first 2-week follow-up appointment with Dr. Mark Chirila at Harmony Healthcare. In two weeks, I was already starting to feel better after making radical changes to my diet and adding in whole food supplements, but that’s another story. After my visit, he made a comment about his office help not being available lately, and how he’d be a lot faster if he wasn’t working alone.
Without thinking, I said, “I can do office work, and I’m available… nowish.” He said, “You’ve had a rough day, quitting your job and all. I don’t want to push you into anything. Take a week or so to think about it and get back to me.” But while we talked about it, I got the most interesting feeling of deep warmth in my core. And then it moved up into my heart. Something in me knew I needed to work there, and that it would be good. I told Dr. Mark that, and he just smiled at me and said, “I’m glad to hear that. We’ll see what happens in a week or so.”
Then I got back to the business of doing other things. I had recently stepped down from the board of directors of a charity I had spent much of my time and energy on, and felt a lot more free. I still had web work to do for a couple clients that I had unfairly kept on the back-burner, but I felt far more unencumbered than I had in a long time.
I had thought it over. He wanted me to work part-time at a wage I haven’t worked for in probably 20 years. I figured I could help him out part-time, do my web work part-time to make up the difference, and it would all work out.
My first day was Friday, September 19. On my first commute to work, I was stuck in traffic behind an overturned semi with a fuel leak and was about an hour late. No time for training, and there were clients in the office. Hooray!
A couple of them greeted me and hugged me, because I knew them from elsewhere. They were so happy to see me! That was the response I got from several other clients throughout the day as well. I didn’t know what I was doing at all, but Dr. Mark was kind and just pointed me to different tasks. I jumped in and helped as much as I could. We were packed all morning and closed to clients at noon. I wound up being there till around 6pm getting up to speed on as much as I could. The next day was very full and started at 5:30am. I helped a friend get set up at an event and then headed to the office and made it there right when Dr. Mark did.
We had another day of back-to-back clients. I felt better prepared and was taking vital signs for them before they went back to see Dr. Mark. I tried not to be nervous, and did my best. I told people it was only my second day and most of them were surprised. I had picked up a lot very quickly. And it was nice to remember that I can do that.
Once the clients were gone, I had to leave for the next thing. Dr. Mark told me how happy he was to have me there, and how much faster everything had gone with me there to help him out. Every day I have been there, he has shown his gratitude and appreciation for me. Every. Day. I’d go to the moon and back for him if he asked me to, and I’d do it with a smile. I have never felt so valued as an employee.
Monday was my third day, and he gave me my own key to the office and had set up a training session with the Standard Process (supplements) rep from 9–11am. That was a huge vote of confidence! He had asked me how much I wanted to learn and said that it was fine if I just wanted to take care of the office work. But I want to learn as much as I can, so he has given me as many opportunities as possible to learn. In my first month, I’ve had 3 formal training sessions along with all the things he teaches me every day. I’m a fish in water there, and it feels wonderful.
It turned out that I’m not part-time there. I’m full-time. I’m currently consulting as Keys Creative LLC, but I’m very much a part of the team. He’s very well organized, and I’ve been learning his systems and suggesting new ones as I get acclimated. This is what I’ve always wanted to do, which is just figuring out what needs to be done and have the freedom and trust to DO IT.
I no longer feel ineffective, lazy and like I don’t know why I can’t force myself to work. I feel empowered and valued. I’m doing a great job there, and I’m reminded of that often. When I make mistakes, I let him know and do my best to rectify them. I don’t feel ashamed or like I’m doing a bad job or am afraid he’ll fire me or something. We’re a team with strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other well. A couple months into being a client there, and a month into working there, I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been in my life. And that was before I met my awesome boyfriend a week ago! Some days I wind up working crazy long hours because I just feel so good there that I have a hard time leaving. I’ve worked 12 hours there and then gone on to have a fun night out afterward, because I feel energized after working there. Can you even imagine feeling that way after a long day of work? I sure couldn’t. But it keeps happening!
Things will be hard in your career. But I want to encourage you to think about how you want to feel at your job. That’s what got me here. I wrote about how I wanted to feel, which was effective, efficient, valued and appreciated. I wanted to use all my skills and gifts to help people in whatever way I could do that the best. And so here I am, and that’s exactly how I feel and what I’m doing. The bumpy and winding road I took to get here doesn’t matter anymore. I’m just so happy to be here now. <3