You wouldn’t believe…
Last week I realized it had been a while since I had written a blog entry, and decided to write one. Clearly, that never occurred. Part of me felt like “why would people be interested in mundane, somewhat everyday things happening?” and the other part thought about wanting to continue this blog, even though I am now a Returned Peace Corps (and Peace Corps Response) Volunteer, to talk about adjustment issues, amusing incidents, and anything I feel like.
This is why I will continue to write. My life has changed, and continues to change. I would be dishonest if I said that my time in Peace Corps was easy or always pleasant, that I never felt like going home. It surprises me that there are volunteers who, after their return, package their service in pretty phrases and sugar, and seem to forget that it was life-changing (even for those of us who did it mid-career). I would be lying if I said I was not worried about the future. That being said, one of the things that Peace Corps taught me, and I hope to continue to apply it, is living in the moment, and worrying less about the future.
After resting and visiting with friends and family for a month, I moved to DC to conduct a job search. “Why DC?” you may ask. The fact of the matter is, I needed to land somewhere after PC service, had no ties anywhere else, and have wanted to live here since I was a teenager. Though my life took a few twists and had some turns in the road, this is the place I felt I should be, in my heart as well as in my head. Therefore, I made a decision: going forward, to be positive. Put positive thoughts and energy out, believe in myself and my employability, believe in myself socially. Because, quite honestly, the last five years of my life were completely demoralizing, professionally and personally (so many lessons learned, many of which will be realized later). But by being so destroyed, I determined to come back stronger.
So it was that I arrived in the area a month ago and hit the ground running; networking, reaching out socially (attending events where I did not know anyone), not being afraid to ask someone for 20-30 minutes and asking her or his advice on the job market here. I also continued to apply for positions online.
Quite honestly, it was a bit of a transformation. I said “I will remain optimistic and believe in myself” every single day. I decided to leave behind negative people who don’t see who I am or don’t appreciate who I am. I decided to take things one day at a time and trust that everything is going to work out, because this is where I am meant to be.
And would you know, it has been a great month. Sure, I’ve had a few experiences with people who don’t belong in my life – so guess what? They won’t be in my life. I have had people tell me that it is a tough job market, gloom and doom, but also have been very encouraged by others who choose to see opportunities – to see the roses instead of the thorns. It made me decide to return to days where I liked to “pay it forward”, and to reach out and assist anyone I can in their efforts (job search or otherwise).
Unfortunately, I’ve not yet found a spiritual home, due to one circumstance or another. This is another thing I have promised myself to work on.
So what are the results? Well, within two and a half weeks here, I had a job offer (verbal; the written came this last week). I am excited to start the next phase, to be working for compensation (financial, that is – there are many types of compensation, I know), about a new challenge. I was entirely candid in the interview about what I am looking for, rather than just trying to fit what they are looking for. They seemed to like it.
Of course, because I’ve been back in the U.S. for about two months, it had to happen that I would get sick and end up in bed (and then after not treating myself properly, ending up in bed again the next week). It has been a good reminder to treat myself better (and find a way to protect myself against the viruses floating around out there!).
So why do I title this “you wouldn’t believe”? Well, some people who only saw me under certain circumstances perhaps judged me without ever seeing the real me. These people would not believe if they saw me now…which is sad, really. We should always give people the chance to show us the best of themselves before believing the worst, don’t you think?