New Beginnings

1 Mar

June 2008 was a devastating time for me. I was laid off from my job and didn’t know where to turn. At 28 years old I didn’t know what was next; all I had was my part-time fitness instructor job. I spent the summer working out, going to the beach, and looking for a new job.

But somehow it was January 2009 before I knew it and the ten interviews I had in six months went nowhere. It was at this time I was encouraged to go back to school. After a long conversation with my parents, I decided school seemed like the logical answer. I figured if I was unable to join the workforce I would at least find ways to stay competitive and current – working towards my MBA. I also started doing a lot of volunteer work and free consulting work. This allowed me to expand my already large network, but it was in some of these volunteer and consulting jobs where I met my biggest cheerleaders.  

Fast forward to today and I am finishing my degree, final project/paper left, and I two jobs – full-time development officer for a local nonprofit and adjunct faculty member at a local college, the same college I am finishing my master’s. For two years I wondered when I would find a job again, one that fit me, and now I have it. School is no longer my crutch to keep me going or keep me busy. For 20 months it was my be all end all and the light is not at the end of the tunnel. While I am happy to be done, I am sad to see it go. I am shutting the door on a chapter of my life that truthfully made me “me” and opening a new door, one that will only see me continue to grow. Bittersweet…

Looking back I was so bitter about losing my job. While not the perfect fit nor what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was good at what I did; I spent four years doing it. I was well-respected and well paid; I was 28 and making close to $60,000 a year. I don’t think it was until June 2010, about two years later, when I finally stopped being bitter. Up until that time I still wanted to egg the houses of my ex-bosses (so mature I know!).

Very few knew I was bitter because I hid it well and didn’t share my feelings but I knew I was until somehow, one day I felt like a light bulb went off; the bitterness I felt stopped. Instead I was thankful for the time off, renewed friendships, new friendships and new experiences, new connections, and a new sense of self. While I spent my life saying “everything happens for a reason” I was finally able to realize it and accept this time. I finally realized the two and a half years I spent out of work, in school, and in a constant state of show and flux was only to lead me down a better path; one that was meant for me.

I am not going to lie, some days I wish it hadn’t taken me until 30 to figure out the rest of my life but I am glad it finally happened at 30 and not 40! I am also extremely glad I went back to school for my master’s. It was the glue that held me together from March 2009 until December 2010, without it I am not sure I would be here today. If it wasn’t for school I would have laid in bed all day as I didn’t have too many reasons to get out of bed on a daily basis; it kept me going when I didn’t want to. I wasn’t going to hurt myself but I admit I had some days where I just wanted to hide under the covers and never come out. School was my “drug” to keep me from slipping into a depression so it will be weird not have to write a paper or read three books in a week anymore.

While starting ym job in January was a new beginning leaving school behind will also be a new beginning. One filled with time for family and friends and working on new ventures (yet to be determined). All I know is while I am sad to see school go I am happy at the possibilities it created for me as well as the possibilities it leaves me with I have not encountered yet. Here’s to you school for helping me find my way.

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2 Responses to “New Beginnings”

  1. Tab March 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Great post, Kris!! I feel like I know you better and want to know more. Don’t beat yourself up for not figuring things out until 30, at least you figured it out! 🙂

    Cheers!

    • kchapell March 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      Thanks! I was encouraged to start blogging again, so you will get to know more. I am okay figuring out my life at 30… others aren’t as lucky. 🙂

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