For me, “How many puzzle pieces does it take,” is the burning question. After being laid off from a job I worked very hard to get, and one that I very much enjoyed, I had to figure out what to do. I knew there were no jobs in my field. I knew that because Nuclear Medicine Technology is such a highly specific field, I really couldn’t do much else in the hospital that would even come close to what I was making. Don’t get me wrong, if it came down to it, I would do what ever it took to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table!!! But I wasn’t in that position (Not yet anyway!).
I had to go back to the drawing board. I had to take a good look at where I currently was, and more importantly, where I wanted to go for the next phase of my life. On the day I found out I had a choice of severance for 6 mos or taking a second shift position, I knew right away I was going to take the severance. Second shift would mean hardly ever seeing my daughter. That was not going to fly with me! We were given a week. For my own selfish reason, I made my counter part wait that full week before I turned in my decision. Looking back, that may not have been the nicest thing to do, but because I knew she would be employed, I was OK with her sweating it out!
That same day, my husband dropped the D word just after I told him about getting laid off. Talk about a double blow! I think I sat in the chair and didn’t say a word for well over an hour. At this point, he might as well have just rubbed salt in the wound, because only a month earlier I had lost my dad to cancer. Shocked, I don’t really think covers how I felt that night! But being the person I am, and having dealt with some pretty tough blow throughout my life, I knew I had to move forward. Ironically, though, I wasn’t thinking “what was I going to do,” it was, “I need to get through my daughter’s birthday party that we were throwing the next day!” Now, if you ever want to go through something truly torturous, have a party planned the day after you get some devastating news.
But, thanks to a dear friend, he introduced us to a non-profit organization called LSS. Although we are still working on things, we managed to make it through last summer. And despite me always telling everyone *wink wink,* I will shoot him before I divorce him, I managed to not pick up my shot gun :-).
I am sure by now you are wondering what do puzzle pieces have to do with any of this? Well, everything that happened to me last spring, resulted in quite a few puzzle pieces. I decided to go back to school and get my MSEd in Training and Performance Improvement, which, I must say, just feeds into my problem solving nature. I started going to church, which I still spend most Sunday’s crying, because the messages hit home a little too often (I’m thinking anti depressants some Sundays :-)). I have met some amazing people. I have gained a whole new group of supporters, that I never thought I would know. And with all the projects I have had to do through school, I have learned so much. With all this, it is hard to articulate, but all these things I have done, all these people I have met, all the volunteering I participate in, they are a pieces to a much bigger puzzle.
I am still on this journey, some days I am up, some days I am down, but I haven’t reached the end of the road. I have so many people to meet and so many things I want to do. Of course, I can easily say, “I want a job,” and that is true, but I feel that a job would only be the icing on the cake of a much greater life.
Today I gained another puzzle piece! I can’t wait to see the whole picture! I feel I am getting close!
Cheers to everyone! Stay strong! Find your mentor! And most of all, “Don’t give up!” YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!!