Monday, October 15, 2012

With Baggage Spread Out, Encouragement is Here

After reading my post this morning I realized that much of this blog has been filled with my heart ache and the deep struggles and painful experiences I have endured over the last few years.

I wanted this morning to share some of the really amazing and absolutely joyful pieces that have come from this time I have had in waiting on the Lord.

Today, I can confidently say that I am happy. I laugh often. I am renewed by the new and old relationships in my life. I have space and capacity to nurture the new people who have come into my life and have a desire to invest back into the relationships which have bravely stood with me through my struggles.

I am energized by my future no matter how uncertain it feels right now, I am genuinely excited to take the steps into the unknown.

I smile and I smile with everything I have because there is nothing I feel that is dragging me down. I love hard and I hold on hard.

I crave the warm and secure embrace of my husband and the hugs from others. I no longer pull away as I did for so long when a touch felt so painful and it created anxious feelings inside. Now I am free to show, experience, and be a part of the love others want to give me and the love I want to give them.

My healing is not over, but I am healing. I am loving, I am laughing, I am growing... I am taking one step at a time.

I know my life has purpose and I am confident that as I lean on my Creator and let go of all the things which have held me back, as deep and painful as they may be, I will find my way and I will be stronger and more beautiful on the other side.

Love a perfectly tarnished child of God

Confessions of a Shop-a-holic

This post was my original, but the previous post entitled “Unemployment Soap Box" below sort of came out in the midst of this post. Its incredibly late while I am writing both of these two posts which may explain the some what rant based first post with regards to my unemployment and job creation annoyance within the current election season...

Anyways I feel I need to post about something, or perhaps its more of a public confession. I don’t want to make excuses for why I have done, what I did, but I do think its important and a part of my healing process that I also try to be as open to myself as I write my feelings sitting here tonight in the dark alone. 

Many of you have followed my very painful journey of infertility and the very difficult road I have been on in trying to find my voice and identity as I experience everything that was supposed to be of comfort and security stripped away. My healing process has been slow, but its been an amazing time of transformation, reflection and rebuilding the relationship I have with my husband. 

However, today in a moment of utter humiliation I realized that perhaps losing my job took a much deeper toll on me than I was either unable to recognize or simply chose not to recognize. For the time being I don’t think it really matters which one is the reason. I haven't really blogged much about my job loss and the identity which I had associated with my career. I do believe as everything else fell apart the most painful items took precedent and were the most obvious not only to me but also to others and it was easier to process through what was right at the forefront. What I am about to confess is more or less a symptom or at least the result of many symptoms and it may or may not directly and/or indirectly be related to job loss. But really this is another step in my ability to fully heal and learn to lean completely on my Lord and Savior.

Here we go...

I conceptually understood how much value I put into my position and how much my identity was engulfed in the titles and projects that I was a part of. My career path and trajectory truly consumed the very fabric of who I was and how I would describe myself to others. It was a badge of honor that I could wear and a very protective armor that I could hide behind from the judgements of the world. Lets be honest what is the first thing you ask someone, what do you do? Its how we gage others, its how we begin to place them into our neat little identity boxes. How we start to connect with them based on shared “American” norms of success and perseverance. The American dream in its most basic form is centered completely on the most magnificent rise to the top. Its in our DNA to wrap ourselves in our careers. 

All of that to say, I was broken this afternoon once again, when I had to let go and confess that I am on the verge of destroying our finances, significantly straining our marriage, potentially hurting my husband’s organization, and being unable to pay our mortgage because I couldn’t let go of what was making me feel good for only a fleeting moment. A luxury I had when my identity was wrapped up in the success I was having in my career. 

Shopping for me was a mask to save face in front of others. It was a way for me to pretend that everything was okay. That I hadn’t really lost everything. It was also one of the only things I could count on that gave me feelings. I truly received a high when I purchase something, and when for so long I had been so numb to everything, everything that was in my life and around me. This high of purchasing something I craved deeply because for just a brief moment I knew I was still alive and I fit in with all of these other people, that to me in my confused and hazed state, had it all together. I wanted to be them, I wanted the casual freedom back of not caring about the purchases I made, I wanted the selfish need to please me and only me. I craved it, I desired, it, I needed it...

But today, standing in front of the person I love the most, I have to through absolute brokeness, say I am sorry. I have put us in a position that undermines the very fragile financial state that we have been in since I lost my job. I have to confess the selfish, ugly, self fulfilling things that I did with out any sense of others. I have nothing to show for the destruction that I have caused. Only a closet full of items which are nice, but not necessary. Which did not bring me healing, fulfillment or life. 

I have to say I am sorry because I hurt him and broke the trust between he and I. 

I am broken, I am hurting, and I am asking God to please please remember me. I am sorry for the idols I put in front of the amazing Creator who made me full in His image. I am sorry I am only now learning that my fear consumed me and I couldn’t be transparent and vulnerable enough to allow You Lord to be my only desire, my only fulfillment, my only need. 

I don’t understand the whys, but I am so grateful for Your love and for the amazing love you have given me through my husband who is desperately trying to reach me. 

Tonight, with my baggage in the open I ask my family and friends to help me to pray for us. I have created a mountain which faithfully we can move...

Love a perfectly tarnished child of God

Unemployment Soap Box

For many of you who have been following this blog know that I lost my job in December 2010. In the midst of some very personal circumstances with our infertility treatment my job/career was also taken away from me. I have sent in countless cover letters and resumes to companies, organizations, and government institutions all over the city and the nation to be frank. I have received one, ONE, phone call back on a resume which resulted in an interview of which I never heard anything back even after a few times of attempting to follow up with the organization. 

So here is my unemployed soap box moment; as the election looms near and within every debate, commercial and town hall meeting, jobs, joblessness, job creations, and unemployment are front in center. Why, simply because the unemployment rate in the country is still lingering around the 8-10% mark and in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois its on the higher end of the national average. My biggest concern for my future as a 30-something voter is that the jobs which both parties name specifically in their promises are jobs which require a discernible skill set, like construction work, bridge building, infrastructure improvement, engineering projects etc. 

Please do not miss understand these areas need job growth and creation, but what about the upper-middle manager who was laid off when their company needed to downsize? The unemployed people who have “non-tangible” skill sets like management, human resources, change/conflict consultants, organizational behavior experts, operations, international business and relations experts, etc. I fall into this category. 

I did everything right. I studied hard and earned the “correct” undergrad. Got my first job after graduating which for me actually took me overseas for a bit. I climbed the ladder and was a high performer within every opportunity. After a few years I went back to further my education and while working full time I earned two masters degrees. Yet, I seem to fall into this category of either too much experience or too little. 

I want to hear how the candidates are actually going to reward the students for graduating and doing all the things that both parties have asked of us. I want to know what industries they are actually going to create not  simply “Modern New-Deal” type projects which will only mask or put a bandaid on the real issues. 

I am critical thinker, problem solver, I like to go into a place and drill down to uncover the real issues and not just symptoms of what is happening. I like strategic planning and investing in the right people for the right industry, company, job. I believe that organizations can have a sense of organic systems which give life and breed organization values and belief systems. I like understanding the unconscious beliefs and values which make the system move and how you can better utilize that system to optimize your companies potential... Yeah, I am a geek when it comes to these areas and I am good at it, but no messages on my phone, no emails in my inbox... 

Romney, Obama, what are you going to do with the millions of educated managers out of work?!?

Love a perfectly tarnished child of God