Unemployment: The end of Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1 day 5

Its finally Friday! For some reason I feel relived that the week is over even though I didn’t have to go to work this week. Looking at it from my glass half full standpoint it is also a week closer to starting a new job. I went on an interview yesterday. Positive thought, yes people actually life my resume. Step 1, just get the phone call. I have never liked the interview process, but in order to become employed you must go on interviews. Wish me luck, of course I think I kicked some interview butt, but then again you never know the outcome.

I am learning a lot from this unemployment period in my life. I am learning the art of patience, and how to keep myself busy with habitual workout routines. I still wake myself up early, either at 5 or 6 am to go to yoga or cross fit. Yes, I am still doing bikram yoga, and yes I continue to enjoy self inflicted torture. Activity is my saving grace at this point, I wake up positive. Although I still have moments of frustration and extreme anxiety, I feel better once I have the chance to challenge my body through physical activity.

I am learning that once you lose a job, looking for a new job becomes your new full time job. Wow, it take a lot of time to fill out an online job application, and it can take all day. My advice to anyone looking for a job, plan out your day hour by hour. It is easy to get distracted while unemployed, but remember to keep the focus on the end goal; finding a job.

So my new life on the east coast now consists of yoga, cross fit, job hunting, and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I never thought the day would come that I would be 32 and trying to make sense of life. Well, that day is here. Again, wish me luck.

Cheers to the weekend! I’ll go back to searching for a way to earn steady income when the sun comes up tomorrow morning.

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

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Unemployment: Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1, Day 2

I really had all good intentions to write this post yesterday, but for some strange reason I just couldn’t get my thoughts together long enough to sit and write. Who would have thought that after becoming unemployed the ability to focus would become so difficult? Focusing should be a simple task, I have all this extra time that was once compelled by an 8-10 hour work day to do just that. But no, the ability to just focus is suddenly strenuous.

I used to think that not having to go to work would be great, and then I suddenly did not have to go to work. Yeah that is not so great. Well at least when you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming, not great at all. Unemployment is never easy, and never fun. Especially in the winter in Washington DC, I feel like the winter makes it worse. It is cold, dark, and gloomy outside, and I am trying hard to avoid using the weather as a representation of my life. But, at times it is hard. I am realizing that losing a job is similar to any loss that we experience in life. Loss is never easy, but I do feel myself going through the five stages of grief as described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In case you never heard of the five stages of grief that can be attributed to a loss they are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

I am currently in my state of acceptance, which is why I have enough clarity to actually write about it. Trust me, getting to my current state was no easy process, it really did encompass the last six weeks of my life. But yet I am here. When I was initially told that our program was coming to a close due to lack of funding I hit a state of denial. I knew it really wasn’t going to happen, money would come, another agency would take over the program, of course they would because it was a really good program changing lives of youth in the District of Columbia. Yet, that never happened.

My anger was not about my own personal anger, it was the anger I felt toward the state of my clients and what would happen to them. As a psychotherapist, clients became attached and built relationships with me, then one day when I had to tell them that I am no longer going to be available as a therapist, that can be a devastating process. I did my best to end the client relationships in the best way possible, yet something still seemed unfinished. I wasn’t able to take them to the finish line of meeting their goals. I could just pass them on to someone else with the hope that the next person would have just as much compassion and empathy as I showed to help them get through. It was not easy, but it was done.

Now the bargaining was a quick stage to get through, although I am constantly bargaining with God for something, in this case it was different. There was a small hope that our program would survive or another agency would take it over. Sadly that did not happen. I just knew that maybe there were things that the team could do differently as a whole if given a second chance. Maybe we could be better at engaging clients or work harder for more positive outcomes. However, I soon realized that there was nothing else we could do, nothing we could change, the program was ending.

Depression is a rough stage, because I flip back to it every once in a while despite my best efforts to move away from it. Depression is difficult, depression is the realization that my job is gone, and until I get another I have to plan out every financial decision a lot more carefully. Depression is not having the motivation to look for a job, wanting to sleep the day away, hoping it is just a dream that I will wake up from, and wondering when is this state of constant anxiety going to come to an end. Depression is the inability to focus, and the inability to sleep through the night, the feeling to knots in the stomach, and wanting to avoid people because you know they will ask about the job search. What helps to stay away from depression? Well a whole lot of faith, mixed with positive thoughts, and knowing that this is a temporary situation. I love the saying “When you have a setback, God is already planning your comeback, and your comeback is going to be better than you ever imagined”. God has never failed me before so why would now be any different? I managed to survive 4 years in Hawaii while standing on faith, I can manage a period of unemployment knowing that God has my back.

Which leads me back to my acceptance, automatically the Serenity Prayer comes to mind; “Accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I felt a period of relief knowing that my job was ending, something was telling me it was time to move on to another aspect of therapy. I cannot change the final outcome of the program, heck, it already occurred, but I can change where I work next, the salary that I want, and what type of work will make me happy. Life is great, it is unexpected, but it works. Life always works out exactly the way it was supposed to, at the exact time that it was supposed to. So no matter what happens keep living your best life. Stay positive, and stay true to yourself. God may not give us what we want when we want it, but He gives it to us RIGHT ON TIME!

Lucky for me, the US unemployment rate is now under six percent so I should have no problems finding a job, right? Keep the prayers going!

Positive energy, positive thoughts, positive experiences 

2015 Goal: Stay Inspired

Happy first Friday of 2015. Wow I am writing two days in a row, 2015 is looking brighter already.

Today let’s keep it short and sweet. I am reminding myself to stay motivated, and despite today’s 30 something degree temperature I was able to do just that. My love of staying active keeps me away from depression, I need to remember that. Today I was able to complete a 90 minute bikram yoga class, and 1 hour of crossfit. Today was a good day. I felt like I was back in Honolulu again until I went outside and it felt like 15 degrees, but maybe it was 30. Did I ever mention my utter disdain for winter? Snow is pretty, I hate being cold. This will be my second winter back on the east coast since 2009, at this time I wish I had never left Honolulu.

Today I felt inspired. No I didn’t find a new job, and no I was not told that my job would remain open. However I still felt inspired. The inspiration felt like the hands of God holding me to let me know that life will be just fine. That is a good feeling, a much-needed feeling.

In 2015 lets take a moment to think about what inspires us, and how we can each inspire others. Motivation, inspiration, and faith, will make this a good year. So although it is only day 2, keep going, remember your goals, and never forget to have faith.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

My 2015 wish: Please be better than 2014, please

Why hello January 1st 2015! In efforts to stay consistent I tell myself that if I am going to post at least once this year, it will be on the first day of the new year. New year, new day.

I don’t make resolutions, so my personal goal for 2015 is to remember what is important to me in life, and to live life one day at time.

You ever feel like you lost of sense of self? Well I think that happened to me sometime in 2014, well actually in the beginning of 2014. Who knew such small changes in life would be so hard to recover from. I must say I was more than happy to say good-bye to 2014.  Not one of my best years, but defiantly a year that I can learn from. Now my challenge is to take lessons learned, and make 2015 one of my best years.

“Your best days are yet to come”; I need to remember that.

I started out 2014 with a broken leg. With a broken leg came the inability to run, I lost my motivation to make my body, and my mind better. With a broken leg came physical therapy, and recovery. If only I knew how much that process would change my life. Every activity that I found peace in was gone. I made attempts to find new ways to keep my body and mind challenged, yet nothing was the same. Recovery was hard, running hurt, cycling hurt, my motivation to be stronger, run longer, and work harder was diminished.

The year seemed cloudy, somewhat like a dark fog, I was living life, but never really felt like I was in it. Everything that kept me sane, happy, and living life with purpose while I was in Honolulu was gone. And I struggled for 365 days to get it back.

2014 ended, well nearly as bad as it started, oh wait, actually this is worse. The job that I moved to Washington D.C. for is closing. Yup, my program that was started to change the lives of Washington D.C. youth is coming to an end in two weeks, leaving me unemployed. So December of 2014, was not a good month. Yes I feel sorry for myself that my therapeutic program is ending, but I have a strong feeling that God has this. His plan keeps me alive, and keeps me living to make it through the day. However, the feeling of sadness and devastation that I feel for my clients, and other adolescents in Washington D.C. is  what really makes this a hard transition. For the last year, we were doing something good. We were changing lives, and one day someone made a decision that what we were doing did not matter that much so the budget for the program could be cut.

The highlight of 2014: I was able to watch two of my clients walk across the stage at their high school graduation, and receive a high school diploma. With the assistance of a few good friends, I watched another client attend a high school prom.  Wow, I don’t think I could explain the deepness of emotion that goes into those two events. But, to know that these boys may have never had that opportunity without our program is an unbelievable experience. When no one else believed in these kids, I did. Everyday I worked with them was a day that was one step closer to helping them see that life goes far beyond a life of poverty and jail. And that made my job nothing less than amazing.

I work to change lives, I work to inspire. I hope my next job continues to give me that opportunity.

I must  say that I am very happy to finally see 2015. I am looking forward to good news, exciting new opportunities, and happiness! My faith guides me, and I know everything will work out, because God has a plan that works, and my God have never failed me. Live a life that is worth living. That is what I want to remember to tell myself each day.

2015 I’m ready, show me what you got!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

I can do it all by myself, except sometimes I need help

When I was young, about the age of 3 or 4 my mom gave me the book All by Myself by Mercer Mayer. At the age of 31 my mom still reminds me that ever since I read that book over 25 years ago, I have always wanted to do things all by myself. When I was a child it was simple things like tying my shoe, or doing my homework. I would sit and try it over and over again until I got it right. I wanted to do it all by myself. As I got older life became more complex, and the complexity of things that I could actually do all by myself began to change. In high school it was filling out college applications, I didn’t need help, I could do that all by myself. However, once I got into college I had to pay for tuition, books, fees, oh and lets not forget that I actually needed to move everything out of my bedroom in Queens to my dorm room in Connecticut, yeah I needed help. Mainly from my parents, and because they are great parents they helped, and because they had hindsight to know I actually couldn’t do it all by myself I really didn’t even have to ask for much help. They just knew what to do.

As we get older we have greater needs in life, and may need more help. I have always been one to hate asking for help because I could do it all by myself. My favorite question to ask my clients in therapy sessions is “how is that working out for you?” When I think about times that I didn’t ask for help but really knowing that I needed help, I reflect on how poorly that is working out for me. When I bought my first car, I went into full-blown panic mode. Buying a car is stressful and I needed help. Luckily I had that help, my ex boyfriend helped me find a car, and my dad helped me to get my care registered, inspected and ready to drive. Needless to say without that help I would have been left stuck and riding the bus for a mighty long time.

Before moving to Hawaii, my mom asked me was I scared to go alone. My answer of course was no, if the fear was there I was never going to admit that to anyone anyway. She told me she doesn’t worry about me because she knows I will be fine, she reminded me that I have always had that determination that I could do it all by myself. That determination helped me to take leaps in life and never look back. That determination helps me prove to myself that no matter where I am in life and what I am going through, I will always at least try to do it all by myself, even though sometimes I may fail.

I am no longer a 3-year-old kid who just wants to tie her own shoe, or a 4-year-old who just wants to walk into a new classroom all by myself just to prove that I am a big girl. I am a 31-year-old who has grown to realize that as much as I want to do it all by myself, sometimes I need help, badly.

I realized the importance of help when I was living in Honolulu, I was all by myself, and couldn’t possibly do everything alone. Upon arriving on the island, I received help from my first landlord. She was overwhelmingly kind to me. She was local from Kauai and now living on the Windward side of Oahu. She went out of her way to welcome me to the island, I had no car, she drove me around, she showed me how to get to my job, how to get to the store, and what I would need to do to be safe in Honolulu. Her warming attitude made me feel like I would have a great home in Hawaii. I continued to find help along the way in friends, those friends helped me to overcome a sense of loneliness, and seemed to always make sure that I was doing ok. I received help to stay in shape from my motivating workout crew, and due to the fact that I had amazing co-workers, they never failed to help me learn my way around the island, and adjust my mainland style of building therapeutic relationships, to the local style of how to be a successful therapist. I was starting to learn that needing help was not a sign of weakness, but much-needed to keep building future success.

Now I am back on the mainland and have found myself in a place where I once again need help, and I continue working to overcome the struggle to ask, although it has gotten a lot easier. A few weeks ago I went snow tubing and broke a bone in my leg when it hit a block of ice.  Ok maybe I should have not been so quick to jump into winter sports since I have been living on an island that was 80 degrees every day for the past 4 years. Nevertheless, it was fun, well expect for the part where I broke my leg.

Being on crutches with a broken leg, yeah I have needed help. I want to do it all by myself, but life’s turns has hit me and now I can’t. This has truly been an experience in asking for help. I literally have needed help from everyone who is around me. Even my 7-year-old god-daughter has had to help me carry my purse. Lucky for me I have an awesome support group. My friends have been nothing less than amazing and have been there fully to help me. I end up feeling guilty though, I hate to inconvenience others or need help for something that I could just do on my own a few weeks ago. I remind myself that this is a temporary situation. It’s still hard most days.  It’s not forever, just for now, and now I have to continue to ask for help. This has truly been an eye-opening experience, I was the girl who thought I could do everything by myself. I could do it all, no help necessary. Now I can’t even drive my car, so to go anywhere outside of the house, yeah I need help.

Though this current situation of my broken leg is temporary and with time my bones will heal, it is a sudden much-needed reminder that life is not meant to be lived alone. If you always have the right circle of support you will never be alone, and when life throws you a curve ball, don’t struggle, put pride aside and just ask for help.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences