Getting Fired Really Messed Me Up

I went to a job fair at the beginning of this week. Imagine walking into a room filled with tables and booths and everything there is not for you.
For this to make sense I have to explain my short stint in telemarketing. I got a job in Pittsburg, KS during college. It was a time in my life where I did anything because I needed money. I worked for a DayCare with questionable ethics and practices that still haunts my nightmares and I lasted there a year. This telemarketing job paid really well for a job back then $15. It was way above the $5/hr minimum wage and I was positive I could do it. They trained us in big groups and showed us the script and how to keep people talking no matter how many times they said no. I lasted a whopping 8 hrs and never went back. I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t just that people would be constantly rejecting me, it was that I would be pushing credit cards on people when I knew credit cards were the root of all evil.
Each booth at this job fair was filled with things no one needs. I’m not a seller. I can get people to donate to non profits and causes I believe in but I cannot convince them to get insurance or use a credit card that will get them in debt faster than they can pay it off and get a one-two-punch to their ego and pride for their troubles.
I walked into that job fair, around all the tables and right out the door. I somehow managed to walk right into the path of the organizer. She asked me what I thought of the job fair and I told her the truth, that it didn’t provide what I (a highly educated person) was looking for. So she asked me if I talked to the colleges that were there to see if they had positions at their colleges available. I hadn’t thought of that so I turned right around and walked right back in. I talked to all the schools represented and I might have made some connections which was great, although not the purpose or meat of this post.
Getting fired really messed with me. It messed with my confidence in myself. I love working on college campuses and for months I have felt terrified and inadequate.
How do I put a spin on getting fired when it still doesn’t make sense to me. Yes I made mistakes, I completely own up to that. I hated my job because the fear of getting fired was always on my mind. Every screw up was amplified. Every mistake was like a life or death situation, except it wasn’t. I was working in a testing center, following procedures that didn’t make sense. Testing for students for class placement. Not blood tests. Not dying patients.
I was also working a 40hr per week chaplaincy where if I made a mistake I could be sued. And guess what, I shined in that situation. I was a great chaplain. But I wasn’t a great testing center employee. I made lots of mistakes, nothing life threatening but they wanted me gone because of them and honestly the stress of a 20hr per week job was off the charts and I wanted it to be done.
That job messed with my brain. It made me think I was unworthy to work on a college campus. Now I’m thinking I can. Now I’m thinking I don’t want that job to best me. Now I’m thinking that I can’t do mind numbing work. I need something that allows me to actually help people and isn’t wrapped up in processes that don’t make sense.
This job/ situation will not be the end of me, because I simply won’t let it.
I’m better than that.
I love to help students and people in general so I need to find a position that puts my skills and desires and passions to good use. Now if I could only find it quickly 🙂

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Today’s applications/ resumes

Just for fun today I thought I would post about the resumes and cover letters I sent out today and the ones I didn’t. In my times of unemployment I feel like the most asked question is, “What are you applying for?” To which I often respond, “What am I not applying for?”

Truth be told, I’ll apply to almost anything, even if I’m not qualified. To these in my cover letter I explain why I’m applying even though I do not meet their qualifications. I lay down my passion and my other qualifications and how they would assist me in the position and I beg them (that might be a little strong but you get the idea) to please consider me for this position. To look beyond my un-qualification and see that I might just be the person they are looking for.

The first job I applied for today is with Community Linc. It’s a job in fundraising and research and would have a good deal to with writing and anyone that knows me, knows that I love to write.

The jobs I don’t apply for are the ones that I really don’t meet their qualifications and there is no way to get around them. For instance there was a transitional coach position open today but you need to have a social work degree (and there’s no give, sometimes there is give and they list other degrees they are willing to accept) and you need to have a license in social work. Those two things I do not have. But if you do you might check out this job opportunity on the nonprofit connect page: http://www.npconnect.org/jobs?cl_v=ra&cl_aid=831387

I also don’t apply for jobs that are offering pay way below what I want. For instance, there’s a job today: Youth Volunteer Team Leader but it is only providing a stipend and that stipend is way below the poverty line. It’s also a full time job with flexible not set hours so it would not lend itself to having another job with it. I apply to full time and part time gigs in the hopes that even if I get a part time gig I can get another part time with it and hopefully make enough to stay afloat. But below the poverty line, full time with flexible hours is not conducive to working another job to get above the poverty line, so I passed on this one too.

I get daily emails from CareerBulider, Monster.com, Indeed.com, and Nonprofit Connect. Nonprofit Connect usually has stuff I want to apply for each day but the rest are usually way off the mark. The kind of job stuff they send me is complete crap and no where near what I want to be doing. It’s very annoying to open their emails because it feels like a waste of time but every once in a while there will be one job that might be worth my time so I continue every day to open the millions of emails I get in the hopes that there might be one job opportunity on the page that I might want.

Here is another social work ad for today, again I don’t qualify but maybe you do: http://www.npconnect.org/jobs?cl_v=ra&cl_aid=831379

The last thing I applied for today was an Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator with Swope Community Health Care. It’s the last thing I applied for today because it took me an entire hour to fill out. Long applications really take it out of me but obviously I thought this one was worth it.

And that’s today’s applications and resumes. I spent about 2 and a half hours today working on this stuff. It’s enough to keep me energized and continue to work the next day but not too much that I feel depressed and want to quit searching.

Gerbera Daisy
Gerbera Daisy

Playing Catch Up

It’s been 21 days since I posted something and for me that seems like a long time. In that time my younger sister has gotten married. I helped out with VBS, finished a baby blanket, and come to the realization that if I don’t think about Celiac and gluten it always comes to bite me in the ass. 🙂

Rebecca’s Wedding was Great! It was a lot of fun. She was super stressed and disappointed about things before the wedding but the day of she took things in stride and had a blast. She wiggled her tush when dad pronounced them husband and wife and that’s the kind of attitude she brought to the whole day. It was great!

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The daddy daughter dance at the reception was one of my favorite parts. Dad has this way of dancing to make fun of himself (which other men seemed to share as the night went on) so they incorporated that into the dance. They started with “Soul Man” and finished with a sweet “My Girl.” It was great. Rebecca also danced with Grandpa.

The couple finished the night by walking out to the car through sparklers. It was a great night.

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My cousin Jj Long was the photographer for the event. Be sure to check out his page: Long Photography

you had me at hello

VBS last week wore me out. I cannot believe how exhausting it was to help out with crafts. I came home at about 1:30 each day and took at least a 2 hour nap. How do parents survive? I guess they don’t have 100+ children running around and they probably don’t work with 20 kids at a time trying to get them excited about a craft.

Ever since I went gluten free I’ve had a sort of blasé attitude. I mean as long as I don’t eat gluten I’m good right? Not really. The makeup was annoying but so are a lot of other things. We got manicures and pedicures before the wedding and my manicure was basically a polish change. No massage because I couldn’t allow them to use their lotion or oil because I couldn’t read the ingredients.  I got my hair cut recently (the day of the wedding, risky I know but it worked out great) and I went to style my hair and realized I didn’t have any gluten free styling products on hand. You might be thinking, “who cares if your styling products are gluten free?” Let me ask you this question: how many times a day do you touch your hair? Do you then eat something with your hands, like a sandwich? Imagine that the stuff in your hair is covered with poison….do you really want to style your hair with poison? I didn’t think so.

The other day I was thinking about how awesome it would be to get a facial but I bet I can’t do that anymore either. They don’t exactly advertise gluten free facials. And getting a massage…what’s that going to be like? I’m sorry sir, ma’am but you can’t touch me with that lotion or oil unless I can read the ingredients first.

I ate some salsa this week that made me sick. When I went back to the jar I realized that it just said “spices” as one of the ingredients. How the hell am I supposed to know what your “spices” have in them?  I’m of course asking this question because I got very sick that night and the next day.

I miss the days of getting a haircut, going out to eat, or really doing anything without thinking about gluten. I know that Celiac is one of the easier diseases to have but sometimes it really gets me down. I mean I love the weight I’ve lost and how much better I feel when I actually manage to avoid it but I would really love to get a massage without having to bring my own lotion. 😦

In my time away from blogging I’ve also gotten some more rejection letters and these ones hurt a bit more. My first rejection letter was received several weeks ago for a job I don’t even remember applying for, it was one from when I was just applying for anything. Now that I’ve narrowed my focus and only apply for jobs I actually want the rejection letters sting a bit more. They are written nicely and say nice things but they still sting a bit.

I also just this past Sunday was approached by someone with encouraging words from God. It was a great moment but it really deserves it’s own blog.

Alright, that’s all the catch up I’ve got for now. Ta-ta for now, hopefully my next blog won’t take 21 days to be posted 🙂

God’s Time

This blog started out as a Facebook status update but when it got to be a paragraph long I realized it needed to be a blog.

My reward for 5 cover letters, resumes, and applications written/filled out this evening: reading a good book. I know God has his plan, and I know in that plan is my job.

I know this in the absence of a job because he continues to care for me. I continue to receive money and I continue to be energized instead of depressed. I continue to feel the drive to write. I also feel the drive to apply for the job I want.

In the beginning of my job search I applied for any and all jobs. I applied for jobs in and out of my field and I felt the drain. Day in and out I was drained by applying to jobs I was hoping I would never get. Once I stopped doing that, once I narrowed in on the jobs I wanted, once I only applied for the jobs I was driven to get, I stopped feeling drained.

I started to fall in love with positions and I started seeing similar positions everywhere.

I’ve started some traveling journals with close friends in my life, people that I hope continue to be close with as lives get more complicated. One of these friends has already sent it back to me. She asked me what kind of positions I’m applying for. I’m applying for positions in nonprofits that work with domestic and sexual violence victims. I apply for jobs that have me interacting with the women and allow for an aspect of teaching.

I love all the jobs I apply for but I’m not depressed. You might ask yourself, “how is this possible? She’s not getting interviews or call backs. It’s been 5 months how can she not be depressed? Especially when she falls in love with all the jobs.”

To be honest I’m surprised myself but the truth of the matter is that I’m at peace. Weird I know but also the truth. Each new job I read about sounds more awesome than the last. I want all the jobs I apply for. I don’t know how many places I’ve applied to, because I’m not keeping track. If I went back in my sent email box I’m sure I could tell you but I like my peace so I don’t think I will.

God is in control and this process has taught me that. I’m just waiting for My Job and I know I won’t get a job until My Job comes. So I’m at peace knowing that its out there. Don’t get me wrong I do ask God when that job will come and if he could speed things up a bit. But I’m at peace actively waiting for his job for me.

So I continue to apply. Tonight I applied for jobs in Washington state, in Maryland, in Kansas and Missouri. Most are for Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate and Prevention Specialist.

Doesn’t that sound awesome! I’m energized just thinking about it! And that feeling is why I continue my search, that feeling is why I’m not depressed. That feeling is why I’m at peace.

God is in control and I’m excited to find My Job!

Now I’m gonna read my book and have a good night’s sleep because I’m in God’s hands waiting in his time for the right job for me.

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The Third Day

My church recently finished a study by John Ortberg, Who is this Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. The last week of the study was to talk about Saturday of Holy Week. We often talk a lot about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday but we often spend little time considering Silent Saturday.

We are so excited about the awesome news of Sunday that we bypass the sadness and anguish of Saturday. I thought this was really poignant in my own life right now. I’m in my Saturday and have been for quite a few months, 4 I think. I got a rejection letter this past week that literally excited me. They let me know how great my experience is and how awesome my resume was but they went with someone else. I was excited to recieve news even though the answer was a resounding, “no.” I’ve had silence and no news for 4 long months, so long that sometimes it feels like 5. I’ve read 47 books in that amount of time and watched too many TV series and knitted the beginnings of a lot of blankets. My Saturday is filled with moments of silence and moments of crying out and moments of fear. My Saturday is the Silent Saturday and all the anguish that goes a long with that.

Being fired was my Friday. My Saturday has been all this time of trying to find something and I am on my knees praying that my Sunday will come, that I will be lifted from the pain and be welcomed back into the work force.

We all have these times in our lives where something happens or the absence of something is our Friday-Sunday. Don’t dismiss the importance of your Saturday because Silent Saturday makes us even more excited for Resurrection Sunday.

What are you third day stories? Did your Sunday come quick or will it be a long hard battle to see your Sunday?

Comment below if you would like to share your third day stories with me.

Unemployment day 3

This day is all about my usefulness! This morning one of my cousins is dealing with the death of a loved one. I stepped up and brought comfort the only way I know how, through prayer.
In the days since being dismissed I’ve gone through the low moments of questioning my self-worth but this morning I realized something: I couldn’t do that job, so what. I wasn’t meant for menial, low level jobs, praise The Lord!
This morning as I offered a prayer I remembered why I love ministry, why I love helping people, why I love being with people at their hardest moments.
I love my ministry. I was never meant to do that job for very long and I’m thankful that it is over, so that I can do the work that reminds me each day that I have a purpose, that reminds me that I am good, that reminds me that I have worth.
All that job ever taught me was that I sucked at it and that my worth was wrapped up in my ability to do tasks with little purpose. I’m a helper, in need of a helping job, not a job with little purpose.
I’m looking forward to the days of networking with churches in the area. I’m looking forward to the days of finally having a purpose again.
Today is soapbox day, a day filled with writing all the things I neglected to write in the past few months because of a lack of energy, time, and commitment.
I’m hoping that this time of unemployment will be easier than past times. I’m hoping that this time will be filled with moments where God reminds me how awesome I am and where God guides me and gives me strength.

Nonexistent Plan B

About 2 months ago I moved home, it feels like so much longer than that but alas it has only been 2 months. I moved home because I had to, I was poor and my parents were paying my bills and I couldn’t get a job so I had to move home and back in with the folks.

I had conflicting feelings about it and I continue to have conflicting feelings about it. I like living rent free but I know I cannot live here forever.

Plan A when I moved home was to live here while working part time and doing CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education, Chaplaincy in a hospital). I’ve only interviewed with 2 CPE sites. One was St. Joe and the other was St. Luke’s. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get St. Joe because they told me to look elsewhere. I received confirmation of this just a few days ago. I still haven’t heard from St. Luke’s.

I did get a job, that might conflict with these two CPE sites because they have classes on Mondays and I have been told that for this job I would have to work a Monday but I have also been told that you can trade shifts with people so I’m sure I could make it work if St. Luke’s takes me.

The thing is I never thought I wouldn’t get a placement. I never thought it might not happen so I have no Plan B.

St Joe has provided a Plan B. They have asked me if I would like to be considered for their year-long extended CPE that would start in January 2013 and end December 2013. I have asked for more information because I might need a Plan B.

Have you ever heard of “leap of faith?” A leap of faith is when you jump into something with faith and hopefully God will catch you. Hopefully what you hope for will happen. I jumped without a net and it turns out that God isn’t in the pool. 🙂

I know, no matter what happens (CPE in the fall or not) that God is there but maybe he isn’t in my pool, he’s in the pool next to it. Maybe I’ve made a leap into the deep end and God wanted me in the shallow end. I don’t know (I know I’m stretching the metaphor but just go with me).

God has plans for all of us. I believe that when we get off track God can just maneuver us back onto the plan. It’s like we have taken an unnecessary detour but God will get us back to where we are supposed to be. In the end we still get to the same place but it may have taken us longer to get there, than originally planned.

If I don’t get a CPE does that mean I’m on an unnecessary detour? Probably not. I’m sure God will have some reason for me not getting a CPE, even if I have no idea what that is.

I don’t have a Plan B but as I wait for St Luke’s to tell me, yay or nay, I will begin to think about what that Plan might be.

My Plan A included possibly volunteering at one of the non-profits in the area so maybe Plan B will just include a more active role in volunteering than I originally thought. Maybe Plan B will include searching out churches in the area that would welcome a healing group like the one I have developed. Maybe Plan B will include joining a group or two at Knox.

Plan B’s options are endless. Isn’t there some quote that says when we make plans God laughs. Apparently what Woody Allen said was, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” 

I’m not really laughing but when your plan fails, when God is in the shallow end, you swim to the surface and move on. You make new plans and swim to the shallow end to meet God.

Time to find a Plan B.

The Decision to Move

People have been asking me for days what has triggered my decision to move to Kansas. Do I have a job lined up? No but I’m looking. What is my plan? My plan is to do CPE, try to do some ministry either part-time or on a volunteer basis, and work part-time.

I am moving home, to my parents’ house. With that comes the stigma that all 30 somethings have to deal with when moving back in with their parents. Am I a failure? No, I’ve tried really hard to find a job with no luck so that lie will not reign in me.

In essence my parents are my new roommates. It’s funny to think of it like that but they are. I’m not the same girl who was living there ages ago. I’m different. They’re different.

I’m returning home, but it’s different. I’m not returning to a child’s room nor am I returning as a child. I will always be their daughter but I’m not in my 20s or my teens any more.

When I think about moving back in with my parents I think about how I will decorate my room. I think about how I will add my art and where I will put my things. When I lived with my parents before they owned all the things that were in that room. They paid for each piece of it but now I will be bringing things I made or purchased. I don’t know if I am explaining this correctly but it will be different.

I asked my father if I could move in with them and he said yes. My mom has been offering for months but I needed to ask, I needed to make the decision. I needed to let them know that I wanted this and that I am not coming back with shame in my heart but with thanksgiving for all the things they have done for me.

I’m actually looking forward to that return as well. I’m looking forward to rediscovering what Kansas City has to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing things there with new eyes. I’m no longer a tourist or someone visiting on vacation but a resident, even if it is just for a little while.

When I left Kansas, I left to go to Seminary and to really figure out who I was. I know who I am now. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know how strong I am. I know my insides and my outsides. I know how amazing I am and what a trailblazer I am in my field. I know that I am unique and I know that I still have lots of growing to do. I am returning as a strong woman who desires to get closer to her family and to explore what Kansas City has to offer me.

When I made this decision I had to think about everything I would have to give up and everything I would gain. I had to consider the friends I would leave behind.

I was having dinner with my friend Betsy the other day and I told her that I couldn’t choose to stay because of the friendships I have made. Some of my friends are married and some are single but my friends are not going to choose to stay in a city because I’m there and I can’t do that either.

I have loved living in Pasadena and I will surely miss all my friends and the amazing weather. I think this year we have had more rain than ever (it’s even raining now) and we have had more storms this year than ever and I have loved every minute of it. I love storms. I love listening to rain and hearing thunder. I know some people hate storms but I love them. I’m not a fan of snow but you live with what you have to.

I’m not saying that Kansas will be my permanent residence, it may be my home base or it may not. If I’m willing to follow God wherever he leads I have to be willing to leave my comfort zone, I have to be willing to leave the safety of my home and go somewhere new, somewhere different.

I’m excited to go and see what life will be like for a while. The future is wide open and I don’t know what is out there but I am excited to give it a try. I want to try to see what ministry opportunites are available in my old church or churches in the Kansas City area. I want to see what kind of fun things I can do.

I have felt God saying for a long time that I’m not meant to stay in one church. I’m meant to reach the lost and they are located everywhere. I’ve done two internships in two different churches and I loved both of them.

I’m excited to see what God will do with me in Kansas. I am sad to leave my roommate and my friends but I’m looking forward to the unknown.

I’m truly at peace with this decision. It feels like the right thing to do and the right moment to do it.

A recurring dream has me asking: Why?

I keep having this dream that is full of anxiety and angst. I’m running around trying to get everything together for a flight to a foreign land. This time I was going to Germany but I don’t remember where I was going last time.

The first time I had this dream my aunt Cindy was trying to get me to the airport so we had to go pick up my laundry and then I didn’t have a ticket and the last thing that keeps happening in these trip dreams is that I realize I don’t have my passport.

Now what’s interesting is that I actually don’t have a passport so in the dream it’s not like I left it at home, it’s more like I forgot to get one so there is no way in hell I can get on that plane and leave the country.

Last night’s dream I was stuck with lunatics, one where they threw a party for me for my birthday and they let a girl get alcohol poisoning upstairs so I kick them out but on the way out they all stop to read me a poem they had written about me even though I know none of these people. Then I somehow escape the party only to go to a rummage sale where I am kidnapped and then I try to escape a kidnapping ring (some of this could be the suspense TV show I watched before sleep). Then I end up at my parents’ house and they give me refuge and hide me from the ring. My sister also gives me all of my stuff that I will need: suitcase filled with my clothes and a packet that she swears holds everything I need for my trip.

Just as I’m about to ask if my passport is in there because Tammy’s about to be conscious and awake Tammy knows she doesn’t have her passport, I wake myself up.

Because this type of dream has happened twice and because the anxiety of the dream is so palpable and because I wasn’t able to change the dream I decided to figure out what this dream is about. I can usually change a detail in a dream if I don’t like it or if it produces anxiety but for some reason I can never change this dream.

The previous time I had this dream my aunt was taking care of things but my mother came to the rescue. This time I was lost in a world that was inhospitable but my sister came to the rescue.

In my time of trying to figure out where to go next I have been kind of stuck. I don’t want to leave my life here in California. I like my friends and my support system and the WEATHER and the location and it seems so perfect. But what has kept me here the most, and I am sorry to say it is the lie I believe that: No one wants me.

That no one will indeed come to my rescue. Now the truth of the matter is that my entire time in California my mother has come to my rescue. She has saved me from a bind more than once and she has done so out of love.

This week I was talking with my therapist about my options. It’s been a while now and I still have no job that can support me and it seems as if that won’t be changing anytime soon. I have tried hard to get jobs I want and jobs I don’t want and nothing is happening. The one job I was close to getting just turned me down and the job that might have been a shoe-in was not as it seemed. So my question has been: What now? Should I just go home, try to move in with a cousin, couch surf, or what? When is the time to say enough is enough? Am I just prolonging the inevitable?

All of these questions stem from the hardest part of it all: Am I just a burden?

I don’t want to be a burden but I realize that I am. My therapist tried to get me to see that every interaction with all people makes me a burden. But I don’t like thinking of my interactions with my friends as burdensome. Does that mean that when I hang out with Betsy over tea or dinner that I am burdening her? Does that mean that hanging out with friends is a burden to them? Does that mean being with my family, all I am is a burden?

I can’t think of my life like that. I cherish each interaction that I have with those that I love which includes family and friends.

I think he was just trying to get me to see that we all burden each other in one way or another and no matter if I move home, move in with a cousin or a grandparent, just my presence will be a burden let alone my rent free existence.

Even though I can see his method I still find it harsh.

Anyway I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this dream both my sister and my mother come to my rescue without grudge, without upset and do so because they love me.

So will someone let me live with them rent free, with the knowledge that I will be burden because they love me?

Will love be the overriding factor? …….

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