Before we move to Spain and I post glamorous pics of vacation and myself eating churros and sippin‘ Cava – let’s get really real for a minuto. 2017 was really shitty for me. If I’m going to post real advice and real travel inspiration, I would like to get this out in the world for someone that may need it.
I was a teacher for 10 years. I LOVED teaching. It was my calling. I needed a change/challenge so I moved from a non-conventional school to a traditional school. I hungered for more so I taught a new curriculum. That was awesome but I wanted more so I got my leadership licensure to become a school administrator. With a young family, I knew that path was too demanding so I decided to abort. I was burned out of teaching. I felt stuck.
Teachers work SO hard and have SO many skills. We are salespeople to the hardest buyers, we are negotiators with parents, masters of preparation, time manager extraordinaires, and public speaking magicians. Teachers are the sh*t. Good teachers are straight from heaven’s gates. However: We is tired, we is broke, we is burned out. Also, our skill set doesn’t translate to the corporate world. This was my 2017 realization.
I wanted to try anything that wasn’t teaching so that I could get experience under my belt and make a transition into something else down the road. I didn’t want to be picky because I knew that this would be my gateway drug to the good stuff later. I’ll won’t bore you with the details but I’ll just give you the rejection score card real quick:
1. Administrative Assistant – REJECTED. Over-qualified?!! WTAF. I just wanted to sit there and not have 1,006 kids up my ass while I developed a bladder infection for holding my pee. I wanted something mindless and heartless so that I could focus on my own kids and not everyone else’s. After 2 long and seemingly hopeful interviews, boom. Rejection #1 – I cried in the school parking lot.
2. Grant Writer – I love to write! Yes! This was a total hook-up from a revered colleague and I was lucky enough to be one of the 2 finalists. This was a new path that was challenging but do-able. I BLEW it because of my indiscretion and lack of attention to detail. This was keep-me-up-at-night gut wrenching pain.
3. Kinesthetic Educational Development – I always believed in movement in the classroom and exciting and engaging lessons. This company had me geeking out. I just kept thinking “this is SO me!!” A friend hooked me up by passing my resume along. I didn’t even get an interview. I stalked them for over a month and my rejection came in the form of a slow IV drip.
I applied for non-profit jobs that looked meaningful, corporate jobs that looked dumb, part-time jobs that would require major family budgeting, and a whole slew of other jobs I can’t ever remember. I put a lot of hours into starting a consulting business that still might be a fun endeavor at some point. Each time – new resume, new cover letter, new hope. All to be dashed. Glassdoor.com was my BFF, LinkedIn was always an open browser tab, yet all of my escape plans were vetoed.
Now, before I cue Garth Brooks “Unanswered Prayers”, let it be known that the real MVP in all of this is: my sweet Paul. He supported me through it all and reminded me of the patience I needed to make the next chapter a reality. There were mornings I’d wake him up at 3am because I couldn’t sleep – crying and lost. I’ve always known I needed him to be happy, but I think I discovered through all of this that I need him to breathe. I love you sweets.
Insert the good stuff: THANK YOU GOD for all of that rejection. I had no idea at the time that all of those “no”s and even a loud and painful “hell no” were actually the best things that happened to me all year. None of those jobs were for me. None of those jobs would have been fulfilling. I wouldn’t be moving to Spain to live out our dreams, I’d be formulating another exit strategy. I am so very grateful for all of that heartache. I grew, shed a LOT of bullshit (more than I realized I was carrying around), and my mistakes/rejections were incredible teachers.
So remember that when I post a pic and you’re like…”Must be nice”. It wasn’t without a backstory. The road was paved with rejection. Thank God for rejection. I hope yours comes privately and gently but I doubt it will. Likely it will feel like boulders on your chest but just remember to stay patient. Life changes quickly. “Rejection time” is warped – it always feels much longer than it actually is. Just wait it out and know that eventually you’ll reach the top of the hill, take your feet off the pedals, and coast down the other side. You just can’t see the top of the hill sometimes – so keep pedaling. Likely you’ll have to painstakingly walk your bike up the hill at many points in your rejection journey…just don’t stop.
In 12 months, my life went from the aforementioned shit storm to: I learned how to become a digital marketer, social media strategist, build websites, run social ads, start a blog, apply for 4 Spanish visas, get rejected then do it again, teach at Vanderbilt, sell my house, travel to Europe twice, Denver, Austin, Chicago, Michigan, and move to Spain. Most importantly, I was the best mom in 2017 than I have been since my kids were born. They got my good energy – that alone was worth the heartache.
The darkness will only last so long. Eventually it will give way to light. Stay patient…stay positive…keep the faith…and keep a tight circle.
Rejection is the baddest b*tch and so are you.
Thanks for reading and please share to anyone that needs to be reminded of the little gifts that come as “no”s.
P.S. In a fun turn of events: 1 of the 3 rejections turned into two great friendships that I cherish. Another of the rejections (unbeknownst to them) turned out to be a lucrative client and was my first “solo project” which I nailed. Fuggin’ BOOM! LIFE!