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Monday, May 2, 2016

Dealing with Discouragement

I was trying to post more regularly, but then I clearly fell of the bandwagon again. That's largely because neither this blog nor my costumes and other crafts are how I make a living, so it can't take top priority. I sure wish it could. And now I'm going off topic.

See my life has really not gone according to plan. And not just recently. I grew up wanting to be a writer, but this and my journal are the only things I write. I sold one poem once, but that's it. Sewing and crafting will most likely always be a hobby, not a career. My dental assisting career, (which I admittedly only started because I needed something stable, but then I really enjoyed it) went downhill. I found a job that was pretty secure and I LOVED my team, but the office had problems, and the majority of us ended up leaving that office.

Before finding that job, I had worked for about a year at a fast food restaurant--not glamorous, but I liked the people there too, and it paid the bills while I was struggling to find a dental assisting job. I continued to work there part-time and then intermittently while I worked at the dentist's office, so when I decided I had to leave the dentist, I just went back to the restaurant. But that didn't work out either. My husband and I were both working there, and we got very sick, then lost our jobs for missing too much work.

It's very difficult to not feel crappy about yourself when you get fired from a fast food restaurant. Getting fired from any job is a blow to the ego, but it's worse when it's a job you didn't feel great about in the first place. And I'm in my thirties. I'm in my thirties, and I just got fired from a fast food job. I know comparison is bad and unhelpful, but I think we all do it sometimes, and I sure have been lately. Friends from high school are doctors now. A friend who is younger than me owns his own dental practice, and two of the sweet, wonderful hygienists I loved working with so much were several years younger than I.

If we look at other things, I have to face the fact that I have mostly given up my writing when I see friends and family getting published, actively pursuing publication, or at least very actively honing their craft. Other friends are significantly more historically accurate with their costuming than I am. You've seen it. Even if you wouldn't know on your own, I've admitted the liberties I take. Oh, and I feel rather plain.

So yeah. I feel like a big failure. And now I'm putting it out there for the world (or the few of you who read my blog), and that's really embarrassing. But I feel like it's something I need to do. Maybe this will help me work through it. Maybe it will help someone else know they're not alone. I'm definitely not seeking pity or even reassurance. I have a bad case of imposter syndrome, so while it does help when people tell me they like me or think I'm good at something, there's a part of me that I can't get to shut up that thinks they're just being nice.

One way I cope is remembering all the good I have in my life. I have a husband who, for some reason, completely adores me. And he's a catch. We love so many of the same things like the costuming I normally write about. We love archery, camping, hiking, canoeing, many things. And he has so much patience with my insecurities or when I suddenly become less adventurous and don't want to try something. I also have family, both mine and my husband's, who love me. So many friends have been trying to help me and Jon find new jobs or paying us to do odd jobs for them while we look for more steady work. And I have a pretty seriously adorable dog.

I've also been trying to exercise more since I clearly have time. Part of that is walking with my sweet husband and adorable dog on the greenway trails that run just behind my apartment complex and wind through my city. Both the exercise itself and the time outdoors help lift my spirits. It helps that I live in an especially beautiful city and it's springtime. You have no idea how obsessed I am with flowers.

Sometimes I feel fine. Other times, I feel like life is crushing me. It's a process, learning to keep the discouragement at bay and focus on moving forward. Maybe someday I'll master it. For now, I will take each day as it comes, leaning on the Lord through it all. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe He loves me whether or not I'm an enormous failure. He is with me on my good days and my bad days, and He will stay with me through whatever else life holds. That is what really keeps me hanging on.

P.S. I wrote this a few weeks ago, but didn't post it immediately because I wasn't sure if I should. Since writing it, I have found a new job as a nanny, but my husband is still looking for a job. I love my job, and I love the sweet baby I care for and her parents...and their dog, but none of that has erased my struggle.

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