I’ve had my fair share of disappointment in my lifetime. Lost jobs. Crappy relationships. Missed Opportunities.
I graduated high school in 2005. Two kids and one husband later, I’m still working on my bachelor’s degree and trying to figure out what I ultimately want to do with my life.
This week I noticed multiple people lamenting about where they are in life and feeling behind. I must admit I’m guilty of these feelings, too. I often catch myself looking at Instagram feeds and Facebook updates from people who seem to have it more “together” than I do.
I feel like comparison is one of the biggest downsides to social media. And although I try my hardest to stop this bad habit, I still find myself envying career or academic announcements, home purchases or life events.
But what does help me when I find myself feeling this way is remembering that everything that has happened to me has led me to where I am now. And that every setback has prepared me for something greater.
One of my most life changing setbacks occurred in 2013.
I spent nearly four years working at a financial institution in a job that I hated. I spent everyday dreading getting up for work in the morning. I was stressed out while I was there. And I complained when I got home.
I decided to apply for a job at a different financial institution. You know, because the grass is greener and all that stuff. I interviewed for that job and I didn’t get it. I stayed at the job I disliked for about another year.
And on July 2, 2013…I got fired.
It was the first and only time (so far) that I have ever been fired and although I didn’t want to be there…getting fired sucks. But who knows how long I would have stayed there and accepted being frustrated, stressed and complacent.
Being pushed out was exactly what I needed.
Being fired allowed me to go back to school and finish the associate degree I had to put on hold when I became a mother. Being fired allowed me to take an internship in the field I got my degree in. And that internship turned into my first professional journalism job.
Being fired allowed me to be happier. It allowed me to smile more. It allowed me to wake up and actually look forward to what I was going to do that day. I had become so used to the negativity I felt everyday that I didn’t even realize the toll it was taking on my mind and body until I wasn’t feeling it anymore.
Even though I couldn’t see it in the moment that I was turning in my work keys and badge, being fired was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
And I’ve seen this in so many other areas of my life. Every friendship I’ve lost has allowed me to make room for more quality people. Every relationship that turned sour taught me a lesson and led me to my husband.
Life is full of setbacks. That’s just how it works. Each of these moments felt like they would break me when I was in the midst of them. But I’ve learned that each of them had a purpose and the only way to see that purpose was to work hard to come back from them.
I no longer see these events as setbacks…I see them as challenges. Challenges to do better. To be better. And to go after what’s meant for me.
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