"I'm sorry, Miss. You're overqualified. You should try the Sunday paper." the record store owner apologized as he snatched the Help Wanted sign out of my hands. Did he not notice the black smudges of newspaper ink that covered them from circling countless classifieds? "Have you tried Monster, CareerBuilder, Craigslist?" he continued. Apparently I was invisible; otherwise he would have seen that my once brown eyes were now a vibrant shade of red from straining to read the endless job postings online. I thanked him for his time and made my way back out to the sidewalk where I looked to the sky, flashed my pearly whites and laughed, "I guess that wasn't it either? No matter. I trust you."
Having been unemployed for nearly two years now, it's hard to believe that I've managed to stay afloat this entire time. I assure you, it hasn't been easy. There have been days filled with total frustration, confusion and I've hosted numerous pity parties. Yet, when I think back on this time and all the struggles, sacrifices and loss, I wouldn't change a single thing. Two years ago I was living a lie, in every sense of the word. I worked for a reputable company and made a very decent income. I was living beyond paycheck to paycheck and my daughters and I were finally at a place where we could afford not only our needs but our wants. I should have been blissfully happy, but I was miserable.
I barely slept and when I did sleep, I would constantly toss and turn. The thought alone of going into the office filled my exhausted body with anxiety and depression. And when I would sit in my office, I found myself constantly asking, "What am I doing here?" Although the answers and signs were all around me, I refused to listen or see them. Instead, I dismissed the off feeling and continued to work. Never mind the aches and pains; it couldn't be my body trying to tell me something. Forget about feeling overworked and underappreciated. I could handle it. I was fine. But I was wrong. Enter, Divine Intervention.
During a meeting, in front of other employees, my boss ridiculed me. He lashed out at me and made me feel as though I were two inches tall. I remember leaving that meeting feeling as if I was a stranger to myself. I didn't recognize myself and I couldn't understand how I had allowed this to happen. I knew right then and there that I had to leave. Without hesitation, I wrote a resignation letter and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I remember walking out of the office that day feeling freer than I ever had before. My soul was singing and I couldn't stop smiling.
Since that time, the road to employment has been a long and windy one. My resume has floated through cyberspace, been handed to strangers and left at employment agencies from here to the border. If I’m remotely qualified, I’m applying. Still, day after day, week after week, month after month, I am no closer to employment than I was when I left. Yet, I couldn't be happier.
This time has allowed me the opportunity to meet myself and really get to know myself. What I like, what I dislike, what's important to me, what I can live without, what I am capable of achieving and most importantly realizing that my connection to God, the Universe and my Inner Self is only lost when I choose to ignore the bigger picture. I can honestly say that after all this soul searching and self-realization that I dig me! When I look in the mirror, I not only see my reflection, but my light. It is warm, bright, comforting and constant. Every day I feel more radiant and connected. I know who I AM and why I am here.
As for the employment situation, I have nothing to fear. God has provided for my daughters and I over the course of this time. I have no doubt that He will continue to provide for our needs every step of the way. I trust in Him completely and love Him unconditionally for allowing me this time to heal and learn. I needed this. The right job, one that makes me happy and allows me to be nothing less than myself, will appear when it's time. Until then, I am already happily pursuing my life's work, ME. It's a position I've trained my entire life for. One that fills me with endless joy and excitement. One that allows me to partake in adventures, write about my experiences, connect with humanity and serve God.
I used to see Help Wanted signs in windows and only see an employment opportunity. Yet, as I look around at the people who have filled my days with support and encouragement, laughter and conversation, advice and gifts, I realize that it is only because they saw my Help Wanted sign. The same sign that hangs in my window. The window of my soul.
We are all here to help one another. To be of service to one another. To love one another. I proudly display my Help Wanted sign and happily accept everything that comes my way. Trusting that God, the Universe and my Inner Self will continue to send applicants my way who will enrich my life with their knowledge and presence. There is a lesson for me to learn in every one of them. I take this time to thank them all for not only seeing my sign, but for allowing me to employ them. They have a very important position in my life and one that will never be taken for granted.
I may have been overqualified for the record store, but when the time comes for the people in my life to display their Help Wanted signs, they can be certain that I will be standing in line, happily applying for that position.