I feel that – like most of my posts – this one will be long, rambling and jump from topic to topic.
Life changed in an instant, it really did.
We were weeks from hitting rock bottom. Then I got a job.
Disease, disability, chronic illness – whatever you want to call it – WILL swoop in and fuck up even what feels like the most secure of a life. A year ago we were “free as a bird” with tens of thousands in savings, heading off on adventures, safe in the knowledge that we could sustain ourselves (in our own simple life) for a year or two if need be. And after that we would do what we’ve always done – live well again and save up, while we both worked.
Then our car engine (and several other expensive parts) died in a remote place costing us $20,000+ to fix. Then we were both out of work for 2+ months, then other things kept going wrong. Then we moved into a house – in a town with expensive rent and Brent and I couldn’t seem to sustain employment AT THE SAME TIME so we were constantly on one wage – with either one of us not working. Then I had a secure job so Brent took a low paying “entry level” job in a career change – a move that WILL pay off in 3-5 years, but right now… well right now it was not ideal.
Immediately after that I got extremely sick in a 6 month flare up and had to stop working. Through expensive rent, massive living costs in this town, $200+ at each specialist appointment, and just simply not being on a wage large enough to even cover our weekly expenses before all the extra costs… well things got out of hand fast.
We have been surviving but we are so close to rock bottom.
i knew all along that all it would take to turn everything around would be for me to get a job. I just found it almost impossible to get one – because I needed to change from hospitality to a desk job, without any experience. I’ve applied for over 100 (probably closer to 200) jobs the past five months, without ANY luck.
Last week I became completely and utterly desperate – so I hit a local Facebook group, with over 50,000 members. I wrote a post about how desperate I am to work, how hard I have been trying to get a job (Including walking in to EVERY shop in town to hand out my resume, applying to EVERY job that appears online, applying constantly through my disability employment services agency etc.) I explained my predicament at being limited and thus needing to change careers – which would require someone taking a chance on me. I asked for people to share any vacancies, ideas of equal opportunity employers etc. that they knew about.
By some complete fluke of chance, a lady with a similar condition to mine, who works in a high level government job, read my post and wanted to help. They had a vacant position available in their office, that they hadn’t yet advertised – and she invited me in for an interview. She said she worked in an office “full of women with various A.I diseases, and that it was a very inclusive, understanding environment. I could not believe it.
I was so nervous the day before the interview that I actually had panic attacks and decided I wouldn’t go. The way I felt, defied all logic, but I couldn’t escape it. My husband convinced me to go, but he actually had to take the morning off work and drive me because we were both sure I would back out. There was so much hope riding on this and the pressure was enormous, it was crushing.
The position happens to be in the more flash building, a sky scraper, I felt out of my depth even standing in the lobby. But the ladies doing the interview put me completely at ease. They were amazing and compassionate and warm and made me feel like a “real person” again. I felt included and worthy and like I have got what I needed – a chance.
I NEVER ever think positive about things like that – decisions that are out of my control. I always think the worst “there is NO WAY I will get the job”. But after the interview I felt happy, a part of me was sure I got it. It would’ve been crushing if I didn’t, because I was so sure – which is SO UNLIKE me.
I got the call, I got the job, and I was asked to start the very next week – this coming Monday.
I have been shell shocked ever since. Our entire life will change from this one small thing. I can feel it, I know it. We will get back on top financially, and hopefully I will also find that I CAN work for many more years, at a desk. This is also my “foot in the door” to a government job, and will hopefully be the start of a long career there.
I still cannot believe this has happened for me. I feel proud of myself that I put myself out there in all my glorious vulnerability and I got an opportunity beyond my wildest dreams. I am also eternally grateful to the lady who read my post and decided I was worth the chance.