“Mom, I have some great news.”
“Yeah.” I sat down holding the phone to my ear ready to receive great news.
“Emily got her first job.”
First application, first interview and just like that first job at the tender age of 15. From the looks of it failure isn’t part of Emily’s life lesson as it is with me. Her lesson may be something else altogether and whatever it is I am sure that it will be a challenge for her. Something that feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a backpack full of bowling balls.
My job history is littered with failure. After my first husband and I separated and two years after the twins were born at age 24, I realized that I needed to be both mother and father to my three sons. So, I set out to look for work.
This was my first experience looking for my own work. I filled out applications, went on interviews and was turned down time and time again. I didn’t let it stop me, I forged on. At last I applied for a job at a nightclub as a cocktail waitress and this job, after all my searching for office work, retail sales, waitress positions, this job, a cocktail waitress in an up and coming night club, this job I get. Why did I get this particular job? Because I modeled for the hiring manager in the skimpy uniform and he liked the way I looked.
At the time, I thought this was a success. I found work. I was bringing home a paycheck. But it wasn’t successful in terms of what I pictured when I made my decision to be nurturer and provider to my kids. Not a single job I got since, and they were many, has been the start of my dream of provider. For one reason or another I left the jobs. Even jobs I liked, ones where, it looked like I could go somewhere.
This one job I had working for the Medical College of Wisconsin in the animal resource department was the most depressing job for an animal lover. This was the department where they experimented on animals. I could hear the dogs barking continuously in the back from my desk. A job I had as a unit clerk at a hospital was a wonderful job. I handled it well, the head nurse complimented me but the stress of getting on a bus to travel across town while I left, at the time, four kids, to fend for themselves became insurmountable. I would get calls all day long to deal with squabbles and daily issues.
For whatever reason, all my jobs ended up in failure. All my efforts to change my life circumstances lead me to dead ends. In other words, failure upon failure upon failure. Or to put it in terms of my life lesson. Practice, practice, practice. I was practicing to overcome failure. I was persevering.
And that is the reframing I made about my work history through my understanding of the LifePrints and soul psychology, that I needed to go through all of that failure to understand that I needed to practice in failure to learn perseverance. I almost want to say that I went through all of that failure to feel like I can’t do it just so I can learn I can do it.
I can climb the mountain, not Mt. Kilimanjaro but more like Mt. Everest. The highest of them all, the mountain where I express what is in my heart in my own unique way, creative expression with innovation. The mountain where while the climb is steep, the journey is beautiful, invigorating and enjoyable because instead of bowling balls I have all the necessary supplies for such a climb: perseverance, willingness to treat myself kindly, looking for the silver lining, being patient and committing myself to whatever creative endeavor I am doing.
To sum it up, life lesson = practice. Looking at it that way can lighten the load yet bring a truck load of meaning to the experiences.