Now this is the hard part and the piece that I struggle the most with. Patience is not my strong point; especially when I’m trying to find my way forward and it feels like the universe is conspiring against me.
Case in point: 3 weeks ago I had a TIA or a “mini-stroke”. I’m hella lucky to be here and recovering and doing as well as I am, however, these last 3 weeks have tested me in ways I could never even imagine.
On the evening of February 13, I was wrapping up an evening shift at my brand new-to-me job (only 37 days in) at an inpatient crisis stabilization program for folks with mental illness and substance use disorders. This was a HUGE career change for me as I had been working for the past 20 years in the geriatric field of social work.
To say that I was absolutely LOVING my new job and my new role would be an understatement. (Insert hearts and butterflies. I’m so serious.) These were MY people, y’all. I felt like I belonged there and had some serious hope to share after lots of twists and turns in my own life.
I felt like I had found my calling and felt like I was doing some good in the world; even in a very small way —- and I was learning SO MUCH.
But: my health and the universe had other ideas.
I’m 41 years old and aside from a several years long battle with systemic lupus, I’m generally a healthy (ish) person. To clarify, I certainly never in a million years expected to be in an ambulance and unable to speak and having issues with left sided weakness at this point in my life. I also wasn’t expecting to be in the ER unable to make my wishes known and having my family asked about my advanced directives.
So, to find out shortly thereafter that my driving privileges were temporarily in question due to my loss of consciousness was another ugly surprise that I was not at all prepared for. My (brand new) employer wasn’t prepared for that particular plot twist either and it was decided that I couldn’t “effectively meet the duties required of my position” because driving is an essential function in my role.
At first, I was accepting of this. I kinda had to be. I couldn’t argue the point very well —- quite literally, because my speech was still somewhat slurred and delayed and I really needed to focus on getting well again before attempting to go back out and into the world. I also had to focus on being well and safe for my other full time job: being a mom for my kids.
Now, I am a little past the 3-weeks point of my recovery and I’m doing so well and I’m so happy and so lucky and I’m excited about what’s next.
Wait for it.
I don’t know what’s next.
I don’t have that brand new-to-me job anymore because I didn’t know when or even IF I’d be better. And if I were better, we didn’t really know what “better” would look like now for me and if it meant I could REALLY go back to being me and doing what I want to do.
And that my friends, is hella scary.
And that’s what brings me to the part about trusting my journey. That’s what’s hard for me right now. That’s what causes me to lose sleep at night and wonder what the next day has in store for me.
Regardless of what I may or may not do moving forward, personally and professionally, what matters to me in this life is the difference that I can make in the world one person at a time.
And to do that, I have to trust my journey.
And so do you.
I know it’s hard but we have to.