I know I haven’t been here in a while. I decided I could really only concentrate on one blog at a time. But occasionally, I’ll still need to spill my guts about things that might be too personal to share on a more professional blog. I talked a little bit about my new job in a post called Be Awesome: Make a Comeback. I hope you check it out and enjoy it.
But I needed to say more.
When I think about where my life was five years ago, compared to how things are now, especially compared to how they will hopefully be starting on Wednesday when I begin my new job, it’s hard to believe I am even the same person.
The past few months have been really stressful with our financial situation and the drama with the wedding. And I’ve struggled with bouts of depression about my professional life since moving to Hawaii and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. It hasn’t been easy. But when I remember five years ago, well, this was only a small hill to climb.
In the summer of 2008, I was single and bitter and lost. My mother was dying. Cancer was eating her brain, and in a way I’d already lost her. She was still with us, but she wasn’t the same. I can’t imagine how frightening that must have been for her. I was also jobless. Maybe I should have taken that opportunity to get out of teaching, but I guess it just wasn’t time. The situation was bad, and I wasn’t handling it well.
I think I managed to make some people think I was doing fine. I forced myself to get up and put on clothes and act like a human most days. Other days, I hid. I cried, and I pulled at my hair. I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. I somehow stayed hopeful, ultimately, but I’m not entirely sure how I made it out alive.
I remember Emily used to try to do things to make me laugh. She has always been so sensitive.
The past five years have taken me down a crazy path. It led me to a man who I believe will always look after me. That has made all the difference. Still, I think there might have been some small bit that I can take credit for. Even for all the days back then when I didn’t leave my bedroom, there were a lot more days when I did, but I never wanted to. That has to count for something.
My name, Renee, means born again. I have transformed more times than I can count, and each time has been excruciating. But this incarnation feels the most beautiful. I have learned to become a wife and a mother in a new way. I have learned to reach for things that make me happy, and to accept that I deserve them. And I have found a way to serve my community in a job that I hope will bring me pride and satisfaction.
This job will mean so much for us financially. To have the stability of a steady paycheck, bigger than I’ve ever received, which, as a former teacher isn’t saying much, is such a relief. I’ll have health insurance again, and if you’ve ever been without it, you know what a relief that can be. It gives us a bit of peace.
But to have a job title that I’m not embarrassed about is the biggest relief of all. Look out, world. I’m about to become the queen of nonprofit development. I may not be able to save the whole world, but I think I’ve saved myself. That seems like a tremendous place to start.