Friday, 26 October 2012

The One Where I Get The Job !

The X Factor (Australia)
The X Factor (Australia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So this is the post that I've dreamed about writing - the one where I get the job. 

Hooray !

Finally, I've found an employer who believes this little diva's got the X Factor !

No more freelance short-term gigs. It's a real jlife permanent job, with a great company doing what I'm good at and with the opportunity to learn so much more.

When I got the call it was like finally living the dream I've dreamt about for the last 14 months. Yes you did hear me right it's taken 14 months of 'Maybe's' that turned into No's. Way too many "We'll keep you on file" moments and let's not forget the flat out 'No's' for me to land a permanent job.

During that time I've hit lows I've never imagined or thought it was possible could happen to me. After all this type of thing only ever happens to somebody else right? I was so wrong !

Some days I couldn't face sitting there glued to my laptop. Tapping away on my keyboard, sending out yet more applications. Nervousily checking my mobile to see whether I'd even made it past the first stage agency automated responses; you know the ones, that tell you they aren't progressing your application !

In the midst of my despair I've learnt many valuable life lessons.

First up and probably the hardest lesson for me, was I am not and in reality have never been defined or ruled by work, I just thought I was. I am a self proclaimed workaholic. I give my work 120% at all times, but I have never ever managed to get the right balance between work and home.

It took my work being taken away from me, for me to realise this. I'm defined by my family, friends and my actions.  Without work I may feel rootless and frustrated, but I can just about function,. Take away my emotional support and I truly am a diva without hope.

Next there's nothing wrong with walking away from toxic people and bad situations. Why play the martyr when you don't have to?

Trouble always finds trouble and so I have crossed paths with several really unpleasant individuals who in full knowledge of my circumstances exhibited disloyalty, deception and malice on levels that blind-sided me.

The minute I put my foot down, started standing up for myself and physically cutting them out of my life, I stumbled across new friends. Some were initially complete strangers who have offered me kind words, wisdom and support, while other so-called friends just faded away, the longer my troubles rumbled on for.

My Mum always says you never get handed more than you can deal with. I never understood exactly what she meant until now. I am one tough cookie. I've never claimed a dime from the government during the times I wasn't working and I've worked my tail off to make sure I held onto BB Towers.

Finally and this is probably the most important, I've learnt the true value of gratitude and humility. Before my job search, I'd been spoilt, by living a charmed work life (except for the time I worked for HWMBO of course!) .

I've worked since I was 15 and literally whenever I've wanted to change jobs, I've always just walked into the next one. Because of this I'd never fully appreciated how lucky I was and wasn't as grateful as I should have been.

I am truly, truly thankful that my search is over. I'm looking forward to being a permanent part of a team again, but I'm also looking forward to not stressing anymore about where my next gig is coming from and how I was going to put food on the table and a roof over my head.

I just want to live happily, honouring and spending time with those I love and living every day with joy, grace and gratitude.

Dreams really do come true!
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Monday, 8 October 2012

One Day At A Time

Now the news has sunk in about Mum, I'm tryng to deal with it one day at a time. I've done my crying and now I'm focused on what's to come - chemo before, during and after; and then hopefully remission.

I feel incredibly guilty about the situation because I've always been a Daddy's girl and part of me feels like I haven't been as close to my Mum as I should have been. It was kind of fated, as my Dad raised me as a single parent, after my Mum left.

While I grew up, he sacrificed a potentially high flying career to raise me, hopefully the right way. He wasn't a soft touch - far from it, in fact I spent half my childhood wondering why following his rules, seemed to mean that fun was in short supply.

It was only much later that I realised those rules and boundaries had kept me on the straight and narrow and out of harms way.  

I've realised over the years, that I've acquired his stubborn streak, random sentimentality often over the smallest things and a tendency to bury my feelings, particularly when I'm hurt - which is why writing is so important to me.  When I can't say it out loud, I just write it all down.

Pop's always been the constant and strongest male figure in my life, so when he had his own brush with cancer, which thankfully he recovered from, I held it together to support him, but then crumbled after he got through it.

I've always been able to handle everyone else's hard stuff like a pro, but my own crap frequently leaves me clueless !

I've decided that the only way to get through this is learning all about it.  I need to understand the type of cancer we're dealing with so I can help Mum fight it.  Hopefully that knowledge, plus her positivity and determination to beat it, will be all we need.

Despite everything that's going on, life continues to surprise me and just one day after Mum's diagnosis, my nephew called me to say he was going to propose to his girlfriend.

My sister was suitably hysterical about the prospect of 'her baby' doing something so grown up and I probably would have felt that same normally, but for his response when I asked him why she was 'The One'.

"She knows me inside out. She's always got my back. She pushes me to be better than I should be and I love her for it".

That sincerity and unconditional belief in the power of love, was just what I needed to hear at that moment, and I was so thankful for it.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hard Stuff !

So let me start with the hard stuff and there's no easy way to say it.

My Mum has cancer. I hate having to write it, say it or even think about it, but it is, what it is.

It sounds so brutal when you see it in black and white.  Brutal is exactly what it is. It's a disease that's invaded my family and so far killed my Grandad, danced around my sister and Pop in the past few years and has now taken up residence in the body of my Mum

She starts chemo in 3 short weeks and has so far amazed me, by her strength of mind, determination to down play it and has even joked that losing her hair will give her the opportunity to discover the joy of wigs!I'm heartbroken and I'm so unbelievably angry. 

I'm angry that this disease is a silent guest that's joined our family. Sitting at our table when we eat. Perched on the sofa while we talk,all the while, wating and watching us before striking like some venomous viper when we least expect it. Mum's never smoked, never drunk, in fact she could be a Gap poster girl for living a clean and wholesome life.

All I keep thinking is why her? Anybody else, but why her? I hate the fact that she's a plane ride away. That I won't be there for all of her chemo because while this never ending circle of B&B gigs continue, I simply can't afford not to work.

No lesson about money would ever have given me the clarity I have right now about the reality of what it can do for you. It offers you the freedom to make choices, but it can't buy you your health.