Even though it’s only the first week of October, I can’t help but feel like 2020 will be here in the blink of an eye. The last 3 months of the year always seem to fly by more quickly than the previous year, and I feel like I’m already starting to dream and plan for all the things I want to accomplish in the new year. I signed up for the #last90days challenge that Rachel Hollis is doing with her community and I’ve been loving every minute of it! This challenge is basically all about living out the last 3 months of the year with purpose and intention, so that you can finish the year strong and start the new year even stronger. You can learn more and join in on the fun here, but there’s one aspect of this challenge that I’m especially enjoying: gratitude. Each morning I start my day off with gratitude by writing down 5 things I’m thankful for and speaking life into 10 dreams I have for my life. The key difference in writing down your dreams (as Rachel puts it) is to write them in the present tense, as if they’ve already occurred. This is a practice I did more consistently last year that I truly saw results with, and I wanted to dive deeper into that season of my life and how this practice had such a profound impact on me.
Around this time last year, I felt like a completely different person. I wasn’t myself at all and for the first time in my life I was battling with feelings of hopelessness. I had recently gotten promoted at my previous company and was initially very excited about the new opportunity. It would be the stepping stone I needed to continue to propel my 6 year career forward even further. That excitement quickly faded within just a few weeks of taking on that new position and was replaced with feelings of anxiety, distress, and panic anytime I was at work or thought about work. It was the most toxic work environment I had ever found myself in, and I didn’t know how to escape it. I had about a 45-50 minute commute each way, so all of that time I spent in the car each morning I would start to get anxiety thinking about the events that would occur that day. I stood outside the door and took a deep breath before I entered the building because every time I was in there I felt like I was suffocating and couldn’t breathe. During my lunch breaks I would go to my car, sometimes drive to a parking spot further away from the building just so I didn’t have to be near it, and cry while I ate my lunch. My car was my sacred space where I could try and escape my current reality, even if just for one hour. I would work late most days, and on my days off my boss would sometimes text or call me, which didn’t help me feel like I had a life outside of work. On top of that, Freddy and I maybe had 2 days off together in a given month, and I so desperately wanted to spend more time with him. To some it may sound like I’m being a bit dramatic. I’m sure we’ve all had jobs that we’ve disliked before, and maybe you’re in a situation like that right now. Sure, I’ve definitely had bosses that I haven’t gotten along with or jobs I didn’t enjoy doing and powered through it, but without going into the nitty, gritty details, this experience felt like the perfect storm. When people would ask me how work was going, I would fake a smile and say it was going well, but only my family and closest friends knew how I truly felt.
I knew that something had to change. I knew I could not continue on the path I was on without severely sacrificing my overall health and well-being. It was last October that I began to write down this heartfelt prayer/dream on a piece of paper every single day: “I will have a new, Monday-Friday job that I love by Thanksgiving.” For a girl who had been working in retail for 8 years, this was a BIG dream. I clung to that prayer every day, pleading with God that He would help make it a reality. Each day it felt like the waves were getting bigger and bigger, the water rising higher and higher, but I trusted that God was in the boat with me and would bring me out of the storm somehow. Throughout that season of uncertainty I scoured the internet looking for jobs, until I found one that seemed perfect. I had such a great feeling about it and could envision myself working there. The interview process went extremely well, and then the unexplainable happened: I was notified the day before Thanksgiving that I got the job!! I couldn’t even believe it. This prayer and dream that I wrote down every single day for almost 2 months was answered one day before the “deadline” I had given myself.
This news was honestly life-changing and I felt like a huge weight had been lifted! It meant that I could have weekends and holidays off to spend more time with Freddy and my family. Last year was the first time ever that I spent Freddy’s birthday with him (it’s on Christmas Eve so naturally being in retail I ALWAYS had to work) and it was seriously the BEST! I’ve been so much more joyful this past year since having this new job, and as I reflect on how much my life has changed in the past year and how much happier I am, I’m filled with gratitude. That’s why I love taking those 5 minutes each morning to write down what I’m thankful for and the dreams I have for my life. I’m reminded of this incredible answer to prayer and how much more I’m enjoying life because of this new job that I have! I also believe that by writing down my dreams I can keep my priorities in check and stay focused on the steps I need to take to help me accomplish them. Now I want to clarify: I don’t think I got the job just because I “willed it into existence” by writing it down. God totally answered my prayer and I am so humbled by that. But I do think that by writing it down each day, I was able to stay focused on this goal and remind myself the “why” behind wanting it so badly. It reminded me of what I valued in life and how I wanted to live out my days: by spending more time with the people I love.
No matter what season of life you’re in right now, I hope you’ll be encouraged by this post. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to open up about that experience I went through, but then I thought, that’s not the point of this community! Even if my story helps just one person then I absolutely want to share and be here to support you in whatever you’re going through. And if you’re praying or hoping for something in your life, don’t give up hope, no matter how bleak it may seem. The rainbow is just on the other side of those clouds.