Dream Big, Dig Deep: A 6 Month Journey To Redemption

Time is a funny old thing. A lot can happen in 6 months, and at the same time, nothing at all can happen in 6 months.


6 Months ago, I quit my job for a variety of reasons. The salary just wasn’t enough, the people were beginning to drive me crazy, I wanted to focus more on my writing, and perhaps most importantly, I felt there was something “better“ out there for me.

This drew the ire of a lot of people. I heard a lot of similar questions/statements.
– Have you got something else?
– Don’t quit till you have another job waiting!
– What about your mother, how are you going to take care of her?
– Stick it out, it’s not easy to find a job?
– How can you make money out of writing?
– Etc. etc. etc

I did have good enough answers for any of these. All I knew as I needed change.

The money I got paid out should have been enough for 6months max, that gave me enough time take a break, refocus and then move on.

Unfortunately I didn’t get paid out what I thought I would, so the pressure was immediately on, and the stress was taking its toll.

After all, I had real world problems to deal with, I had a mother, her house, groceries and monthly expenses to take care of.

The first thing to suffer was my writing. However, I realized I will never have the luxury of solely being able to do what I love. I don’t live my life for just me. That’s the sad truth. If I did, I would have been writing a long time ago. In order for me to write, I need to be where I am motivated, and that’s not here. Not in this house, not in this country. That was a situation I couldn’t change.

My mom by nature is a very negative person, and sees no bright side to any situation. The world she lives in is doom and gloom, and there is no chance of anyone making it in the world. She has a skewed idea of what reality is. This is just one of the ways we are completely opposite. I have such big dreams and ambitions which she believes will be my downfall.

This is hard for a child, no matter what age, to deal with. As the support of a parent is ultimately the only support you ever want. So this whole journey for me was very much a path I’ve walked alone.

As I began job hunting (which went as far back as September), I thought to myself, “Wow, there are tons of jobs out there”- and there were! What I didn’t count on was people just not coming back to me.

I applied for no less than 63 jobs in the last six months. I had 5 people come back to me for an interview. Those are shocking stats. And even worse odds. This was a real reality check, because I have a pretty awesome CV, but the nature of the beast is that people just don’t respond.

A lot of people did the clichéd “send me you CV I’ll forward it on and see what I can do”, this, whilst meant in kind and caring way, was the most fruitless of all things; because it was just the thing people say to seem supportive. I’ve also said that to people in the past, so I know how it works.

I had people telling me what jobs to apply for, even though they had no clue what I’ve actually being doing for the last 7yrs. For some reason, people still think I’m interested in computers?

Let me say it this way, finding jobs to apply for was NEVER the problem! I applied for 63 appropriate jobs folks…I wasn’t applying for stuff I wasn’t suited for.

As the months past, tensions at home grew worse, I had taken my mom to register for Pension, which started paying out last month. Of course R900 doesn’t go far, but she didn’t want to spend it none the less.

If I went for an interview, and didn’t come back with an “I got the job!”, my mom’s first words were “Do you think they felt you couldn’t do the job? What are we going to do now!”

Out of the 6 interviews I went for (2 for the same job), my mom never once felt like I got the job, she was just concerned about how we were going to pay the electricity bill this month.

Come the start of February, we were down to one meal a day. So with no breakfast or lunch, my energy levels were so low, that I could hardly even muster the energy to get off the couch. Thankfully, one can apply for jobs through a smartphone.

The last interview I had lined up was last week Tuesday, and it was a callback for a job that I really fell in love with. For round two, I had present a plan to the company on how to move them forward online. I would be presenting to a group of 5 decision makers.

I prepped the presentation in the early hours of the morning, as I do my best work at the 11th hour, and went and absolutely KILLED the interview.

However, they said they had a few people they still had to see and would only let me know by today if I got the job. I felt I had a real chance with this one, but of course the doubt creeps into you and you lose all faith in yourself. My mom certainly piled on the heat with her negativity, and said there was no way they would wait a week to let me know, and that if they were seeing someone else after me they clearly didn’t want me. She will never grasp the concept of their being a procedure to something.

Another very long and tense week passed. Then this morning I got the call…I got the job! It was a unanimous decision by everyone who was in that interview. They loved me! A good job, with good people, and double the salary I got at my previous job.

For 6 months, I was constantly asked the question of do I regret leaving my job of 5 years. The answer even in trying times was no. I don’t . Not for a second.

I’m by no means out of the woods yet, as I only start this job next week, and as of right now, I don’t have much food left in the house, I have no petrol money, and our electricity is a heartbeat from being cut off. I only get a full salary the end of March, so I have no idea how I’m going to survive! But the thing is…I’ve been through worse. Come March, I will no longer just survive every month, for the first time ever, I will be able to live!

The rebirth begins next week, and the comeback of all comebacks has started. The reason I quit my job has now been fulfilled.

My writing will always be my first love, and thankfully I have a job that will allow me to incorporate it. I will be working in place where I will see new people every single day, and I’m in an industry that gives me hope that New York may once again be on the cards.

I thank all those that have supported me through trying times, even those that foolishly said “you will get this one!” to the 5 jobs I didn’t get…

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2 Responses to “Dream Big, Dig Deep: A 6 Month Journey To Redemption”

  1. Rory Says:

    Well done mofo.

  2. Carol Winter Says:

    Wow, Shaun… I did not know this and I am glad that all has worked out for you and your mom.

    New York is definitely on the card for you, even though it might still take a little bit longer to fullfill your dream(s).

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