Friday, May 4, 2012

Blessing others through our trials

Two years ago tomorrow, I was called into a meeting with my then-boss and a rep from HR. I was informed that due to a restructure of our department, my position had been eliminated and that I was being laid off, effective in 30 days. Although I was pretty unhappy in my job at the time, I was not eager to hit the job market with the way it was back in 2010 (and of course it isn't a whole lot better today).

Turns out I was lucky or blessed or both - I was employed again after only five months (I met a LOT of people who'd been out of work a year or more). But I didn't do it on my own. I met a number of people who were very gracious with their time, and in some cases, their contacts. Ultimately, the job I found (where I am now) was sent to me by someone I'd met at a networking event. She saw it and thought I'd be a good fit, and sent it to me. That was my experience in the job market - people all in the same boat helping each other out.

Through that experience, I gained a real heart for people who were unemployed and trying to find a job. I continued attending networking events (and still do), but instead of looking for a job for me, I met people and tried to make connections for them. In most cases I don't know and may never know how it worked out, but I felt like I needed to pay forward what I'd received.

Last Thursday I was at a small gathering of friends (all met and networked through social media and then became friends in person), and one of the gals filled me in on a great story I'd been part of at the beginning. Six months ago I met a recruiter at a networking event (he was actually there by accident, having stopped into the club to have a drink and realized a networking event was going on), and it turned out his company WAS hiring. I ended up having a great conversation with him. Less than two minutes after walking away from him I ran into this gal, who I'd known for about a year. She'd just been laid off from her job and had showed up at this event at the spur of the moment (actually because I'd invited her earlier that day). What she was looking for fit what the recruiter I'd just met was hiring for. I introduced them to each other and left them to chat. So she was happy to tell me that they had hired her as a contractor, and she was in talks to join their staff permanently. It was a great feeling to see how trying to pay it forward had actually had a positive effect somewhere.

Now I am going through the death of my beloved Aimee. This kind of loss is a much greater and more personal loss than losing a job. But my desire to use my own experiences to help other people through their own situation is no less. And like when I was looking for a job, I have had a lot of people around me helping me and encouraging me. I (thankfully!) do not know many people suffering through this kind of grief, but through this blog I hope that I am reaching others out there who are, and that somehow reading my experiences is helpful to them. It's really the only way right now I know how to pay forward the support and love I've received and still receive.

So yes, I am at various points sad, angry, depressed, hopeless and more. But in the midst of this, I also feel a responsibility to try and help others. If there is to be good that comes from this, I feel it has to be good that I MAKE from it. I can choose to do nothing and get on with my life, but that would represent a wasted opportunity to try and make something beautiful out of something so terrible. And while people would probably understand if I did that, I would know that I could have done more.

And what kind of example would that be to set for Rowan?


  1. Can't tell you how much hope this gives me and renews my faith in humanity in our crazy world. Very inspiring to know there are people like you, with your compassionate vision out there!
    Thank you so much for sharing this...

    1. Kim, what a sweet thing to say. I too often lose faith in humanity as a whole, and then it's times like this when I see that there are people who care AND act on it, and I am inspired to be like them (and like Jesus). Aimee was one such person.