What do you do when you come out of the storm and the whole world has changed?
When I was in the middle of the chaotic storm of his disease, I was overwhelmed with fear, doubt, change, and the unknown. Would he get well? Would he wake up to the damage that he continues to cause, and when that happens, will it be enough? Will it be enough change to forgive? Would there be enough time to heal memories? I was so focused on the anxiety and worry of the unknown, and all the things that were out of my control, that I didn’t realize there was a whole world around me moving on in time.
People were learning, engaging, building, growing, and developing. I was surviving.
People were developing relationships, making strides in their jobs, and adapting to the new. I was hoping not only for our boat not to sink, but to be able to get to the other side and survive after the storm. As a result, I had no idea how far behind I was falling. And fall behind I did. I fell behind socially, economically, and mentally. I was not learning the new developments in technology that prove vital in the everyday to earn a paycheck, and be able to not just thrive, but keep up with colleagues.
Google Drive- what is that? Google Chrome?? Gmail?? My hotmail account was doing just fine. When I went to my first day on the job, my boss handed me a Mac computer. I had never used one in my life. Anyone who uses a PC knows they can be quite different. I didn’t know how to close out basic things like screens- I had to swing from my hip, adapt, and pretend I knew what I was doing so as not to get fired on day one.
I remember sitting in my car after my first shift, hunched over the steering wheel, nervous and embarrassed I was so behind. I recall a few days later having a conversation with my mother- how am I going to stay employed or be hired in the future if I’m so behind than the rest? We both looked at each other without answer, and I simply kept going. I kept showing up to work, embarrassed and unsure of myself.
I kept trying, learning, and growing.
Today, I take it step by step. I just have to be honest, open, and authentic with what I do and do not know. It’s part of the life lessons I’ve learned along this journey that this is me. While I may be missing some tools in the technology wheelhouse, I have gained perspective and experience in the job we call life. Perseverance, endurance, and dedication are just a few of the things in my wheelhouse that make me unique. I get the job done.
So no matter where you are, give yourself some compassion and grace if you find yourself behind in various aspects of your life. Give yourself a break, and take it one day at a time. Don’t be afraid to be your authentic self, and laugh from time to time at the things we may not know. You’re not alone, there’s a bunch of us out there.
Join us at Voices InCourage launching Fall 2021.