If you’re someone like me who’s lost their job and with several questions in their head that’s full of self doubt and disturbing questioning, I feel you.
I’ve lost a business that I thought one day would be a career. The wealth of an economy, successful people and boom that surrounded me was intoxicating. I began to make more money and my confidence jousted with my peers’ on a daily basis. I was on some sort of an euphoric trip that went on 7 days a week- day and night. My family naturally got upset and my boyfriend at the time felt heavily emasculated. I was riding the big wave all inspired by my family. Day in, day out I knew exactly what I was doing with an enviable tenacity and determination perhaps unmatched. Glamorous boat parties, expensive cocktails and a frivolous nightlife that of the rich and famous. I was very proud that at a very young age I had accumulated business acumen and the persistent urge to win. Little did I know that my youth and persistence was blemished with innocence that some cowboys picked on and took advantage of.
It all came down to my detriment and demise. It all happened in one month- everything had gone and had disappeared. My confidence shattered into tiny little pieces that I thought would never be put together. My heart broken that I felt there was no way anyone could mend it. And my health failing by the day. I developed ulcers and started to live vicariously through my free spirited friends in the music industry. All forms of intoxication took place and denial took it’s course. I wanted to lose myself to another life where I can hide away from my failures and shame. Slowly I found myself succumbing to a hippie life of a traveling gypsy. I wanted to be everything I couldn’t be when I was younger- a dancer, a singer, a musician and more. I started fiddling around with the music industry and boy, my capabilities were still there and I applied it very well. I still somehow din’t feel fulfilled. There was no money enough to sustain my success. I wanted everything to happen quick. I was impatient and deluded in many ways. I was glad that experience din’t take very long but it did teach me quite a bit. I’ve always been passionate about music, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve contributed to that industry in many ways throughout my life. I just never thought I would take it seriously enough to make it a full time job.
Soon, that dream of a lifestyle and trade started to fade. I met a wonderful man with my now free spirit. Some people say that people come into your life and change it. I disagreed until I met my now partner and lover. He exuded gentleness out of his every presence and his calmness hypnotized me. I felt like I was a neurotic, aggressive wreck next to him despite my gentle attitude. He looked like a soldier sharp and real. His gentle-manly flair is perhaps what got me hooked.
My life took a twist right on from then. For the first time I considered following a man rather than being followed. I felt weak in many ways and protected by him. I had run out of my batteries, run out of juice. I felt as though I needed nursing and nurturing. I felt as though I haven’t been loved for a very long time. After a year of trying to fight the government for my rights with my lost business and a scatter of consulting jobs- it finally hit me: I felt defeated, my sense of self threatened and I probably din’t know who I am. I traveled enough and met a variety of people throughout my life that I came to a point where I was confused: what do I want?
I moved to Chicago. Probably that’s when I felt the most depressed. A lot of changes had happened, all too soon. I have moved countries, started living with someone new, I din’t have friends or the network that I very much enjoyed in the past, I missed my family and friends in Dubai and most of all- I wasn’t working full time. A few months had passed and I was as in the biggest melancholic state- I’d gained plenty of weight and din’t want to go out. Poor Sam, had to go through all of this. I got back to Dubai for my sisters wedding and then to another friends wedding. I spent a few months in Dubai to work on two projects. I spent a lot of time with my family after a very long time and realized how much I had missed them. I started to come to conclusions that- success is sweet, financial abundance is beautiful.. but nothing beats family, family comes first.
I came to a list of realizations starting with self awareness and that’s when wisdom started swimming down my stream. I applied wisdoms that I’d aquired from family, friends, mentors and so forth. It all made sense now. I was blinded in the past. Now, I feel as though little pieces of the puzzle were being put together. With a roller coaster of ups and downs, I had to start getting my life back together.
I got back to Chicago and felt so much more in place. I still don’t have that full time job that I seek but at least I am interviewing and looking. I’ve also gone through the worst part of all which was building a good resume- the most inundating task! Here are a few tips I gathered and follow that helped me bounce back, slowly:
1. Exercise in the morning- you have no idea what that does to the rest of your day. It makes you feel stronger to fight life and keep sharp throughout the day. Start with even 20 mins of cardio and 10 mins of stretch/yoga. Every little counts. Build up to 1 hour a day with 30-40 mins cardio and 20 mins yoga.
2. Remember your key strengths- remember who you are and what you’re good at, don’t ever let that go. Think about ways in which you brought value to companies or organizations in the past. Include activities that make you look human and not necessarily central to your job description such as mentoring.
3. Socialize- Think about your personality traits, who are you as a person. Qualities such as helpful, generous and funny. I’ve spent so much time alone recently that I started feeling like I’m not me. I mean, how can I practice my personality with myself- you NEED people! Hang out with supportive friends or family that can help celebrate your personality. Attend events where you can network that are relevant to your profession, it’ so important to be constantly active. Volunteer! So even if you’re not working- you still have a grip on who you are.
4. Reframing your purpose- What is the purpose of your life, what do you want from it and how do you want to contribute to life, your community, to the world? When you’re doing the same thing over and over on a daily basis, we often feel a lack of direction. Try and get more involved in the purpose of your tasks so that you feel as though you’re heading towards a goal, which once completed becomes an achievement. Sometimes you’ll never complete the goal and you’ll be an ongoing champ of purpose!
5. Make sure you’re pursuing your passions: What you do for the love of it is more important in doing something for the fame or fortune. Don’t confuse hobbies with what you’re passionate about doing- a hobby is more about the experience whereas a job that you love is more about the results achieved. It’s not easy and oh yes- it took me a while to realise what I am truly passionate about. They say what you were good at or found passion for in your early teens (12, 13, 14) is what you’ve set your heart out for, for life. Life does get in the way and steps into our path in pursuing our dreams. Take a break, think what is it that you’ve always wanted and DO IT. I’ll talk more about how to go about doing it in the next blog.
Now have a nice day!