It has been a few weeks since I’ve blogged because I was having my own personal pity party. I would visit my blog and even jot down notes but I couldn’t put my thoughts in order. As time went on, I also became upset with myself for not being able to formulate a sentence let alone a paragraph and so I avoided the blog altogether! It wasn’t until I was on Twitter and saw a tweet that requested that we reach out to a fellow blogger who had been contemplating suicide, that I found my own voice again.
As I left a comment on her site giving my two cents and trying to help her see the value in her life, I had no choice but to listen to my own words. At the end of my post I told her that it was time to pull up her boot straps and remember who she was before the stresses of marriage, kids and life took over. Funny how I could so clearly see how to “Fix” her but was in the midst of my own pity party where I had forgotten who I was and wanted to be before those very similar stresses had me running from myself.
It was so easy for me to tell someone else they were valuable and yet so easy for me to forget how valuable I was. For so long whether it was right or wrong, my “Worth” was attached to my work. I was a banker. I worked for a well known Community Bank and when I was announced anywhere, it was always as “Kirsten Upshaw, Manager of XYZ Bank.” So when I lost my job, I went through an identity crisis. All of a sudden, I was no longer who I had become known as and suddenly I felt lost. I was also embarrassed at myself because I had drunk the Kool-Aid and began to define myself through the eyes of my employer and once I lost my job, I, for a minute, looked at myself through their eyes and I felt like a failure.
Never mind that my “Failure” was brought about by decisions that were out of my control by people who never believed in me in the first place so you have to wonder why I or anyone would put much stock into an opinion that’s sole purpose was to do exactly what it did which was destroy. It took me a few weeks to come to grips with my new title of “Kirsten Upshaw” and a lot of soul searching because suddenly I had to figure out who I was without a corporate title. And just like when I lost my title of “Wife” after my divorce, I realized that being me makes me happy and anytime I have tried to please anyone and stepped outside of myself, I have ended up unhappy and trying to figure out how I got there.
So many times we follow and act how others tell us we should act knowing full well that it is a decision that will lead us directly where we ended up…starting over. Recognizing your worth and demanding that others do as well, is very important to your overall happiness. Just remember, giving yourself wholly to anything or anyone other than God, will never make a situation better so arm yourself with that knowledge and happily live your life the way you want to…not how they think you should. You are allowed to have your pity party but like my momma used to say–“You can’t wallow in self-pity forever.” At some point you have to get over it, pull yourself up and do what the Lord put you on this earth to do.
Starting over is hard to do but it could be the beginning to a whole new you! I know…it sounds corny, but why don’t we embrace starting over? I guess it’s because starting over represents change and change is sometimes scary but what if change meant you were about to embark on finding a better you? We all talk a good game about wanting to “Find ourselves” but when the time comes for the hard work to begin, we balk and sometimes run from the very thing we claimed we wanted.
I am no longer running. For years, I have talked about wanting to write and I always managed to talk myself out of it by using my favorite excuse of–“I’m too tired because I’m always working”. This was a true statement, I was ALWAYS working but really, I was ALWAYS procrastinating! In a previous post, I talked about my propensity to procrastinate and how it has affected me my entire life but what wasn’t discussed was why I was procrastinating. If I did what I claimed I wanted to do, which was write, I would have to first believe in myself and more than anything, that is what I was lacking.
I knew I had the talent to write but because I didn’t believe in myself, I blocked my own blessing and it took the Lord to step in and save me from me. It’s crazy that I had to get fired in order for me to realize what I was supposed to be doing and it’s even more crazy that even after I got fired, I still procrastinated by saying that I had to have A, B and C in place for it to be right. A, B and C never fell into place.
What did fall into place was my being faced with running out of money. Now I know that starting a blog wasn’t going to lead to immediate riches but in order for me to become the writer I wanted to be, I knew that blogging was the medium I was supposed to use to begin my career as a writer, so it is funny that even knowing this, I still put it off. I didn’t fully believe in me.
I remember the first promotion I received which wasn’t expected. I had been working hard but only because I was a hard worker and while my ultimate goal was always advancement, I wasn’t, by any means, looking to advance having been in the job as an assistant manager for two years. There had been some rumblings that there was going to be movement in the office and all indicators pointed to me being moved to an office that was further away. When the news was delivered that I was not the employee who would be moving and that I was also being given the manager position, I was shocked to say the least. When I got in my car and processed what I had just been told, I said out loud–“Well…I didn’t see that coming!” When God decides you are ready to transition to your next calling whether you see it coming or not, it is going to happen and if God believes in you why don’t you believe in you?
I am finally ready to believe in me. No matter what is thrown in my direction to deter me from my calling I am going to stay focused and apply the same skills that earned me my surprise promotion. While it is scary to be starting over, I am excited about what starting over means and I look forward to the new challenges I am about to face because I know that where I am today is in God’s plan and there is no arguing with that!