When I hear these words, I honestly can’t help but smile. I feel that all of us at one point in our lives have felt this way; like a little fish in a big pond. Am I right? Whether it is starting a new job, going to a new school, meeting someone new for the first time; we inevitably feel this way. To some, this feeling may come with ease. Yet to me, it is a rather unsettling feeling. For the last ten years, I have worked in a field that requires little to do with writing and more to do with rules, routines, employee interaction, and timelines. That field is Human Resources. If any of you have ever worked in this field, you just know.
Late to the Game..or Am I?
At 35 years old, I consider myself to be a little “late to the game.” While most people my age were finishing college and starting their careers in their early to mid-twenties, I was changing diapers (lots of them) and contemplating going back to school. Why? Well, I felt something was missing. I am a creature of habit and one that loves learning, reading, sticking to routines, and succeeding. While I loved being a mother and have enjoyed raising a family for the past fifteen years, I wanted something more. I wanted the American dream. To do this, I had to work. And work HARD. To do this, I had to go back to school. So I did.
In 2014, I was working full time and my children were all relatively small. I.E. eight, seven, and five. Yes, you read that right. Eight, seven, and five. Let’s just say Mom got little to no sleep but worked, studied, and cleaned the house like a well-oiled machine. I did this for years. During this time, I discovered my passion for HR which, simply put, is because I love to help people. I am and always will be a nurturer by nature. It is who I am. I did this for nearly ten years. Then something happened. YES, 2020 happened.
I think we can all agree 2020 was a year we all wished we never had to see again. Ever. That large pink elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about, much less remember. Yes, that one. My personal blog was initially created simply because of 2020. As in, I felt ALONE. I was isolated at home with my immediate family and no one else. I can’t help but wonder,
“Why does isolation make us feel so alone, even when we know better days are ahead?”
Is it because subconsciously we are afraid of the unknown? Is it because we go into a full panic, fight, or flight mode? Whatever the case may be, I knew one thing was for certain; I couldn’t give up on my babies. They needed me and I was their mother. Even on my worst days, I did not show fear. One night on my worst day, I found myself sitting in my closet alone and sobbing like a baby because my son was SO sick, I knew something had to give. So I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. This was my outlet; my sole escape. My love for writing and the English language has been deep within me since I was very young. While kids played with toys or played outside, my nose was stuck in a book.
In our home, 2020 was filled with devastation. Mystery illnesses came that were thought to be Covid-19 but were not (more than once, I might add.) Job loss and financial struggles, failing college classes, endless phone calls to principals over the kids’ E-learning issues.. the list goes ON. If only there was a button to fast forward to > 2021. Oh, look. I found it…
With Adversity, Comes Clarity
Fast forward to the end of 2020 and oh look, here comes a reality check. A BIG one. Yes, I said it. Like most of us who suffered through last year, I too was one who decided that life is meant to be lived. To do this, things had to change. For years I have worked in HR but decided..you know what? Enough is enough. Here are my top takeaways from 2020:
- Don’t keep doing something because it is “all you know.” Just because something is “all you know” is not a reason to keep doing it. Branch out and be fearless.
- Stop waiting for the perfect time to pursue your dreams. There will NEVER be the right time to do anything, much less what makes you happy.
- Stop making excuses as to WHY you can’t do it and put it into motion. Even when people say you can’t, do it anyway and take photos to prove.them.wrong.
- Don’t ever be afraid to be “a little fish in a big pond.” So you may be a bit timid at first. So what? The greatest of leaders were at one point in this same position.
- Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life. No, really. I know it sounds cliche but it is absolutely true.
For now, I am okay being the “newbie” writer in town. To me, it is fulfilling a void I have forever neglected. Oh, but just you wait until the day comes when I am “a big fish in a little pond.” I will be kicking ass and taking names and..probably still helping the kids find their shoes.