Updated: Mar 26, 2019
This past year has been all things to me: magical, challenging, heartbreaking and wonderful; all at the same time. To sum it up in one phrase: it has been literally a roller-coaster ride.
Let's talk about the magic first: I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would end up working for a company so admired and respected; a company which, just by saying its name out loud, evokes wonder and awe in every person I encounter. For me, since the moment I walked through its doors, it has been an immersion into a wonderland where anything is possible and where I feel like I'm part of a greater purpose: to bring happiness and joy to people in a seemingly dark world; to help them forget about their problems and worries, even for a little while, every time they come see one of our incredible shows.
I remember my own experience, when I first saw one of their shows under the Big Top format in April last year, which happened to be their first show inspired by a country: my home country, Mexico. I was literally transported to another dimension, where nothing existed except me and the beautiful performance unfolding before my eyes; all the time thinking: "How fortunate am I, to be among the first ones to see this magical production come to life, and to have elements from my culture shown in every single act, when only 6 months ago I was on the verge of giving up hope of making my dream of settling down in my new adoptive country come true. This is much more than I could have ever asked for, and I thank you God; I thank you Universe for that." I literally felt my heart explode with love and gratitude at that moment, and I was literally in tears when the first half of the show ended. I remember one of the directors whom I had become good friends with, turned around to see my reaction (she knew I was Mexican), and as she saw the tears rolling down my cheeks, she gave me this nod as if acknowledging that she understood how the show had connected with me at a deep level because of my roots. Yes, it was partly that which ignited the tears, definitely, but what she didn't know was the struggle behind my being there, at that moment, witnessing such beauty from a prevailed position in the first place, and how I couldn't contain the joy as I thought that dreams do come true, after all. It was such a magical moment for me that it is hard to put into words exactly how I felt, but rest assured that it's a moment that has been imprinted in my heart ever since. I have experienced many blissful moments such as this one during my time at this company, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Nonetheless, as with most things in life, not everything is honey and roses, and this past year has also brought along some challenges, for sure. A theme that continues to come up for me is the idea of self-worth. I thought I had moved past this already; I thought I had conquered it the moment I proved to myself and to the world that I could get hired by one of the most respected companies on the planet. However, my new position brought along some professional challenges that have made me doubt my own abilities, and that inner critic has been popping up from time to time to give me the annoying feedback that I'm a fraud, and that I still have some big clown shoes to fill (no pun intended!). I guess this is what they often refer to as the "imposter syndrome". Well, let me tell you, this has not helped me at all, and despite all my efforts in doing my best work, I guess that there's a certain vibe that other people perceive whenever they question my work and I find myself doubting it. I don't know if this is the ultimate reason why my temporary contract didn't turn into a permanent position, even though I had already been told back in September that it would be. It was mainly argued that it was budget constraints that led to my position being cut, but I still wonder if my self-doubt had anything to do with it also. In any case, back in January I was told that my temporary contract would only be extended for 3 months, until the end of March, so I found myself in the same position I was in about a year and a half ago: imminent unemployment.
To top it all off, around the same time I received the news about my contract, my roommate was kicking me out of the apartment that we have been sharing for the past year, and since the lease is under her name, I had no saying in that. So, besides having to look for a job, I also had to figure out my housing situation. It was kind of stressful trying to decide how to spend the little free time I had left. I remember having 2 web browsers open every time I sat in front of the computer: one for job postings; the other one for apartment listings. For anyone who knows how time-consuming it is to search for either one, you can understand I have been a bit anxious and stressed out for the past couple of months; trying to figure both things out in a race against time: not finding a job would mean no income starting April; not finding an apartment to my liking would mean couch surfing at my friends' apartments as of June 1st. I have been feeling like a juggler in a circus show; throwing glass balls up in the air while trying not to let them fall on the floor and break.
Things on the sentimental front haven't been optimal, either. When I say that the past year has been wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time, I mean it in a way where you think you have found your soulmate, only to realize a few months later that staying in the relationship would mean bad news for your health, your sanity, your income and, most importantly, your growth. Coming to that realization has been heartbreaking for me, and the most difficult part has been fully accepting the fact that we are incompatible, and to stop making excuses to justify his behaviour; trying to convince myself that this is just a phase and that, eventually, he will be able to conquer his demons. I won't go into details, because I love this person and I respect his privacy. It just suffices to say that it took a lot of determination and courage to look him in the eye and tell him it was over while fighting back the tears as I was picking up some stuff that I had left at his place just a few weeks ago. It's one thing to have someone inflict pain on you, but seeing someone else cry because of you is a different story. I felt awful for him, and I was sad that our story had to end, but at that point in time it was either him + me to my own detriment, or me + my peace of mind (even if it meant flying solo again). I chose the latter. I am telling you, my friends, the love you won't give to yourself, no one else is going to be able to give to you. So I picked up my things, walked away and didn't look back.
So basically that sums up how the past year has been for me, and particularly what I have found myself up against in the past couple of months. However, as in all difficult situations that I have faced in the past and which you've probably already read about in my blog, I have felt protected and guided all the way. I won't lie: it has been stressful, and the fear factor kept creeping up from time to time (a perfectly human attribute), but somehow, when I was able to sit down with my fear, breathe in, examine it, and ask what it wanted to teach me, a sense of reassurance washed over me and I somehow knew that everything would be taken care of. Fast forward to today, and behold: I signed a permanent contract for another position within the same company just this morning, at a division that is more aligned with what I would like to do in the future. My new team seems nice and they have been very welcoming, as they have already asked me to join them for their monthly breakfasts. The working hours seem to be a little bit more flexible as well, since now I will be paid overtime if I ever have to stay past 5 p.m. I did take a pay cut when I accepted this offer, but what is most important to me at the moment is to have the certainty that I will be able to make it to my evening yoga class more often, and that I will have more time to pursue other interests that nourish my soul. So, I my mind, the paycut has just been a trade-off for my overall happiness and well-being; one which I'd be willing to make anytime.
Another miracle just happened in the housing front as well. Just last week, I signed the lease on my new apartment! You might think, "Well, what's so special about signing a lease? Everybody does it all the time." You will understand why this is such a big deal for me once I tell you what happened. After having visited (I'm not joking) 16 apartments in the past month and a half, I was pretty disheartened when I couldn't find one to my liking (and within my budget), which also happened to perfectly align with the move-out date from my current one. I had visited a studio apartment just a few weeks ago that was the closest to what I had in mind; the only thing that wasn't working too well was the move-in date (one month too late for me). So I told the landlord that I would think about it, only to call him the day after my visit to tell him I finally decided to take it, and find out that he had already rented it out to someone else. Talk about bad timing! Or was it? I was already fixated on the location, since I fell in love with the building and its amenities. So I looked for similar listings on that same building every single day for one week and, to my luck and delight, one day I saw a posting on an almost identical studio apartment, only one floor above the one I had already visited. As I walked into the apartment, I knew it was meant for me: the vibe just felt right, as if the place was calling me; the furniture was more to my liking compared to the other one, and the move-in date aligned perfectly with my needs. Plus, it was cheaper than the one that had been rented out. Did I also mention that my landlady and I hit it off right away? She seems like a very nice girl, and she sensed that same vibe with me, so when I told her not to show it to anyone else, that I would take it, she immediately said yes. So everything turned out to be in perfect alignment in the end.
That is why I would like to emphasize this to you, guys: sometimes we get so worked up about things not going our way, that we lose sight of the bigger picture: what if the door that was slammed shut in front of you was intended to give way for a better, more harmonious outcome? I know it's hard to see it when we're in the midst of it, but cultivating patience and asking ourselves: "What do I need to learn from this? What is the Universe trying to show me?" instead of "Why is this happening to me?" can really turn a seemingly disastrous situation into such a huge blessing! Take my experience in the past couple of months, for instance: from an outside perspective, it seemed as if my world was crumbling down, with no job, no apartment, and no boyfriend at the same time. I know now that what was really happening, was that old situations/patterns/relationships were falling apart to make room for new/better things to enter my life.
The image that just came to me is that of The Tower in the Tarot, where massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos appears seemingly out of nowhere, just when you think you have everything going for you. However, your world crumbling down only means you were building it on shaky foundations, and this is an opportunity to reevaluate your beliefs and priorities, and to fully surrender to divine guidance in order to allow a new future to be built on more solid foundations that are more aligned to your soul's path. It's always in hindsight that the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly, so my parting message is for you to learn how to trust both the timing in your lives and the process that unfolds in the meantime.