Monday, November 23, 2015

Life after "Death of a Small Business"; One Year Later

I caught sight of that ol' familiar excitement again over the weekend - not as passionate or energetic as it once was - but still, it was a glimpse of interest towards something new. I've been struggling to find myself again following the closing a beloved small business after almost two decades. Letting go has been painful and finding the next chapter of life has proved elusive. So much so in fact, that I've almost given up ever having something of my own again, instead just searching for employment without really caring what I ended up with - believing that nothing could ever come close to the thrill I'd felt being the captain of my own ship. 

How's the employment thing going? Well, it's been tough for so many reasons and factors, ones that might potentially daunt even those who hold more qualifications than I do or who possess all the necessary skill sets needed in this day and age. While that sounds both depressing and discouraging it's true; one of the hardest things about moving on after burying my friend the small shop, is learning that 19 years in retail didn't necessary give me experience where I need it. If I stayed in that exact line of work maybe, but when you've lived and breathed retail 24/7 for so many years because it was yours, starting over doing that for an employer doesn't hold nearly the same excitement or challenges. And I'm almost much older now, not as suited to the long days and physical stress that once seemed like nothing in my younger years.  

To be honest, I had hoped to pick up and start fresh with a more sane line of work. Maybe in an office or a medical receptionist type of gig - perhaps at the nearby hospital which appeared to continually have slots open for a variety of positions. After riding the waves of a fickle and tumultuous economy, the ebb and flow of retail sales and the stress of constant juggling and worry, part of me longed for a bit of stability in a world that didn't fluctuate as wildly. Consistent employment was the key I told myself a year ago as I locked the door for the final time and walked away from that chapter of life; finding a normal job would be a refreshing and a needed change. All I had to do was find something.

It's been a challenge that I never saw coming. Assuming that having been a juggler of many tasks and duties qualified me for other roles, I didn't foresee this rough road but in a small town jobs aren't as plentiful as I'd thought. And it turns out that holding a title such as "wearer of all the hats" doesn't mean you have the skills and knowledge of data programs that are now standard in so many industries. Finding out that there is far more I'm not suitable for, than the positions I could get has been a harsh reality, and at a time when I'm floundering emotionally and needing to move forward into something new, it's been rough. While the idea of learning new applications, making myself marketable and taking classes has been looming over my head, knowing exactly which ones to pick is daunting.

Back to the spark that I had caught sight of over the's there; I definitely saw the familiar glow. But somehow I just can't channel it into a fire, let alone see how it might grow. I feel like I'm stuck after thinking and working and living in such specific ways for so long - and yet inside of me - something I can't put into words is dying to be born.