Transitioning careers can be tough. Fear of the unknown creeps in and decides to be the driver. This past fall that is exactly what happened to me. After spending 10 years in either small business, corporate business, then ownership I decided to make a shift. At the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what that was going to look like, to be honest although I had been freelance social media consulting for a couple of years I wasn’t entirely sure if building a brand around that was going to be my next thing.
At the same time I talked to friends, old mentors, and business friends. From those chats I came out of a little haze. Questions swirled my mind, those questions included; “why don’t you go back to your corporate career? Have you thought about doing this? What next?” Quite frankly, I didn’t want to answer those questions, I couldn’t even put the words together, I didn’t even want to think. I didn’t need to think, I needed to breathe.
The initial stages of my breathing time were f’ing dark. A lot of things came out of a woodwork of my being. Things that extended to childhood to young adulthood… things and feelings that had been birth the week before. I was also alone, by my own choosing, I choose to not reach out to family and friends, I’m sorry my loves, if there is a next time, I know better now.
Then, somewhere along week number two of breathing something happened, something I didn’t expect. I looked around my purposefully dark living room and thought… you need to go be around people, you need to properly nourish your soul. That afternoon in an attempt to do one of the two things I headed to my favorite local grocer, one of my favorite places in the world to go. While waiting in the checkout line I just happened to glance up to a job board they have, that sparked an idea. I hurried home and immediately logged onto that companies website, searched the job section and within minutes was applying to a regular store position.
Within a couple of days the grocer contacted me, set up and interview, and had me in for a formal sit down. Within minutes of that interview I had a job. Thinking back to that now, with tears in my eyes, it was the happiest and proudest I’d felt since… to be honest I cannot remember.
I started at this local grocer that following week. First at an orientation that opened my eye even more about the company, but also entrenched the love I felt for it even further. I then moved into working at the store, in a couple of the departments. From day one I knew this experience would change me, mold me, and free me of all the biased expectations I had on myself.
My training started with bagging groceries, everyone at this company bags groceries, from upper level management, corporate managers, I mean everyone. I started work on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and let me tell you guys… it was a rush. I left that day feeling more accomplished than I thought I would. It was a day of hard work, and funny laughs with new people that would fill my heart for the rest of the year.
I moved into different departments within the store. I worked in their personal care and health section, customer service, the cashier section upfront, and once in the kitchen. Let me make you a salad? Back to the point, each day taught me a little something about everything, everyone, but mainly I learned this; people are wonderful and when you connect with others, you heart is rewarded with kindness and light. I will also say this, yes there are people out there that need to calm the sugar down, and yes we also need to have a collective discussion about treating everyone with respect — no one, and I mean no one is better than anyone else, we are all the same kind of human, we breathe the same, love the same, and are the same.
At the end of the holiday season I started looking at things differently, at myself differently. The creative girl that used to be came back… with someone new attached at her hip, a lighter being, an honest being, an inspired being. As I slowly climbed out of the “dark place” I began to gain inspiration, focus, and determination. In those final weeks of December I began focusing on building my Platform, media again, and working with new clients. I also was fortunate to connect with a friend and an opportunity that comes around once in a million years. With my new commitment came the end of my tenure at the grocery store.
Although I am no longer at this store I still shop there frequently, now however I have names and stories to go with the faces. Those faces, their stories, and their immense generosity in one of my greatest times of need I will never be able to repay. They brought me back from a bad place into the light, into living again, they brought me back to me, the clear me and the me that had sidetrack herself a very long time ago.
Photo of me in a whirlwind by my sweet friend Paula B