This I Believe

lalaine - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe

For almost 9 years I worked at a newspaper back home. I started as a general assignment reporter and made my way to section editor. I bounced around in different positions in the newsroom, but for the most part, was always involved in some aspect of feature writing. Because I had spent my entire adult life at this job, it was the only real job I knew. I was good at it (I like to think), and I truly enjoyed my work and the people with whom I worked.

When personal circumstances dictated that I quit (my fiancé, who’s in the Air Force, got stationed in San Antonio), I was pretty heartbroken about leaving that job. It’s just a job, I consoled myself. I’ll get another. So I said goodbye to my family and friends, rented out my house, packed up my possessions and bought a one-way ticket to Texas.

Adjusting to life in San Antonio proved a little difficult for me. While my fiancé at the time (we’ve since gotten married) was used to moving with the military, and made friends easily at work, I wasn’t used to being so far from everyone I knew. My job prospects weren’t panning out. I wasn’t used to being with someone 24/7. The marriage thing was so new to me. I had a tough time.

While I continued to send out resumes and go to job fairs, I took on a job helping out a friend of a friend who needed help in their office. It was a bail bonds office downtown. Having never had a run-in with the law before, I knew nothing about the business. I learned quickly. I answered the phones, did some filing and general clerical stuff a few days a week. When the owner of the business asked me to pick up the broom and start cleaning the dirty floors, I got the feeling it was time for me to move on. I then got a job at a department store selling gowns and fancy dresses. I had no previous sales experience, and never worked on commission before. But I picked it up and seemed to do OK. I looked at the job as an opportunity to work outside my comfort zone and try something totally different. After eight months, I knew the job wouldn’t take me anywhere I wanted to go, so I quit.

After much soul-searching and wondering what the hell I was going to do with myself, I enrolled in a couple of classes at Northwest Vista College last semester to “get my feet wet” and find out if I had the drive and commitment it takes to finish a bachelor’s degree in a health program. I took three classes and loved them. I loved everything about being a student again. I looked at it like a second chance to study, get good grades and make something of myself all over again. I am fortunate that my situation allows me to go to school full-time while my husband is active-duty.

I got all As last semester, and more importantly, a renewed sense of purpose I hadn’t felt in a long time.