Jennie - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on May 13, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I’ve always thought you created your own destiny, it was not in the hands of unforeseen forces, steering you along the way. I mocked those who said “it was meant to be”. Those words were merely a remedy to lessen a horrible state. But I would soon come to believe that my own path was persuaded by something other than personal choices.

As I grew older, so did the need to do something extraordinary with my life. Work was unfulfilling and I had no motivation to advance. I had pondered returning to school and changing careers but being a single mother proved difficult to find the time. Whether it was laziness or fear, I chose to stay and suffer through it.

Last year, I returned to work from vacation aware of upcoming downsizing announcements. Less than two hours after arriving, I was summoned by my manager. I entered the room with low expectations, along with a glimmer of hope. Without hesitation I was told that my job was being eliminated. I left the room emotionless with a decision to make- do I stay or leave? I had a sixty day “redeployment” period to seek another position internally, or leave the company with a severance package. Faced with this ultimatum, I weighed my options. If I found another job internally, I would retain all benefits and could buy the house I had been saving for. If I left, I could return to school and pursue a different career. Two weeks into my redeployment, I came to the conclusion that this was my opportunity to find happiness. I decided to go back to school and land my dream job.

Realizing my severance payout would not last long, I had to find a part time job while taking classes. I was scrambling to find something comparable to the pay and benefits I was receiving to no avail. It was three weeks away from my official end date and I was beginning to think I made a huge mistake by not searching for an internal job. Then I received an e-mail regarding an opportunity to delay my departure. A temporary assignment became available which would last through the end of the year. I interviewed for the position, was offered the job, and accepted. I pushed back my plans for school until the spring semester but was adamant about leaving once the assignment concluded to focus on my studies. Two weeks before my end date, my manager approached me and asked if I’d consider staying on with part time hours and a flexible schedule. Part time associates qualified for full-time benefits including tuition reimbursement; the choice was simple.

It was at this moment I believed in fate. Knowing I was intended to do more, fate pushed me to make the courageous decision to return to school by means of a job loss. Fate provided a temporary, turned permanent, job solution to make it financially possible. Because of fate intervening, I have the opportunity to live out my dream.