If you remember from last week, I was at a crossroads–I was working as an assistant horticulturalist (aka gardener), had expenses piling up, physical ailments flaring up, and anxiety I could cut with a knife. I needed to do something.
So I thought about my previous financial services firm. I remembered my first job there had been open for a while, and I wondered if it still was. Lo and behold, I checked their website, and there it was! So I sent an email to my first boss ever at the firm and inquired about the position, and told her I was interested if she wanted to chat. I got almost an instant response, that yes, she wanted to chat, so we set up a time. Things were looking up.
In the mean time I had started my summer semester at school with 3, not 2 classes like I originally intended. I was contemplating getting my Associates degree in Sustainable Horticulture instead of the Landscape Design certificate. I would need an elective, some business courses and a co-op. My friends were taking an ecology class taught by one of my favorite teachers so I signed up making it my 3rd class. It would turn out to be one BUSY summer of homework.
But I digress..I called my old boss at the appointed time, and after exchanging a few pleasantries, she dropped the bomb. Did anyone tell me the Cincinnati office was closing? WHAT?? NO! I thought that was the end of the conversation. I would either have to continue at the country club, check into my old job at the greenhouse, or start over–none of which was entirely appealing. Then the skies parted and the angels started singing. She relayed that because I was previously with the firm, in the position, and had worked from home (in the job I had right before I left), Human Resources allowed for us to continue the interview process. YES! She had me contact the woman who would be my immediate supervisor to schedule an interview.
The interview went well, and within a week or so, I was offered the position. OMG. I sort of couldn’t believe it. I was only gone from the company about 4 months, but it seemed like a life time ago. And I left my original job there in 2016, which seemed an eternity ago. And here I was, returning to my old employer, in an old position, like it was 2015 again (the year I started there). I got the salary I asked for, and I kept my vesting, but I had to re-start on the vacation accumulation. The office would close in mid-November, but until then I was expected to go into the office. I liked the people there, especially the ones in my department. I was on cloud 9.
And then I kind of stumbled. Was I admitting defeat? Did I really NOT belong in horticulture? Was I taking the easy way out? I had to spend some time with these thoughts, notice the feelings that were swimming around, and then come to some conclusions and learn the lessons. Remember, if you don’t learn the lesson, the situation will keep repeating in different ways until you do. So I laid it out for myself:
- I was not admitting defeat. I was admitting that the original path I chose was not the right one for me at that time. It made me realize what I wanted to do with my Landscape Design certificate, which was possibly work somewhere smaller, with more personalized attention, or potentially start by helping friends and family with small projects while I continued to work on my own yard. Heck, maybe I would even teach classes about what I learned to reconnect people to nature.
- I DID belong in horticulture. Nothing makes me happier than learning about plants, discovering new ones to plant, and putting my knowledge to use. I just took the wrong path at the wrong time. I firmly believe the right path will present itself when the time is right. I will hone my intentions and send them out to the universe, who always has my back.
- I am grateful that I have the skills and experience to be able to go back to what I know very well. I worked hard to obtain the 6 financial services registrations that I currently hold, and if I am not affiliated with a broker/dealer they will expire in 2 years. So I don’t believe I took the easy way out – I chose a path I am familiar with, in an area I excel in, and that is always good for the self esteem. And believe me, I needed all the boosting of that I could get.
So what does this all mean for you?
- I want you to pursue your dreams. And if you take a step and then 2 steps back, don’t get discouraged. Stop, assess, learn. And put that learning into action.
- Don’t leave your passion behind because you can’t make a living doing it. Having a hobby that brings you joy is important. And just because you aren’t making a living at it NOW, doesn’t it mean it will NEVER happen.
- Having work that is fulfilling is important too, so spend some time discovering what about your current career makes you happy. There is something, I promise you.
- Trust the universe has your back. It would have been easy for me say that wasn’t true, as I chose the wrong path at the wrong time. But there were lessons there that the universe wanted me to learn. There were things the universe wanted me to be grateful for that I may have taken for granted. It will always work in your best interest, even though it may not seem that way at the time.
It is a new year. With new possibilities and new dreams to pursue. Go forward with gusto, stay positive during the setbacks, and always discover the lessons. And if I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out!