Experience Never Gets Old.

I sat down many times in an attempt to write this blog, but words just kept escaping me. The curser would just keep flashing on my blank screen trying to signal my brain to write something ….. anything ….. but nothing was happening. In fact as I sit here the words aren’t coming easily. I have many random fleeting thoughts but I can’t seem to put them all together into something cohesive, something that makes any sense.

After 633 days I finally received my residence card, a day I’ve been waiting for …. well …. for 633 days. However now that the day has finally come, what does one do? I have fantasizes about this day, imagined the excitement I would feel about what comes next.

Well next has finally arrived……

I now find myself back on day 1, the day I have anticipated for so long, the day of new opportunity, the day of new beginnings …… yet I am paralyzed.

Paralyzed by the fact that I’m now 46 years old. I have a conflict going on inside of me. I have one voice doubting my next move, constantly asking, “Can I really start over?” Then there is the other voice that is jumping up and down with excitement, full of hope, singing from the rooftops, “I’m just getting started!” I find myself questioning which one is true? Well that depends on which one I choose to listen too….

Sometimes, I’m excited about the prospect of starting over and my age becomes meaningless, only a number. Then I look in the mirror and my reflection reminds me that I am no longer 22, my reflection reminds me that my life is half over, my reflection then looks at me and says …. “How can we start again?”

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That’s when my eyes flood and become blurry with tears until I can no longer see my reflection ….. then my mind takes over and says, “This is hard…..harder than I thought it would be.”

It’s taking everything I have to sit here and finish my thoughts, but I need to get them out and see them written before me. I need to grasp how I’m feeling. I’ve tried to explain it to people these past few days but I’m not even convinced it’s clear in my own mind.

This past week I updated my resume. As I wrote down my entire work history and reviewed my storied career. I was reminded of the amazing things I’ve done, but I was also reminded how I let my career come before everything else in my life. How I allowed my career to define who I was. The temptation to get sucked back into my old life and my old ways is appealing to my flesh. Yet my soul is fighting back, reminding me not to squander this new start with old beginnings.

Yet when I try to step forward in the new beginning, the world wants to put me back in my box.

There was a job as an Executive Assistant in the up and coming e-commerce fashion industry in Amsterdam. Thoughts of the movie The Intern came rushing to the surface. I envisioned myself as Robert De Niro, the 70 year old widower Ben Whittaker who finds his life is getting boring so he decides to apply for a job as an intern. Is he over qualified? Absolutely! However what he has to offer that company no amount of money can buy. Now I’m on fire! As I wipe away my tears, I let go of my pride and ego and allow my vulnerability to take over. I passionately plea in my motivation letter to not be over looked for the position, even though it may appear on the surface that I don’t have the right qualifications. I explain that I started my career as an executive assistant and worked my way up the ladder to a Directors role. That I know first hand the importance of a qualified Executive Assistant and not only do I have the necessary skill set but I have work experience that most applicants probably wouldn’t have. I explain that I’ve taken this last season of waiting for my residence permit to reevaluate what I want to do with the rest of my working career and that I would love the opportunity to help someone propel their career forward, leveraging on my experience wherever possible.

My heart is racing ….. I put the finishing touches on the letter, attach my resume and hit apply. My only thought is who in their right mind wouldn’t consider me for this opportunity? At the very least I was convinced it would peek their curiosity and they would grant me that elusive interview. Then, just like in the movie they would be so overwhelmed that they would be thrilled to have me join their team.

Over the next couple of days everytime my phone rang, I jumped to answer hoping it was the recruiter. Everytime I saw the red light flash on my phone indicating I had a message, my heart skipped a beat. Finally, a message in my inbox, the subject line reads ….. Your Application for Executive Assistant. I’m excited and nervous to open the email, I click open and this is what I find …..

“We thank you for your application and after careful consideration of your profile we decided that we will not be taking you further into the recruitment procedure. We have specific requirements for this particular role and unfortunately felt that your profile was not a close enough match to what our client is looking for….”

I’m crushed and for the longest time I just sit still, breathing in and breathing out. Patrick is away on business and aside from him I don’t have anyone else to talk too. Then I remember ….. I am never alone and grab my Bible. Before long I regain my strength and my courage as I am reminded that at 80, Moses was called to free God’s people, Caleb was 85 when he began his greatest mission and Abraham was 79 when He received God’s call.

Now I am encouraged more than ever in my resolve. I refuse to allow the world to shove me back into my box.

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I know God has something better and greater for my life, so in the meantime I will continue to persevere, finding my strength in Him. I will show up everyday, continue applying for jobs I’m passionate about and eventually a door will open for me. The door I’m supposed to walk through, the door that is my future.

His for sowing,

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12 thoughts on “Experience Never Gets Old.

  1. Don’t worry Tiff. There is a smart company out there that realizes how valuable work experience can be. They will find you!!.

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    1. I thought about that yesterday when I published the blog….you are an example of the struggle I’m experiencing now. I had no idea, because you walked through this challenge with grace and dignity. Thanks for setting an example and taking care of us. Love you!

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  2. You go girl !!! How exciting….Tiff I was 60 when I graduated with a BA..something I wanted all my life. Take care and keep searching .

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    1. Ahhh, my silver sister….thank you so much for you never ending encouragement. I promise not to rush the process….kind of like growing out our natural hair, some things in life you just can’t rush. If you try to get ahead of the process you might up with something you may come to regret!

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  3. Love this Tiffany! Also love your comparison to growing out your silvers, and how great men of God were called later in their lives. Enjoy the process of your journey knowing God has it all figured out already 🙂

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    1. I’m ready for whenever He’s ready to share it with me….I know one day I will look back at this moment and be amazed by the process and the path God put me on. For now I just don’t even try to lean on my own understanding! Thanks for commenting and sharing!

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  4. So Miss Tiffany, can you tell me why you are in Amsterdam? Are you an American expat? Do you speak Dutch? And is Patrick your husband? (If you have all these questions answered somewhere please direct me to it).
    At 46, you are in your PRIME. And if you are healthy…oh, the world is yours to be had. At 61, I wish I had all the knowledge I do today but the energy I had in my twenties. (Not to mention the bod…but if I had to choose, I’d pick healthy over “hot”! I have been on “hold” now for more than two years waiting to see if God will either kill my dream or heal me enough to to make it happen. This LImbo I am in is so hard. I really am OK with the dream not becoming a reality but I need a straightforward answer so I can get on with what else I can do. I am not sure if I told you or if you read my blog articles about wanting my own studio/shop. Nothing big…don’t want to make buckets of money…just want a place to hang out and create and have others come and create with me. But I have to be able to pay for the rent, etc. all on my own since my hubs is in the process of buying a business of his own and every cent he makes will be going to that endeavor. And since I do not work, I have no income of my own. But I will be able to collect my social security benefits starting next January so there is that. Right now there is an opportunity for my husband to have a small storefront for his products in an up-and-coming “Craft” neighborhood in the big city near us but he is dragging his feet (his company makes handcrafted snowshoes, toboggans, sleds, furniture, bookshelves, etc). I think he is nuts not to jump at this chance to have a place to show his stuff off (and then I could make stuff to put on the bookcases, shelves, chairs, etc…win…win..). We are meeting with the owners next week (and the wife just happens to be one of my best friends!!!). Not exactly what I wanted, but I am willing to start small to see if I have what it takes to run a shop. I worked at two really small shops and was involved in the ordering, pricing, merchandising of the products so I have a tad bit of knowledge. And everything in the shop would be something either my hubs and his guys made or what I have made so I don’t have to deal with vendors. But I am placing it all in God’s hands. He knows what is best for me and best for my hubs. Waiting is the hard part!
    So keep your chin up and your resume ready and who knows what God will have for us in the future. Might be fun!!!!

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    1. Wow…..where do I begin! I’m a Canadian that married a Dutchman and moved the Netherlands in 2014. I finally received my residence permit and I’ve been applying for job in the Netherlands …. Including Amsterdam.

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  5. I hit reply before I was done ;). Reply continued …. Yes Patrick is the Dutchman. I’ve read your blog posts about your own studio/shop and I thought it was a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for the encouragement and I agree a straightforward answer is what we all want, but God doesn’t always work according my timing or my plan and yes the limbo thing is a tough place to be!

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