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?”
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.
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,