Everyone has some slumps they go through with relationships, their jobs, and life in general. But it’s important to stop and realize the signs that the world gives to you to make sure you are grateful for where you are and where you have come from.

Last night we made impromptu plans to go to dinner. We randomly decided we would go out for a local all you can eat crab leg dinner. Without much thinking we jumped in the car, went and enjoyed dinner, and even gambled on some roulette and slot machines (no we didn’t win). But it wasn’t until we were leaving and walking to the car when I got my sign. I saw an entry-level worker (in my field) going about his job in the parking lot. His job is one that most people don’t respect, don’t look up to, and usually never want. It was then that I remembered how at one point I would have done just about anything for his job. I would have been more than proud to be at work every day doing exactly what he was doing.

Fourteen years ago I embarked on my lifelong dream career. I was amazed at the opportunity that I found and the job turned out to be everything I loved and more. But after 3 years I wanted even more. I wanted to relocate and try a larger urban area. I figured if it was this good at home, just think of the potential somewhere else. So I up and moved across the country.

I thought I had a plan. I had a job set up, a place to live, and was ready for the adventure to begin. And did it ever! When I got all moved into my new place and ready to start work I was told the offer had fallen through. No job, but I was now committed to a lease and numerous other bills that I had no idea how I was going to pay. Family offered to send money but it wasn’t their problem to fix. Nor did they know the extent of help I really needed. My former employer kept asking me to come back and even offered me a promotion. But I owed it to myself to not return with my tail between my legs.

I played it off as best as possible. I had some (very little) money saved. I applied other places and kept hoping…. and hoping… and hoping. I had reached my end. I had $32 left to my name. The bills were paid for the month, but after that I was done, I was tapped out.

Two days before my birthday I received a call and was offered a job back in my dream career. Like any other job, it has it downfalls and I have my bad days. But after 14 years I have had the chance to lead in my field, teach in field, and advance into areas I never would have imagined. I continue to find more doors opening up to me and am literally addicted to learning new aspects of my profession every day.

I don’t like to say you really “make it” because you should always be seeking improvement. But it’s a good idea to pause every once in a while and turn around to see the ground you have covered. The journey to get there is the best part of the trip – even with its pitfalls.

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