I’ve worked as a pharmacy technician for 8 years— in Columbia, South Carolina, Simpsonville, South Carolina, and Tamuning, Guam. I was first hired while working at Red Lobster as a server. Serving was a job I enjoyed–I’m a people person through and through–but also a job that brought some shame. My grandmother had paid a grip for 5 years of college and here I was, working for $2.13 an hour + tips. That big plan of paying her back that had been brewing in my heart for a long, long time wasn’t looking so great.
After being a SAHM with Dahlia for 15 months, we decided it was time. Time for her to be around other kids and time for me to go back to work. So, I called my old job, applied, and became a pharmacy technician once again. The additional income was nice. Being 2 minutes away from her daycare and 15 minutes away from Arden’s school was nicer. Everyone was family-oriented so when the call came that someone was sick or hurt, there were no guilt trips or annoyed sighs…only side-eyes if you took too long to leave and tend to your family. That felt good. And, a manager who treated his colleagues well and valued personal development, now that was phenomenal.
I enjoyed making him proud. But, we were living paycheck to paycheck. And, everytime I wanted to get another job, I thought of the comforts I’d be walking away from. I’d tell myself that we could make it work, but, we were living paycheck to paycheck. And, though, we really wanted to knock out our debt, add some cushion to our savings and get our kids through college without student loans, I feared leaving those comforts.
What if someone gets hurt and I’m at a job that doesn’t care about family?
What if my new boss is a jerk?
And, then, something clicked and I realized that my “comforts” had become bullies and barriers. Remember when I wrote the blog post about the devil providing you with what appears to be an easier route to a slightly different dream? A route that feels good, is familiar and doesn’t present any dangers? That route is easy for a reason. That’s the route I was on….the easy one that makes you forfeit your dreams.
When Travis and I visited Hong Kong, we hiked the Dragon’s Back. We had just completed 30+ days of Shaun T’s Insanity Workout and I guess we were feeling a bit ballsy. At the time, we weren’t people that went on vacation and said, “You know what? Let’s workout.” But, we didn’t want to just shop and eat and be entertained. We wanted a different view. We tasted local cuisine–the duck crepe was AMAZING! We wanted a different, more meaningful experience. Could we get lost? Sure. Could we try a dish and hate it? Of course. But, would we die? No.
I didn’t know what my next job would be, but I knew I couldn’t remain where I was. So, I prayed and I put in applications everywhere. One night, my husband was hanging with some colleagues from his part-time job and someone mentioned that a communications company was hiring. I’m not sure what made her reveal her salary but let’s just say it was significantly higher than mine. When my husband told me about it and encouraged me to apply, I actually got mad. A call center? Absolutely not. I’m trying to move closer to my dream career. All of the negative connotations of a call center came rushing in. My idea of switching jobs included having my own desk, pictures of my family, enjoying 1 hour lunches, working from home if I chose to, heading up meetings and traveling. Selling cable was not a part of the equation. I felt like I was going backwards.
God must have prompted my change of heart because on the day of the job fair I was excited.
I left my interview knowing I had the job and feeling pretty darn good about it. For the first time in a long time, I was hopeful.
Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. (Proverbs 13:12, MSG)
Training was 9 weeks long. The initial 5 weeks of training was from 11 to 8. Travis and I switched roles completely. He started going to work early so he could get off and pick-up the kids. We had to buy a 2nd carseat. And, we had to find a sitter for when he went to his part-time job. He said Dahlia asked him everyday, “Where’s Mommy?” and when I dropped her off the mornings, she begin to act out. So, I begin video messaging during my 15 minute break and spending more time with her in the morning.
For our last 4 weeks of training, we bid for schedules based on our classroom performances 5 weeks prior. I was #3 and chose 9-6. Our performance during practical training determined our ranking for bidding on our production schedules. I was #2 and chose 12-9.
The fact that we recently hired a sitter instead of relying on grandparents (that’s grown, right there!), we’re ahead of our debt payoff date, and I’m able to shop for my-self confirms that this decision has been my sudden good break.
I’m sharing this to tell you to keep your main thing the main thing. I wanted a job that sounded…successful. I wanted to finally feel accomplished. You know what I really want, I want Woman, Live! to be my full-time job! And, none of those things remotely resembles call center or sales agent. But, that’s not the main thing. When we pray to God, we pray for financial freedom. I attached all of those things with financial freedom, but that doesn’t mean God did. One year ago, when I saw my new position at a fancy desk, God saw a sales position. And, if I had not surrendered my wants for His will, I would have missed it.
Debt payoff is the lock to the doorway of our future. And, for a long time I wondered if we’d ever get the key.
How can I pay off debt when I’m living paycheck to paycheck?
You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.
And, Travis already has a part-time job.
Something has to give.
No one says, “Awesome!” when I tell them where I work. They all say, “You left the pharmacy for a call center?” Other people might not have even divulged this information to you because we’re all faking it until we make it, right? I think I’m taking this whole transparent thing to another level and I like it. From what I’m seen, heard, and personally experienced, the journey to the top isn’t glamorous. There are breath-taking glimpses of what it’s going to be like when you get “there”, but as soon as you’re motivated by the possibility, a trap door opens up beneath you and you fall back to your reality.
But, know that you’re here, and I’m here, because there’s something we must acquire here that we’ll need there. Keep learning, keep growing, keep praying and allowing God to guide you to where He created you to be. It’s not going to be up, up, up. It’s up, left, left, down, up, up, right, down… that’s the journey. Don’t miss your next step because it looks nothing like your vision. He is working all things together for the good of those that love Him.
If you know someone that needs to hear this, please share it with them today.
And, if you wouldn’t mind, tell me…..what’s your main thing?
See you at the top!