finding my way, finding my place

What many of my faithful readers of chestercountyramblings may not know is the crazy road that led me here.  This time last year, I was awaiting my surgery to remove a lump – yes, I had that thing all women fear when they get a mammogram: breast cancer.  Hormone driven, invasive lobular to be precise.

But for the grace of God and an amazing friends and family support system, I have come through just fine just about a year later.  I did seven weeks of radiation, am on a drug called Tamoxifen for another four years and a few months, but I am alive. And let me tell you, sometimes in the quiet of my Chester County mornings when it is just me, the birds and a gentle morning breeze I am a little overwhelmed by my good fortune.

Needless to say, having the big C even on  a relatively small-scale is a life altering experience.  Fellow survivors know exactly what I am speaking about.  Your life changes irrevocably, and to an extent, so do you.

One of the things that change with me is I could no longer stomach the stress of a full-time job I had as a compliance officer in the financial services industry.  I found I wanted a different life that did not just revolve around the office. This was also something all the doctors responsible for my care encouraged me to do, incidentally.  They all sat me down one by one and said I had a choice: to keep up the pace and ungodly stress and run a high risk of recurrence, or to stop what I was doing, breathe, and begin again.

It was a very hard decision for me to make, as I am not someone who just kind of quits.  But I did it, and I completed my move and transition to Chester County.  I know every morning I wake up I made the right decision.

But….I am not a lady who perpetually lunches, so I am putting out the feelers as my next career experience in life.  My dream job would be to more fully utilize my writing, photography and even my crazy PR skills, but I would also be happy with something part-time or even full-time in an office – from receptionist to office manager, I can do just about anything.  I want something that allows me my family time and family life. I have learned the hard way as a woman there is in fact importance to have balance and it’s o.k. not to be Wonder Woman.

As I adjust to my new life in Chester County, I will be honest and say I find the whole sending out the resume process a wee bit frustrating.  It’s not the whole looking for a job aspect of it, it’s the breaking into a new area.  I send out resumes solely to companies who have positions I am actually interested in, and even some resumes to people who may not be hiring at this time, but I want me in front of them.  I don’t just send out resumes for the exercise of it all.

Last week I was really excited about this one interview.  It was a marketing gig, not quite full-time, but it would have utilized my writing and social media skills.  (hey I know I have THAT covered!) Day before the interview the prospective employer sent out an e-mail cancelling, saying he had found the perfect person.  I swear I felt like the kid who had someone take away the cotton candy at a carnival I was so bummed out.

But then I saw something else, a part-time office manager and admin ad for a small office.  So I applied, because well, I used to run a small office.  The pay listed was not great, and truthfully far below what they should have been offering for the job, but I figured what the heck, it really might be something I would enjoy and it would allow time for other things while bringing in some money.  So the person handling the ad contacted me.  Asked me what I used to make.  Why lie? I told him what I made.  That became the end of the conversation with him.

Readers, I have to be honest, this really irritated and frustrated me.  These people did not even take the time to ask a thing about me.  When you first enter the workforce, you have doors shut because you do not have enough experience.  Today, some are being shut because I have too much experience, or they can’t see that my skills can be applied to their particular needs.

I know with patience and perseverance I will find the kind of job I really want.  But to help it along, I am putting it out there that I am in the market as they say.  I figure you never know what is out there until you ask.

It’s a Carpe Diem kind of day :<}


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