A lot can happen in 48 hours!
But what happened leading up to those 2 days.
I recently read all of the books by Lisa Messenger (Founder of The Collective). She mentions in there something along the lines of; don’t discredit what people compliment you on. What you think comes as second nature, others see as a real skill or a gift. Hmm, I thought. What am I good at that I enjoy? I am creative and I love it.
As I toyed with this information, I started to really get into what I would love to do. I have always enjoyed visiting any markets. They are full of wonderful handmade items, fresh organic food & everyone is happy and friendly. Well this has always been my experience at the markets. What about having a stall? I could start small and maybe sell my Kombucha?
Thinking along those lines, Aaron mentioned some of the “hippy” things that I loved doing. I have always got the female equivalent of a boner going into Tree of Life stores. I love the people, I love the vibes, the colours, the smell. It just does things to me. Haha. So my mind wandered onto having my own boho clothing line. I could design and sell wonderful boho clothing AND I could take it to the markets as well. I had no idea how to get started though, so I just began to research (and I am still doing so now, that little idea is still there and I currently follow alot of other clothing labels for inspiration).
Then I remembered that so many people had joked with me that I should write a blog. As life never seems to be dull with Jess (don’t I know it). So I started! I didn’t really know what to write but I knew that starting with my experience since losing my job would get me going. As an added bonus, my Step Mum helped me realize that this blog would be a great way to release some of what I had been keeping in. A way to get it all out there in the open and let it go (whether sharing it socially or not). So even though alot of people had thought of it before me, my choice to go ahead was 100% for me not them.
And oh did I love it.
I was totally hooked!
Yes, I was worried about the vulnerability of sharing my life so publicly but I embraced it and I didn’t look back. Once I shared it on my FB page….Wow. I had so many compliments, so much positive feedback & somehow by sharing the “real” version of my life, I was inspiring others. It was like everyone was happy to see that someone had finally talked about the hard times OUT LOUD. This was something I didn’t envisage, I mean I started this blog for ME .
The more I wrote the more I realised I loved writing. I was thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Then the jokes became about writing a book and I sure didn’t hate the idea. Haha.
I was starting to get myself somewhere. I wasn’t in as big as a hole as I was before. My financial situation had gotten better after I (finally) bit the bullet and rang about every single debt I owed and put myself on the lowest possible payment plan. (YES, I shouldn’t have put that off so late).
For a glimpse of time, I was ok. Life was starting to go my way. I was going with the flow!
But it didn’t last…
Ding Dong, its the universe here, I have come to turn sh*t upside down again.
A few weeks later, the mail arrived and I received a letter from the company that looks after my car loan repayments. They had declined my appeal for hardship and I now owed ALOT of money and of course it needed to be paid ASAP.(I hadnt been paying it – as they told me my loan had been frozen) I was gobsmacked and I started to freak. How was I going to come up with that money? But I tried to breathe, I would call them the next day and work something out.
So I spent my afternoon being proactive with job hunting and I followed up on a few jobs that I hadn’t heard back on, as I applied for new ones.
Then I received a call from a recruitment company about one of my references, she said we don’t usually do this, but one of your referee’s has just declined to give you a reference and wouldn’t say why, I thought I would give you the heads up so you can take it off your CV. I was gobsmacked. Both of the referee’s on my CV were fully aware that they were my references. I had made sure I asked prior to adding them on.
I panicked. How has this happened? Why did they decline? Omg this looks bad. I stumbled through that conversation, not knowing what to say at all. I was so shocked. I had spoken to this manager only a couple of weeks ago about a job I was going for and they had mentioned they had a call a few weeks earlier that they gave a great reference for. So why now was the reference being declined and why wasn’t there a reason why?
Then I went into meltdown mode. I had been looking for work for ages, how long had the reference been declined? Was this the first time or just the first person to let me know about it. Was this why I wasn’t getting work? Oh no.
As you can imagine, being in a small town there is only a limited amount of jobs at the best of times. Throw in the downturn of mining, the end of financial year coming, an election and the jobs were basically non existent. So on top of that, having a bad reference (because a declined reference looks bad) could easily hinder my chances of getting ANY job.
Because small towns talk.
I was so upset. None of us could work out why and I just had to put it to the back of my mind and ask another person to be my reference. Everyone told me not to think too much into it. That job is in your past, keep moving forward Jess.
But I couldn’t shake it and I had a weird gut feeling. So I asked a few people, “you don’t think it was the blog do you?”. Everyone replied with NO WAY. There was nothing bad in there, plus you didn’t mention names or companies. They were so sure no one would decline a reference based on my blog. I tried to believe them, although my (surprisingly still on point) intuition was still waving a red flag. I re-read my blogs at least 3 times, trying to see if anything could have been bad. Apart from mentioning my troubles at my last job, which wasn’t a secret as I had shared my concerns with my manager at the time, it was the only thing I could see that might have a slight affect.
So I put it to the back of my mind, I still had my car to worry about, and getting a job!
The following day though I received an anonymous call; my blog was the cause of my reference being declined.
I was devastated. Something that had brought so my joy back to my life had now potentially caused me to lose future employment.
But how did they know I had a blog? Well apparently my Facebook account was set to open, so whenever anyone searched me, they could see everything I posted including my shared blog. You really have to wonder why people were still keeping tabs on me, I mean it was 3 months after I lost my job…but I couldn’t think like that. I had closed that chapter in my life already & this last experience just pressure sealed it SHUT.
And so the high I was riding came crashing down and I lost that last bit of confidence I was clinging too. I had no faith in myself anymore. I couldn’t see where I would be valuable to another employer. I regretted my blog. I watched everything I wrote socially. I went into my shell.
I was just sad.
Thankfully though, through the rain clouds came some sunshine and I received a call about a job I had applied for a couple of months earlier (that they thought wasn’t going ahead) and they asked if I could attend an interview. Yipeee!
*Part 15 coming soon*