Now – let’s just get it out of the way and acknowledge how downright pretentious that sounds. It’s just oozing with jerk.
So if you will now allow to me to clear the air, I’d like to counter-act the jerk with some sincere and utter gratitude for said opportunity.
I am beyond grateful for this experience, for reasons that go so far beyond “OH EM GEE. BUSINESS TRIP TO EURO!!!”
Work has done nothing short of save me these last few months. For those of you who follow this blog – you know the kind of year I had. 2014 was less than stellar for me. It started with a move to a new city – ripping me away from everyone and everything I had formally known. Then there was an extremely painful breakup with the person I thought I would spend my life with. And then, to top it all off – I broke my face. Having my cheek and eye socket reconstructed with metal plates was definitely not how I envisioned spending my summer.
As I’ve mentioned in a lot of previous posts, healing from trauma is measured in months, not weeks. And at the risk of sounding overly dramatic – all of 2014 was traumatic for me. And coming back to a still-foreign Minneapolis after my accident was not an easy task. But I’m a big believer in the “fake it til you make it.”
So I poured myself into work when I returned. It was the perfect distraction from everything clouding my head (physically and metaphorically). It was the only thing that made me feel normal.
As Q4 approached, business picked up in general. It is just the nature of the beast. And everyone in our company felt it. But the intense workload and pressure did more than keep me busy. It gave me a sense of worth and purpose – in a time in my life when I frankly felt worthless and undesirable. Work tasks were tangible problems, that I could objectively solve. Rather than the subjective matters of my heart and soul.
My daily work decisions were about the only thing I could put confidence in. And I was glad to devote my brain to work – the motivation being immense gratitude for a company that provided me short-term disability during my entire recovery. That benefit was just something I signed the dotted line for – and it ended up saving me. You never think you will need such a thing, until the day you need it. And I was grateful to have an employer that provided this benefit. And I felt the need to give back to the company that had given so much to me.
The accident put a lot of things into perspective for me – and work was a huge part of it. My job, my capabilities, my brain, my circumstancece, my growth potential, my benefits – all of it seemed to be in a different light when I returned post-accident. And I knew I owed it to the company to give everything I could after how gracious, supportive, and understanding they had been throughout the whole recovery process and beyond.
Fast forward four months from when I had facial reconstruction. And I am sitting in a beautiful hotel in Munich.
My intent of this post is not to paint myself as some marketing goddess. My intent is not to brag, or boast, or build myself up. All I am saying is that while I was on a train this afternoon, drinking a Hefe Weizen and eating some Brie, I started to cry.
I can feel myself in the middle of a change. I am in a very static place right now. I can feel
my mind and my heart shifting, and it all hit me today – as if the Deutsche Bahn train itself had catapulted into my heart.
“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.”
I read this quote 18 times a day when I first returned to Minneapolis. I was depressed for countless reasons, and I read that quote every day, convinced that I would some day believe it.
And it was on the train from Füssen today that I think I began to believe it.
This year has done a lot of molding. And it still is. But I can feel myself in this state of change. I can feel myself being molded. Static. Changing. Growing. Learning. And in some ways – coming to peace with 2014.
So what is the point of this post? To share my heart. Because life was meant to be shared. And these moments are meant to teach us, right? And I find I learn best when I write. And I feel best when I share.
I am so grateful to be in a career field that allows me to travel and meet brilliant people from many cultures and pasts. I am incredibly grateful for a working mind – that allows me to communicate, network, engage, produce, and create the things I ultimately love. Which is relationships. Relationship building is the basis of my job, and the reason for this European trip. And it has been extremely rewarding to be in this field – both professionally and personally.
I am grateful I took this job in Minneapolis one year ago. It set the stage for a lot of change in 2014, but it has helped teach me to love myself again. It has helped me feel like I bring value to the world. That I am capable of doing a lot of things. That I am capable of standing tall and strong – even when I am alone. That I am okay – just as I am, in this moment. This moment being alone in a hotel room in Bavaria. I am proud of myself in this moment. And I didn’t get to say that a lot in 2014.
Stay tuned for more on the EU travels. Like the time I was eating a stick of brie cheese. Gnawing on it like it was a hot dog. And crying. While sitting across from an Italian family. I gave the daughter a Hanuta cookie as peace offering for my strange behavior. Her parents wouldn’t let her take it. Sounds a little more comical than life changing now, doesn’t it? #crazyAmericans