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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Walk On

Sometimes in life, we get wonderful news and terrible news in only a short amount of time. Between hours or days, it feels like everything is right in the world, only to have that joy undercut by tragedy. Seems like you can't have one end of the spectrum without the other.

This week, I landed a full-time job with a company I had previously worked for as a freelancer. It is a fantastic company that I am happy to join and they're happy to have me. (Good sign with any company: the people you worked with a few years ago are still there.) Signing on with them ended a two-year rocky journey trying to find something that would move my career in a new direction.

I'm grateful for all the part-time work I've done since October 2011, but I never stopped trying to find the right fit in a full-time position. Something inside me wasn't ready to settle or give up. Whatever it took, no matter how long it took, and no matter how crazy of a schedule I would have. I credit persistence, networking, and personal recovery on what led me here, and I look forward to the road ahead.

On the personal side of my life, I am thankful every single day for a loving and supportive girlfriend, our wonderful dogs, my family, and friends. They helped me see a bigger picture beyond what my job status was or what my annual income was. With that stability, I have been able to put all the crap I went through to get here into perspective.

That stability is also helping me with the beginning stage of grieving process for a friend who passed away on Friday from cancer. She was a fighter, never complained about getting cancer, and always in good spirits. I only saw her a couple of times a year, but we made those get-togethers count. The last time I saw her, she was basking in the happiness of being newly-married. I thought this get-together was last fall, but it was actually almost a year ago.

After years of being cancer-free, the cancer came back last year. Despite the best care and efforts by her doctors, she passed away on Friday afternoon. Looking through my Facebook news feed yesterday morning, it was hard to find anything other than tributes to her. She had that much of an impact on people, including people that only knew her through her online presence. For me, getting this news was shocking, filled with sadness. It sure was tough to keep composure looking at eight hours ahead of being a radio reporter. Yet something came over me to not sulk and work harder instead. It was like her spirit told me to go further and stay calm. (I got through my shift with a little extra pep in my voice, for some reason.)

I'm sad she's gone, and I will certainly miss her. I can't help reflect on the times we did get together. She got to meet Jenny and we saw the Smashing Pumpkins (her favorite band) before they became just a brand name for Billy Corgan to use.

Between the joys and sadness of the last few days, if this is how life swings, then so be it. If you can't be happy without experiencing sadness (and vice versa), then I'm not sure there really is another way.

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