Hope :: Get Back Up

Man falling down stairs face first, trying to catch his hat
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Now on to our regularly scheduled blog post!

From the moment we’re born, we try new things and fall down—standing, walking, riding a bike…

As we get older, the falls look a little different, but they’re still there—flunking a test, not getting an interview, getting fired…

Sometimes these things happen to us, while at other times they happen due to our own choices. No matter how our falls happen, we need to get back up.

You can’t learn to walk if you’re afraid of falling. Just as you can’t grow in your life without the risk of failure.

Failing to do something the first (or fiftieth) time doesn’t make you a failure. Maybe you need to change how you’re approaching something.

You failed another test? How can you change the way you study?

You didn’t get the interview? What’s happening with your resume and cover letter?

Your marriage is falling apart? Can you participate in couples therapy?

The question for each and every perceived failure out there is: are you willing to put in the work? Is it worth it to you?

Every time I’ve been knocked down, it’s been hard to get back up.

I quit teaching elementary music at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. I had started applying for middle school and high school music teaching jobs as well as church jobs back in March.

I received multiple interviews for the teaching jobs (no bites on the church jobs) and thought I had so many doors opened. And yet, every single one of those doors slammed in my face. I had applied for jobs in Florida and realized by the end of summer that I couldn’t move there.

I got a job in a jewelry and gift shop. Incidentally, except for interacting with the general public, I actually absolutely loved that job. I was able to design flyers and make the shelving units look pretty.

But I wasn’t moving forward.

By that point, I had kind of given up hope at finding a full-time job. I felt worthless. By that Christmas, I turned in my notice and moved back home with my family.

Lo and behold, several music positions were open and I applied immediately. I received a few interviews, but was, once again, overlooked for others who had longer teaching records than I did.

By this point, I had sunk so far into depression I didn’t even know which way was up. I was surrounded by family, but felt completely alone.

I started going to counseling, and that’s where I was told the first time: you can fail at something, but it doesn’t make you a failure.

I had so much internal negative self-talk that it was nearly impossible to see any hope.

My counselor helped with that.

I also started attending a church, and then I volunteered at that church. When I stopped focusing on ME and started serving others, it helped get me out of my head.

I ended up getting hired at that church, followed by getting hired at a church across the country in California.

As many of you readers will know, I was in CA when I began writing this blog. At the end of 2020, I felt compelled to go home. After I did, my dad passed away. I was so grateful I went home when I did.

But that didn’t stop me from sinking into depression again. I stayed and started working at the local resort/casino. Team members were great, but the environment wasn’t.

After spending two years back home, I finally made the big step to attend grad school in Boston, and that’s where I am now.

Is my depression gone? Nope. Do I still struggle? Yep.

But guess what? I keep going. I get back up and try again.

As tough as life gets sometimes, I remember that I am loved and that life—as tough as it gets sometimes—is more than worth living. It’s worth THRIVING.

And so is yours.

Get back up. You can do this!

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