You ever heard that saying "when it rains it pours?" Yesterday was an example of one of those moments for me. The early part of the day began with a little rain, then the sun shined through, but by midday it was pouring! This made me reflect back to a time when I should of been moving into the field of helping others, but little did I see the rain was coming, and it was pouring. I was a month away from completing my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Something I was so proud of. My MSW represented so much to me, and in all honesty it helped to change the quality of my life. I embraced this time with an open heart and mind, amongst the busy time in my life that it was. I learned so much about helping others change for the better. However, what really changed for the better was me, and in a manner that I never expected when I decided to go forward and into this endeavor.
As the sharing unfolds I'm so close, just about to achieve this major accomplishment in my life. I was gearing towards the transition from the classroom into the field as a professional. I was looking into potential employment opportunities, sending out resumes, going to job fairs and all the rest. Did I mention that I was also immersed into a unhealthy, unstable long term relationship? One that began with the attachment and connection that wants to believe that this could be the one, although deep down within in your gut, you know its not going to work out. It was a very difficult and challenging period in my life, all while I was immersed into completing my MSW degree and looking towards finding a job. I take full responsibility and ownership for my part, and to this day I hold no anger or pain towards the other half, but at the time it was raining, it was coming down! I had been through this before, a much longer relationship in terms of time and I didn't want to go through the back and forth, can it work, will it work, etc., when you know it's just not meant to be.
So, with a month left we called it quits. It was a tough time as you would imagine. However, interesting enough I ended up doing really well academically my final semester, the best yet! Adversity sure has its way of pushing you through when you may feel there just is no way!
My mindset quickly went from getting a job to leaving town. I had nothing holding me here and I sure could use some time for myself. I stopped sending out the resumes and instead I packed up all my personal belongings and put them in storage and I left the United States. Instead of walking in the commencement ceremony to honor and celebrate this great accomplishment I had just achieved, I boarded a plane set to land in countries and locations that I only dreamed of going to. This journey was an amazing opportunity to breathe and exhale after nine years of working, getting a couple of degrees, being in some toxic and dysfunctional relationships, and the learning and challenges that life can afford.
My time away was wonderful, it was exactly the right decision to be made. I had no regrets then and I surely do not now. I was immersed into the ultimate learning experience that traveling abroad can and does produce. I learned so much through the eyes of others when we came together so far away from our own homelands. I wrote, read, and decompressed. I traveled by foot, bus, boat, train, and plane. I slept in parks, hostels, bus stations, train stations, and airports. I even ran with the bulls in Pamplona Spain, one of the most exciting, scary, cathartic moments of my entire life! This journey by far changed the quality of my life in a way that will always stay with me.
I returned after many months away. I was cleansed, my mind and heart were in the right place. Did I mention I came back with no money, no job, and my life belongings still in storage? That was okay because all that I gained while I was away was well worth it! I knew that I would eventually get back to that place I needed to be in order to start my career. My passion to help others change for the better was within me, that never changed. In fact it never has, no matter how much rain comes my way. I honestly believe that I am better off in my career and life as a result of what I have weathered, always learning and growing from the experience of. Let it continue to rain, I got these dance moves down!
May this weeks writing find all of those that can here me with opportunity and choice, as you continue to breathe well in the process!
|I'm dancing in the rain...|
Daniel Jacob, MSW Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process. More about the man behind the mission ⇢