One month ago, I was frustrated, bored, and apathetic.
It had been three months since I had quit my full-time job, and I was still deep in the job search. Three months of applying with very little to show for it.
In one of my last posts, I talked about how I have too many passions. This made narrowing down what I wanted to do vocationally very challenging. I was applying for admin assistant roles, social media roles, communication specialist roles, and many others.
And get this: It was no after no after no.
In those three months, I had two leads. I had two interviews with Aldi, only to get a “no” a month later, despite my 4+ years of customer service and retail experience.
I had a phone interview with a financial office in Hudsonville. The advisor I interviewed with was very kind and professional. A few weeks later I emailed him again to check in on his decision, and was once again hit with the “I’m sorry, but no.”
Exasperated, I was quickly losing the motivation for this job search, paralleling the amount in my savings account.
I couldn’t go on like this much longer.
2020 hit, and I was hopeful that this year would start out with an employment opportunity. By January 2nd, I had an interview with a hotel downtown.
By January 14th, I had the job.
I was ecstatic. Everything was going to be okay now. Everything was fixed and I was once again full of overwhelming joy.
Well, for two days.
I had orientation on the 16th, and my first day of work was the 19th. It was incredibly overwhelming. I worked again two days later. After I had left work and reached the safety of my car, I cried.
I cried again the next day.
Sixteen hours of computer training and I was ready to quit. I hated it. I was stuck in a loud office watching video after video, not talking to anyone or building relationships or doing anything that required movement. My extroversion was screaming at me to talk to someone. My ADHD was begging for stimulus. My eyes were blurring and about to shut down.
But still, I went back to work. I didn’t quit. I went in the next day, smiling and ready to learn. I started hands-on training. It was still incredibly overwhelming, but wait — I was having fun?
It was hard, but I was able to connect with my co-worker and apply what I had been learning. I got to move around my entire shift and get to know some of the guests. I got to apply my creativity and try new things. I got to accomplish something.
For the first time in three months, I felt like I could breathe.
There have been many times in my life where I have been uncomfortable or been dramatically challenged by something. I don’t like times like that.
In fact, I will go even farther and say that I hate them. I hate circumstances that push me beyond my comfort zone. I feel small and weak. I feel gullible and naïve. I try to avoid feeling this way at all costs, sometimes even at the cost of growth.
But as I’ve been learning in this journey of adulthood, most of the time, discomfort is good. I learn to look for the rewards of the discomfort.
I talked more about it in this post, but I often don’t want to work out. I know I should, but I lack the energy or I find it difficult to set aside the time. And it’s hard. But working out always produces a good outcome.
With this new job, I stuck through the frustration because I knew it would eventually pay off. It already has been.
Sadly, some situations do not pay off so quickly. Sometimes it can be months before the discomfort begins to fade. But oftentimes, it’s worth it.
I heard a quote in high school that has stuck with me through challenge after challenge, and I carry it into each new obstacle as a reminder.
“Every great thing starts out a little scary, doesn’t it?”
So, even though I get heckin’ scared at times, I’m gonna push forward to make life better for future Kim.
Because discomfort often means growth.
I’m good with that trade-off.
Have you ever stuck through something uncomfortable?
What kind of rewards did it provide?