Daily Prompt: Against All Odds
If you remember, about 2 weeks after my son was born his father moved out of our apartment while I was at work. He left me with a newborn, a couch, a crib, and an end table. It wasn’t long after that I discovered that he had also left me with the current month’s rent unpaid. Thankfully my sister lived with us at the time and she helped me financially. At that point the odds were stacked against me. I was there with my new bundle of joy, making only enough money to barely pay rent and a sister that was planning on moving out. As you can imagine, the whole situation sent me into a downward spiral and into the deep depths of a dark depression. One morning I just woke up determined to pull myself out of the slump and my first order of business was to purchase my first home. When I told my sister my plan she looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but once I get an idea I follow through, there is no other option. Two months later I was packing my stuff to move back in with dad and move forward with Operation Buy a Home.
Shortly after moving into my father’s home I was laid off from my job, another speed bump. It took me three months before I finally stumbled upon a job as an office manager at an independent satellite company. The travel to the office was short, which was great, but it was half the pay I was used to so making ends meet which included daycare costs was a struggle to say the least. The only sunshine was that I was staying at my father’s and he took care of all the everyday bills and food cost. After about two years of saving I finally had enough money for a down payment on a house. I was finally able to move forward and start looking for my first home, the place I would raise my child, a place that we together could call our front door.
Jumping forward now: The day was warm. The sun shining in through the oversized sliding glass door warmed the room like a fire on a winter day. I had only been in my newly purchased home for about a month, enjoying the freeing feeling my first home gave me. At the time I was able to work from home for that independent satellite company, which was very convenient because it helped save on those daycare costs for my now 4 year old son. Life was finally on the right track. I felt good. I beat the odds and was a working single mother who owned her own home. I was on cloud nine, now all I needed to do was sit back and enjoy life, or so I thought.
It was on that warm sunny day that the owner of the satellite came to visit me. He needed to go over some business. He sat down in my newly furnished home office and the words came too easily out of his mouth, “I’m closing the business”. I instantly went from relaxed too sick to my stomach. What? No! This cannot be happening to me! Everything was going great! I beat the odds! This was my time to sit back, relax and enjoy my life. There is no way that I can afford a house payment and monthly bills on unemployment. I managed to hold my composure until he left, giving me an “it’s going to be alright” pat on the back before he left. However, the minute the front door to the house closed I lost it. All I could think about was how it was going to be another struggle. Yet again something I put all of myself into was crumbling into the abyss and taking me with it. It didn’t take long, maybe a few hours, before I felt that evil dark presence of the all too familiar depression creeping around me on the floor trying to enter my body. It was over. With a child and house to take care of and no money coming in, I was doomed.
The depression took over completely by the next morning. I developed daily migraines which caused, at times throughout the day a slight vision loss. I barely went through my daily routine, not there mentally only physically. I filed for unemployment and prepared to spend my days job searching. I hoped it would go better than the last time I was unemployed. Still, the month crept by at a slow crawl; applying, calling, checking voicemail every five minutes hoping something was there, some opportunity to get my life back on track again. With my cable now shut off and the electricity following soon, I needed something immediately. The phone rang and I jumped to answer it, a department store I had applied too calling to offer me a midnight job unloading semi-trucks. To say that this was out of my element is an understatement. I have always done something in the administrative/management area so manual labor was not something I ever saw myself doing, but really, at this point I would take any job that was offered to me. I accepted the $8/hr job with pleasure. Even with this job I knew that the job hunt was not over. The money for unloading would not give me enough to even pay my mortgage. I worked midnights, sleeping when I could grab a moment between working, job searching, and taking care of my son. Day after day, nothing, no emails no calls. I was getting so behind in my mortgage and other bills I was ready to throw my hands up and just run away, far, far away. Except even that choice was denied to me. How could I do that? I had a child to support. I couldn’t run from that. What would he think of me? What would that be teaching him? These are the thoughts I would think to myself to keep me moving. I had to do this. I had to get us back on our feet and stable.
Three months had come and passed. I was preparing for another night of manual labor, unloading department store semi’s. I walked to my car and happened to notice a newspaper in my driveway. This was strange; I didn’t subscribe to the newspaper. I placed it in the passenger seat of my car and drove to work. When I got home the next morning, after working my night shift, I took out the newspaper and decided to take a look, maybe there was a new job listed, or one that I missed. I cuddled up on the couch with my son and told him we would take a look at what this paper has to say together. There it was, a one sentence advertisement, “Customer service position in ‘name of my home town’; email resume to ‘email address of business’. I looked at my son and said “Why not? Let’s give it a shot.” I went to my computer, emailed my resume for what felt like the thousandth time, and then started the waiting game. I was getting good at waiting.
The very next night I got a call from an old friend, one who I had worked with a few years prior, and we talked for a few before he said, “You answered my mom’s ad.” I was shocked and asked which ad it was. The advertisement was the one for the customer service position for the job in my home town. I wasn’t looking for favoritism, because not only was he my friend but his mother was my boss at a prior job and we’d had a good working relationship. No, I didn’t want favoritism, but at this time in my life I couldn’t help but hope that maybe, just maybe, she would just give me the job. I knew, after the past few years, nothing is handed to you or that easy, but a girl could hope. I scheduled an appointment and went in to see her.
She was very blunt when we met. The words passing her lips like a ton of bricks, “You don’t want this job. It is too mindless for you. You will get bored and quit in a weeks’ time. I know you too well.” This is where I started to tense up. I knew I needed this. There is no way I could walk out of here without the job. My mind started to go a million miles an hour trying to figure out what to say that would convince her to give me the job. So, I sucked it up. I just went for it. I begged. I sat in front of someone I respected, had known for years, and begged for the job. At that point, if I’d needed to I was fully prepared to get on my knees, cry, and grovel for this job. After about 45 minutes she finally agreed. I can only assume that it was because she felt bad for me. She went on to repeat that I would get bored and tell me how there was no room for advancement. I didn’t care, I had a job. I would love this job, appreciate it and stay until they fired or laid me off! I had months of bills to pay and a child to raise.
I started the job a week later and currently am still employed with the company. Even though she said I would get bored and my father told me to keep looking for something better I held firm. I told them both that I would make this work. I would make something of it and maybe I wouldn’t be rich but it didn’t matter. All I cared about and still care about to this day is paying my bills and providing for my son. I’ve beaten many odds over the past thirteen years and have showed people I can make something of myself. I am currently the manager of operations, supervising nineteen employees, a mother, a homeowner and now a landlord.
I truly believe that there is no odds I can’t defeat.