Tuesday morning I will be starting the next leg of my life’s journey. A new job in downtown Indianapolis! For years, I have dreamed of working downtown, probably due to the influences of Marlo Thomas and Mary Tyler Moore.
As a little girl, living in Pittsboro, Indiana (population 867), I was enthralled with the television shows depicting single women leaving small towns to make their way in the big city.
When I was eighteen, my family took a trip to New York. I remember feeling my dad’s frustration as we sat in 5:00 rush hour traffic, skyscrapers towering overhead. I was fascinated by what appeared to be a wall of business men and women standing on the curb, and then moving in unison through the intersection. There seemed to be thousands of people determinedly walking past our car, and I wanted to be one of them.
But as life would have it, rather than growing into an independent career woman, I chose to drop out of college, marry young, and stay home with my babies.
I wondered sometimes what it would be like to go into the world completely free and unfettered. I secretly daydreamed of the wonderful things I would do, and cities where I would live if I ever did find myself on my own.
When I divorced, we discussed how difficult it would be for the little ones to suddenly have a mom who worked full-time. We arranged things so that I could stay home until the youngest turned twelve. Circumstances required that I start a part-time job a little earlier than planned, so I hired on at Starbucks.
As many of you know, last March, a woman came through the Starbucks drive-thru, and based on my “interpersonal skills,” offered me a full-time job as a staffing recruiter. It was only 15 minutes from home, and the schedule was extremely flexible. I figured I had nothing to lose.
But then . . . out of the blue . . . I was fired. One week before my 50th birthday, two weeks prior to Christmas, and 15 days before my youngest turned 12. I knew it was time to pursue my dream of working downtown.
I could have been discouraged by the firing, but I believe nothing happens by accident. For example, five years ago, in an attempt to save my marriage, I flew to Berlin. I knew it was going to be a difficult flight, so I booked the very front seat in a single row so that I could be alone. When I boarded, I was asked if I would give that seat to someone who needed it more. I ended up sitting next to a New Jersey business man who owned a company in the recruiting industry. My husband was having a difficult time hiring quality employees, so I took the man’s card and connected with him on LinkedIn.
My work at Starbucks led me to a job in the recruiting industry. It gave me a skill set. The day after I was fired, I contacted the man from the plane to inquire if he needed recruiters in the Indianapolis office, located in the heart of downtown. The day before my kid’s 12th birthday, I went for an interview. And finally, at the age of 50, I get my chance to be That Girl.
Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact ginger@claremohr.com.