"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Crowded with Unexpected Joys

"May your life be crowded with unexpected joys." ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Where are the words to describe where I am?

I can't seem to find them. But allow me to try.

Last month, I had decided that everyday before I go to sleep I would say a prayer of thanks for five things I was grateful for that day. It has become such a habit that one time I forgot to do this, I actually woke up in the middle of the night remembering that I didn't do it and then after saying thanks for five things, promptly went back to snoozeville.

Anyhoo, one day last week, an astute friend who lives oceans away on a different continent texted me asking me how I was doing. He said he read my blog and felt like something was troubling me. I told him I was ok, but that my dad had a prostate condition and that Pa was told by his doctor that he needed an operation. What I had not shared with him, but I'm doing so here because he's one of the reasons I started blogging anyways, was that there was another financial hiccup that came up and that one-two punch virtually wiped out my emergency fund yet again, just when I had paid off the eye operation Mama underwent last February.

But hey, I told myself, what the hell is the emergency fund for if not for emergencies, right?

My dear sweet friend texted me back "Don't worry, the tides will change." I cannot begin to tell you sweetie, how much I clung to those words of yours. Thank you for always being there for me, and for reaching out when you did.

So I started looking again for supplemental income online to get me replenishing the fund. Two days later I got a contract offer for a freelance gig which got me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride. After telling me that I had great potential and scoring a 99% in the test, he emailed me a contract that seriously paid peanuts. I was in a really bad place by this time. I didn't know what the going rate for gigs like this was, but I had no diddly clue it was this low. And a part of me didn't want to think that this was below me, this rate. I mean, didn't I need the money? So shouldn't I simply roll up my sleeves and just do the job?

I emailed the contract to Zippy who concurred that it was too low and would take up too much of my time and that I should consider other options. So I went back and said no to the contract.

I once again took a cold hard look at my finances. Not pretty. So with shoulders slumped, I go to bed that night. I decided to thank God for the increment of 3% to 5% that will kick into my salary in April's paycheck. In real dollar terms some people may think that amount is low, but I was at a point where I was thankful for any amount while at the same time, thankful that all-in-all, our family's health was as good as we can make of it. Papa had by this time, gone to another doctor for a second opinion and he's now under medication for a couple of months afterwhich the doctor will check again if he needs to operate.

Then, last Wednesday, my boss in LA calls me. She tells me she's giving me a promotion and a commensurate raise. I am surprised and taken aback. I honestly didn't expect this because I didn't feel like I was doing my job right lately. But here we are. She also asked if I was going to Miami for this network event in April or to New York for a red carpet do in June. I told her I'd be in the Big Apple in June (of course I was thinking Bluggerbug, Nicole and Tati and Zippy, Vicks and Teocakes) and she said we'd break open champagne then to celebrate my promotion.

Words to describe how my heart is overflowing with gratitude escape me. I am in the palm of the hand of all grace, surrounded by unexpected joys. I am humbled, awe-struck and inspired to continue on in the journey I've embarked when my internal seismic shift took place early this year. It's not so much that things are falling into place, but there's this deep knowing, concrete and undeniable, that had made itself known to me. I cannot explain it. Maybe one day I'll try. For now, I will sit in its mystery.

(Photo credit: carf)

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