Tracking the Path You’re On

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Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever had a really great moment, sat back and reflected upon it and realized that you can see how ever moment was crucial to getting to that spot?  There is no better feeling than being able to see how all of the hard work paid off.

Looking back at the journey I have taken to get to the spot I am at today, I am amazed at how what felt like a wrong turn was crucial to the success I see in front of me now.  I have had a few very different career paths that didn’t pan out, but were needed to help me get to the place I stand today.

When I was in my early 20’s I worked as a Waitress and Bartender while I was going to school.  I got bored and was looking for the next step in my career and found it as a Wine and Spirits Account Manager for a wholesale company.  My job entailed selling wine and spirits to restaurants, country clubs and banquet halls.  I did staff training, put together wine menus and held events such as wine dinners.  This was the job that made the biggest impression on me.  I fell in love with sales.  I was really quite good at selling and developing strong relationships with my clients.

In my early 30’s, I had 3 kid and a marriage that was falling apart.  I needed more security and found it when I got an offer to work for General Motors.  For a single parent, it was like winning the lottery.  I would be making an excellent wage, health insurance was incredible, and completely free, I would have 29 days off a year plus 2 weeks in December and 2 weeks in July during shut-down and plant maintenance, I would have an amazing pension and college for the kids would be paid for through the company.  It didn’t matter that I loved selling wine, this was an opportunity I had to take.

I worked for General Motors for 7 years.  The kids and I had a very comfortable life.  The hours were awful, I was always exhausted, but I was grateful to have what I needed to support my family.

In 2009 I was hit with a double-whammy.  The plant closed and I found out I had fibromyalgia.  I had been remarried now for 3 years and my husband had worked at the same plant I did.  With two incomes gone, my husband and I had no idea what our next career move would be.  We both went back to school.

I found a program that would only take me a year and would provide a good income.  I went to school to be a paralegal.  The classes were interesting, I thrived and got all A’s in my classes.  I was relieved.  I could bounce back and start over doing something that would pay well and that I was interested in.

Finding a job was rough.  I ended up working as a receptionist at a law firm.  I was slowly taking on more assignments and thought I could see a future building up in front of me.  I was wrong.  The long hours and the constant sitting hurt horribly.  Apparently having fibromyalgia did not mix well with a stressful office environment, long hours and being stationary for long periods of time.  I left the law firm and depression set in.

I had hit bottom.  I would think about all of the struggles I had endured.  All of the times I had to pick myself up and start over.  It just too much.  All around me friends appeared to be living an easy existence.  There was no divorce, switching of jobs or in some cases working at all.  I wished desperately to be a stay at home mom.  I missed the kids horribly.  I just never expected to be a stay at home mom because of my illness.  Things had gotten so out of hand.  The family struggled to make ends meet and I knew I had to do something to bring in an income.

I had so much pent-up anger, exhaustion, depression and shock over where my life had led me.  I had hit a dead-end.  I couldn’t just roll over and give up.  There were 4 other people in our household who were depending on me.  This is when I began my blog.

I started the blog to yell at the world.  I complained about all the unfairness I felt.  I pondered dozens of questions that were shooting through my brain.  I had found a way to release all of the anger, fear, frustration and slowly began to take my life back as I wrote each day.

I got sick of my whiny inner voice and slowly gained back a sense of purpose.  I decided that even with my limitations I was going to have a good life.  I realized that I was lucky. This was my chance to begin again in the best of ways.  I could stay home with the kids, and have a career.  I would go after my biggest dreams and get all that I had ever wanted. It wasn’t a scary decision.  I had hit bottom…hard.  I knew that things could only get better, so why not dream big and just go for it?

All of those past events have helped to shape my current situation.  I am a fighter and a survivor.  I took a dream and made it a reality.  Nothing scares me or holds me back because I have already experienced my worst fears and worked through them.

I love working as a writer and social media consultant.  I work hard because I love what I do.  This has been the only job I have ever had that truly feels like a part of my soul.  I am so passionate about what I do that I have to remind myself to eat, go to sleep or take a break every now and then.  Who would have guessed that I would be living the dream, doing what I love and controlling what the future holds in store for me?  There is no ceiling on income, there is no end to the creativity and I actually see my kids every day.

Because of all of the experiences I have had, I have endless material to write about.  I understand so many more people and their situations because of all of the drama I faced myself.  The best part is that all of those past jobs have some importance in the career I have today.  I am great at building relationships and selling my skills.  I understand the legal aspect of contracts and agreements and I have been able to work long hours with meticulous detail just like I had to do when I worked on the line.  Now I just use those skills on paper.

It’s been an extraordinary ride.  Sure there have been bad moments, but the fabulous moments have well made up for any rough times.  To have gotten where I am now, I wouldn’t have traded a thing.  It’s what has made me who I am now and I am content, at peace and enjoying life thoroughly.

The best moments await you when you hit bottom the hardest.  Realize this fortunate event and make your dreams come true. – Wendy McCance

 

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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6 thoughts on “Tracking the Path You’re On

  1. I liked hearing your story Wendy. I had read bits and pieces of it before and with this story I got the whole picture. I can’t imagine what you felt, alone, as a sole provider for your kids and out of a job. I can only imagine the fear and worry of what to do next.

    I felt some of that but from a different perspective, as a child, when my dad lost his job when they went on strike at the navy yard. It was more indirect emotions as I wasn’t in control of the situation and responsible for making the income but I felt it just the same. There were many nights when we went hungry and with no heat. I still don’t care for pancakes to this day.

    When I married and we had our first daughter I was able to stay home with her as we had planned. But over the years and with our second daughter staying home the majority of the time doesn’t set the stage for much savings down the line. So, coming from that perspective it’s not as smooth as I would have preferred in retirement. But, having said that, I wouldn’t have traded the choice we made to do that. I’m realizing it more each day how special that time was and I am very grateful.

    With the opportunities today on the internet, there are many ways to support yourself and bring in money even in your golden years. I can still contribute and put something out in the world. Sometimes, the best things in life seem hard but are the most precious. It makes it all worth while when you come out the other end, like you have, and discovery its treasure.

    I’m proud of your courage and tenacity, Wendy, and celebrate your success with you! 🙂

    • Your words mean the world to me. I am grateful for the time I have had with the kids. Back when I was working at GM, there were so many people who worked any hours they could get to provide for their families. These were the same people who lost out on the joy of seeing these kids grow up.

      I always said that it was an evil choice when you have to choose between being with your kids or taking that time to bring in money for them. it’s truly heartbreaking.

      I am grateful for the internet. You are right in that there are so many opportunities on the net these days. Finally a way to choose the kids and the money. 🙂

  2. Wow what an amazing ride your life has been, but you know what is sad that for some people they have to hit rock bottom before they even start to try…………………you have gone from strength to strength even if you have had some unexpected pot holes in the road………………you are amazing

  3. Your strength is admirable. I am scrabbling to find a way to have an income. I have a hearing impairment and I have problems answering a land line phone in an office. What was once easy as an office manager talking with clients and consultants is now difficult because of the phone. I am learning so much from you, thank you for sharing your life lessons with us.

    • Thanks for your comment. It really means a lot to get feedback like that. I know you will find that perfect fit. It usually happens when you least expect it. Wishing you all the best. 🙂

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