Post Graduation Roadblocks: It’s okay!

Although this post is titled “post graduation” roadblocks, this post is applicable to any roadblock you encounter on your life journey.

Most of us have an idea of what we want out of life. We have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Some of us have had a game plan since as young as elementary school! We had or still currently have these 5 to 10 year plans and we work endlessly trying to turn these plans into reality. The thing about these detailed plans, we expect them to fall like dominoes, accomplishing one goal after another in a specific order so they fall effortlessly without any hiccups. But what happens when a domino piece is removed? What happens when what we expect to happen doesn’t actually happen? What do we do with that empty space in between the dominoes that was supposed to be filled with another completed goal? In the words of Tobi Lou, just keep going, just keep going.

I graduated May of this year, I had a job waiting for me the day after graduation. All my dominoes were in order, always falling on time. Then BOOM, the world is  in the middle of a global pandemic, COVID-19 completely stopped our way of living for a few months. Companies had to scale back on employees and well…last hired, first fired. I received the “call,” about how my start date was now tentative and they would keep me posted with updates. Long story short, I lost the position. The score read: COVID-1CHI-0. My life went off script, a domino was removed. I was now faced with options. I could be mad, dwell in what could have been and leave that domino space blank or find a new piece to replace it. The latter is better than the former. 

Life goes on regardless of what’s happening in our personal life. The world didn’t stop for me to regroup after I found out I no longer had a job, the world kept moving, and as did I! Of course take the time to process any new shift in your life, but at the same time find the beauty in the shift.

The beauty in my shift was I had an AMPLE amount of free time. For the first time since preschool I had no classes to worry about and no obligations outside of finding something to occupy my time with. I was in paradise, an unemployed paradise. Everyday was a new adventure! Whether it was being laid out at the beach, reading at the park, writing my book, editing a blog post, I had no expectation for the days ahead but to make sure I enjoyed it! Everyone around me kept asking me what’s next, what do I plan to do with my life now and I bluntly replied every time, “I don’t  know, but right now for the first time in my life I’m truly living so I’m going to ride this wave for a bit and then think about that later.” I don’t know what was more amusing, their facial expressions and shift in tone or their concern for my future.

My shift made me realize I was obsessed with creating the perfect future I was rarely living in the present. I was rarely taking the time to appreciate how beautiful, entertaining, and exciting life is when you’re truly living in the moment and taking each day as they come. I genuinely believe me losing that position was the universe telling me to stop and breathe, to live. Clearly I knew I couldn’t live like this forever and that eventually I’d need a source of income, at the time I was living off of the money I received from graduation. I did this for about a month, where I’d do nothing but enjoy what life had to offer. One of the best months of my life at that. 

After that I decided I could have the best of both worlds, actively work towards my next “thing,” but still appreciate life and live in the moment. So, everyday I’d apply for 5 to 10 jobs. I’d do this at the park, beach, somewhere outdoors so when I was done doing that I can continue to live life the way I was living. Some days I’d apply for 15. I knew I wanted to be employed again so I knew I had to actively do the work to get there. However, the point of all of this was to say I turned my roadblock into a pitstop. Changed my perspective. I no longer looked at life as dominoes, but instead as puzzle pieces

The great thing about life being a puzzle…we have all the pieces…everything we need to succeed, live, and understand our lives…we have it all. Sometimes we spend hours working towards completing the puzzle and sometimes we forget we’re working on it. Some sections of the puzzle are more detailed and take more patience and other pieces were already connected and just needed to be added in.  No matter how far along you are in your puzzle, you’re proud of the progress and you know the bigger picture is worth every piece. Every single piece contributes to the grand picture, therefore every piece is important. Even the “roadblock” pieces. 

You ever had a situation you didn’t think you’d overcome? You thought for sure this is the roadblock you just couldn’t get past? Then somehow you made it through? Well those are the pieces of the puzzle that you’re sure we’re added to the box by mistake, they don’t seem to fit anywhere and then viola, you find the space! 

Lifes a puzzle, a very intricate one. Each piece is a moment, experience, pitstop, whatever it may be…and they’re all individually beautiful. So when you have a pitstop in your life that you think you’re not going to get past or you want to melt down and you convince yourself it’s the end of the world. Go ahead, process it! Add that piece to the puzzle, but remember that’s not your last piece to place and practice appreciating the beauty in each piece. Practice shifting your perspective from roadblock to pitstop. A chance to recoup, recharge, and adjust accordingly. I say this all the time in my posts, there is power in our thoughts. Our mindset has the ability to change our reality, how we perceive the world is all we will see it to be. 

You don’t have to be positive 24/7, but when negative things happen or when you think you’ve hit a roadblock. Instead of sitting in that negativity, experience it and let it pass. Shift your attention either to placing the next puzzle piece down or appreciating how far your puzzle has come. Why? Because that’s #WhatChiSaid! See you next time!

*The universe is so funny sometimes, this was supposed to be last weeks post. However, due to the ongoing #ENDSARS movement, I wanted to help highlight the issues in Nigeria. The original post day, last week Wednesday, I was still unemployed. Since then, literally in the span of 7 days, I was offered 2 positions with 2 different pharmaceutical companies and had the opportunity to interview with a top 10 fortune 100 company. I’m still currently in awe. I’ve enjoyed my pitstop so much. I’ve recharged more than I ever thought I would and I’m ready to keep adding more pieces to my puzzle. I can’t even tell you how many jobs I applied for and how many rejections I received, yet everyday I was genuinely happy and content because I knew I was doing everything I could to find my next “thing” and there was nothing left to do but be patient, continue to do the internal and external work to prepare myself for what’s to come, and enjoy life while doing so. My perspective on life made all this time worthwhile and although I will start working again soon…I’m still going to continue to live…truly live and enjoy life!*

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Published by WhatChiSaid

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