Having sent out another batch of resumes and applications today, complete with tailored cover letters and transcripts, I reflect back on the path I've been on now since departing the Air Force. It isn't where I thought I would be. It's not necessarily where I want to be. Yet, here I am, on the road to...I don't know. In today's tough times and hardships, I'm hardly alone on this path, yet the course I travel is mine and mine alone. We all have our paths to take and crosses to bear.
There are days of utter disappointment and despair. I vow to never fill out another application, send another resume, or to make any more follow up emails or phone calls. I am done with all of this. So I say and proclaim!
Yet, each morning, the coffee is on and the computer is running. This is my routine. Until I find what I am looking for...my new identity...this is my life. I have stated to friends that I do this because there is no alternative. I have no other choice but to keep pressing forward. Yet, they tell me that this is strength carrying me forward. Others have suffered similar defeats and remain defeated. Their last battle lost the war for them. For me, I simply don't see it the same way. I have too much to live for, too much to be thankful for, too much pride. I say pride, yet in all reality, it is probably more stubborness than anything else. I refuse to be beaten. I get back up, learn more about myself and the ways of the civilian world, and go at it again...and again.
Many times, when others are struggling, we remind them that if this doesn't kill them, it will make them stronger. I jest in stating that if this statement was indeed a fact, I should be Hercules by now. Judging from my absence from the gym since departing the military, this is definitely not a true statement in the physical realm. However, spiritually and mentally, I have grown stronger. I believe in the Lord and His plan for me on the toughest of days (after all, He's gotten me through worse!). I also have learned I am valuable to those in my life more than just from my career. I am wanted for me as the person, not the monetary values I can bring home. I know that as long as I don't quit, the battle may be lost, but the war will be won.
A great friend (SWork) told me that your true strength is not known until the need to display it is gone. She continued with the thought that we feel weak and battered during this storm. She is so very correct, I have felt rejected, battered, unworthy, and a failure. Yet, I keep coming back like a fighter in the ring that has more heart than brains. His heart tells him he can win, even when his brain is throwing in the towel. I want to be that guy! This is the guy that will win, maybe not today or this week, but he will win. Why? Because he refuses to give up.
There are days when my strength is no more than getting out of bed. Yet, after I have done that, my determination takes over, I move forward. I know not where God will take me, but it isn't here, this is temporary. As I keep my eyes open, my heart in the game, my eye on the prize, and my brain in check, the days continue to tick by. The lickings keep coming, yet I am not down for the count. I may fall, I may be bloodied, but I will win. There is no other choice!
So, as with every one else whom has traveled this road before and left a trail, I will find the crossroads soon, and this too shall be one of the prize fights of life won. Ding, time to go to my corner!