{Thankful November} 23: Discomfort

December 22nd, 2011 | Rachel

Join me in the comments or on your own blog as I give thanks every day this month.

If you read the title of this entry and immediately thought of an ad for FiberOne, you are not alone.  It did not go over well with my test audience.  Still, no one could think of a word that better summed up my point.  If you have a suggestion, please share.

Simply put, I am thankful for the times we are inconvenienced, uncertain and uncomfortable because those are times we are the most creative and resourceful.  Those are also the times we are inspired to consider other possibilities and try new things because it is easier to see how much we have to gain… and how little we have to lose.

A prime example of this is my last job at the law firm.  It was no secret that I wasn’t loving the job anymore, and I regularly joked about what I would rather be doing (namely, moving to France and opening a bed and breakfast, which is how this blog was named).  Even though I knew I would be happier doing something else, the fact remained that I was making a very comfortable salary at the firm and enjoyed a lot of other perks of being a “successful” professional in New York City.

Then the day came when two partners walked into my office and informed me the firm was “terminating its relationship” with me.

The first emotion to hit me was that of indignation.  How dare they tell me they didn’t need me.

The second was of panic.  What did this mean about my financial stability?  My career?

The third and longest lasting emotion was that of annoyance.  The Plan was to work at the firm for five years and then take my life skills and nest egg elsewhere.  Instead, I was suddenly faced with the question of “what do I really want to do?” two years early with barely any legal experience or money in my bank account.

At first, I tried to find a similar law firm job to keep in line with my original plan.  However, as the months passed and my severance came to an end with no job prospects in sight, I realized I was going to have to start considering other possibilities.

I had already filled out the paperwork to collect unemployment when I stumbled upon the help wanted sign at my present bakery.  Sure, when it came to lawyer jobs I didn’t want to consider anything that paid less than six figures, but when it was an issue of collecting piddly unemployment versus getting paid $9 an hour, the decision wasn’t quite so extreme.  Unemployment would have paid more, actually, but I knew I needed the daily structure and was curious to gain more experience in the hospitality industry.  Plus the bakery offered health insurance.

Throughout those first few months after I got laid off, I kept telling people that I wished I could see myself in six months because I knew everything was going to be ok, but I didn’t know how I was going to get there.  All I knew is that the transition was going to be very uncomfortable and little bit scary.

Curbing my spending habits and moving out of my apartment so I could sublet it and save money were a huge pain in the ass.  Sorting through the mountains of paper in my office and moving out all of my personal belongings was beyond inconvenient.  Packing up all of my kitchen supplies, furniture and clothes and putting them into storage until I move to California was downright annoying.

Still, I am thankful for all of the discomfort I’ve experienced over the past year because it is pushing me towards a life far more fulfilling than the comfortable life I was living before.

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