My Year in Review

It’s the Christmas weekend and I’m amazed at how fast it’s come.

A lot happened to me this year, which I’ll briefly recap:

  • January – left my job to pursue a career interest
  • February – couldn’t get unemployment benefits b/c of my voluntary leave, so I had to depend on savings.
  • March – Began my first interview with an Advertising Agency, but something told me to move on.
  • April through July – Got couple more interviews but either I was rejected or I didn’t like what I observed.
  • July and August – Babysat and kept job searching.
  • September – I celebrate another year of life, but no birthday party : (
  • October – landed a job! YEAH!
  • November – Counted my blessings and enjoyed the food for Thanksgiving. (I usually end up washing the dishes.)
  • December – Got accepted into OT School, but am considering Law School instead. I even earned a volunteer opportunity with a wonderful PR team at a hospital.

Now, that 2011 is a few days away, I’m not sure I’m ready for it. 2010 has left me going through so many disappointments and frustrations I feel like 2011 might be just the same. There were times throughout this year I didn’t know how I’d pull through it all BUT my faith in God kept me going. Any time I hear people say, “I hate my job!” or “Is it Friday already?” I’m like, “Don’t you people know how blessed you are to have a job?” STOP COMPLAINING! I’ve been through unemployment for a few months and have been blessed to find something and KEEP IT!

This Christmas holiday is another reminder of how blessed we are to have jobs, families, and the necessary things that keep us holding on to life. If you’re reading and don’t have a job right now, one advice I’ll give you is DON’T GIVE UP! It’s easy to become complacent and give up after rejection, after rejection, but believe me when I say “keep trying” – you’re bound to find something.

Thank you again to Jesus, to my family, to my friends, and esp. my blog readers. As I write this, I just wanted to share this: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Cherish each day you have going into 2011 and beyond and I pray that many successes and blessings come upon you.

NOTE: As I was writing, my pent up frustrations (esp. in the first paragraph) began to be expressed. If there’s anything you got from this piece, which will be my last for 2010, you can be sure to expect more in 2011—real, expressive blog pieces : ).

Nine Months Later…

I have been unemployed, yet kept hoping for possibilities.

On October 13, I watched the tv as it became inundated with the story of the Chilean miners trapped for 69 days since August 4. I compared my life to theirs. I too felt trapped in a deep hole with no way out except for outsiders to dig me out. The only light I had was the encouragement from family and friends and reading the Bible. I began to hold one verse in particular very dear to me, which read, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).” [Hebrews 10:23 KJV]

The week prior to the good news of the Chilean miners, I went on two interviews. Company #1 was the interview I had written about in an earlier post and company #2 was another one, which I discovered online and applied to a week later. I felt good about interviewing with Company #1, but after two weeks passing, my gut told me I might not have been the selected candidate. Company #1 told me that I would’ve been notified the following week whether or not I was to go on for a second interview; however, when that following week approached I heard nothing. I decided to call the HR manager to find out the status only to get voicemail. After leaving a message, within a few minutes, I received an e-mail that company #1 was still interviewing and would let me know of the status the week after. The week after came, but I never heard anything. (At this time, my gut told me to apply elsewhere, so I did.)

While waiting to hear back from company #1, I got a phone call from another company for an interview. This is company #2.  I met with company #2 and interviewed with the HR manager, who felt I was SO overqualified for the position, yet felt I would be a better fit for another position the company had opened. They had me interview right after them with the person whom the selected candidate would work with. After about an hour all together, I was told I am on the top of the list. Company #2 said they would contact me the next week on the Wednesday (which is Oct. 13, the day the Chilean miners were rescued).

So, fast-forward to Wednesday, October 13 and I’m engulfed with the good news of the rescue efforts in Chile. By this time, I still had not heard from company #1 neither did I hear from company #2. I decided to keep faith and kept praying. One thing I grew up believing is that prayer works.

Friday comes and I still had not heard from company #1 or #2. I’ll be honest and admit that I felt disappointed, dismayed, and a bit frustrated, but I assured myself that if it’s God’s will He’ll show me the place I need to work in His appointed time. By around 5:30 p.m. that afternoon, I get a phone call from…company #2. The conversation went something like this:

Company #2: Hello, may I speak with Kimi-Roux?
Me: Yes, speaking.
Company #2: Hi, Kimi-Roux. This is company #2 and this is a follow-up to our meeting with you. We really liked your personality and think you’d make a good fit with our company. We’d like to extend an offer for a job opportunity with us. Do you accept?
Me: OMG! Of course! I can’t believe it! I’ve been praying for this moment! When do I start?

At this time, we had negotiated pay and the date I begin, and hung up the phone. I was filled with so much positive emotion and overwhelmed at receiving the good news that I had to cry afterwards. It kept ringing in my mind that I had just been offered a job and after nine months of unemployment, I knew God was listening and answered. The first person I told was my aunt who cried with me, because she knew of how long I was trying to find something, and then we prayed together. I called my family members, told a few friends and am still amazed at what just happened over the last few days. I felt connected to the Chilean miners, in a metaphoric way. I had been rescued like they were from a dark hole, never knowing how long I would remain in that hole, but thank God He rescued me.

In two weeks, I begin work and am happy to say after nine months, it feels pretty good to be one less statistic off the unemployment list.

 Thank you to my blog readers and friends who’ve prayed for me over the course of those nine months. Your words of encouragement and support have helped me get through this time. You don’t know how much it truly meant to me. Those past nine months were a test of my faith, but I am a living testament that God is real and prayers do get answered, if it is to be. Thanks again to all!

SIDE NOTE: Company #1 eventually got back to me by sending me a letter saying how impressed they were with my resume, yet another more qualified individual was selected and that they wished me luck on my job search.

A Song in My Heart

Mahhh-Mayyyy-Mahhhh-Mayyyy, (inhale) Ma-Me-Ma-Me-Ma-Me-Ma-Me, (faster) Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma- Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Maaayyyyy…Breathe!

Thanks to our rising star choir teacher Petula Beckles, we take breathing exercises (like the one above) to open our lungs to better aid in our singing. We’re not perfect, but we are getting better.

Every Thursday, the church sanctuary is lit up with the voices of youth (ages 16 – 35). Sometimes we sing so loud, people outside take a peek into the sanctuary to see what’s going on. I like that. It’s a softer and more passive way of evangelising to people of what our church’s youth can do. (It’s amazing the talent that youth have if you take a better look.)  

My love for singing began when I was in the sixth grade.  Our school was forming a group to compete against other school choirs in the region. Those interested could audition. I did, got to join the group, and later learned what being a soprano was. My high pitched voice stood out among the crowd and I loved the attention–but I quickly discovered that being in a choir meant being uniformed, singing together, not always taking the lead. Through weeks of practice our little group of eight made it to the finals in the competition setting our hopes high. We didn’t win (sadly), but that loss never deterred me from singing.

Through my high school and college years up till now, I continue to sing. I never forgot my choir teachers through those years. Where are they? I don’t know. But I am thankful for the opportunity to be guided under their wings and hope they still help youth to sing. I believe singing helps youth to listen effectively, establish teamwork, and overcome stage fright (for the most part). But over the years as I’ve joined choirs, I’ve come to believe that singing also has powerful effects of ministering through song.

Sometimes when I stand on stage to perform, a sea of faces look back on me and I immediately read their silent cries of hopelessness, heartache, suffering, financial woes, and more. That’s alleviated when the choir sings its song. I glance back at those faces and there seems to be a rayof hope amidst their despair. They’re smiling and clapping their hands and praising God for His wonders. 

I’m reminded in Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV), “But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” When I sing, I’m reminded of that verse and it shows.  Some people say when I sing they feel better because I sing from the heart. That’s how I want it to be. The song in my heart is a reminder that despite the painful woes and fears of this world that we can be hopeful. We may fall, but we don’t have to linger on the ground, we can get up (as the famous Donnie McLurkin says).

Our choir sings this weekend and I know we’ll “blow the roof” as they say (I’m still getting the lingo), but as long as I can help someone to be reminded that they are worth living, that care and support is never far of reach, that they can have peace of mind, I continue to inspire when I sing.