Oh, a BIG day, indeed!
I had my interview today with the director of the Georgia Advocacy Office, where I've been doing volunteer work. I start full time Monday, with salary, benefits, and all that good stuff. In the interview, she said that she'd received over 75 (!) applications for the position, but she could do an 'internal hire' and bypass all the posting requirements for someone already on staff, and my volunteer work made me eligible. She said that every single person on a staff of 35 - attorneys, advocates, trainers, administrators, and support staff - wanted her to hire me. She asked me what it would take to get me to turn down the other job I had just accepted, and work for them. I nearly cried. It took twenty minutes to leave the office today, every person there had to congratulate me, welcome me, and tell me how lucky they felt having me join them. I didn't cry then...but I am now.
For any of you facing hard times and feeling despair, let me explain. This is my first paying job in 6 1/2 years. I've had over a dozen surgeries, lost my wife, profession as a successful consulting engineer, life savings, house, and many other things. I live in chronic pain - better now these days, but I will hurt every remaining day of my life. My heart works at about 35% - up from 15%. I've flatlined on the operating table six times. I was told that I should stop worrying about going back to work, because it was impossible - and if I didn't accept it, the stress of worrying about it would probably kill me. This spring, my G.P. told me that twenty years of medical experience had left him convinced that I would not live out the year - over five years ago. And I'm leaving stuff out...it's been rough.
I decided back then that I WOULD work again someday, and that I would use the lessons I had learned to help others. I would try to be an advocate in an area I felt deeply about, ideally in the disability field. Money really didn't matter, as long as I could support myself and help support my son. And I'd start writing and playing music again.
It was hard - more surgeries and long, painful rehabilitations over eighteen months. Deciding whether to eat or pay the power bill. Taking cold showers in winter in a house without heat for several months. Dealing with uncaring bureaucrats, incompetent doctors, and being primary caregiver for a severely disabled mother on oxygen with cognitive and emotional problems.
Now I am going to work for the lead agency advocating for disabled people in the state of Georgia, and turning down another job with the Atlanta Project to do so. The money's about what you'd expect for a NPO. But the office is less than ten minutes from home. My co-workers are outstanding people who are passionate and caring in their work. They make a difference every day in the lives of others. And now, so will I. At work. Work. I like that word. Pay sounds good, too!
Believe, my friends. Believe. I did. You can. Never give up. Even if you fail, go down swinging, fighting to the last breath. It's all belief and will. Magick isn't external, it's internal, in every breath and in every action you take. Change yourself, change the outside reality.
If I died tomorrow I would die happy, for I have now known a success that is beyond any reward of money, power, or position. I have done what several doctors told me repeatedly was impossible. And I thank all my friends here that have helped me along the way. Dreams CAN come true. Just don't give up.
Love, light, and laughter,
Edited 11/4/2003 12:04:27 AM ET by Bluehawk (BLUEHAWK9)