In this picture it looks like it might be raining…however, that is just melted snow. I snapped this after a quick stop to grab a coffee on my way to work and while it’s a simple picture, taken with my IPhone, it actually represents so much more than water drops on my window.

Taken in the early morning commute you can see parts of what is one of my favorite places in this beautiful city. This particular morning would mark the last day of what has been a very long, and at times, depressing chapter of my own making. I spent this drive reflecting back on my struggles and successes of the past several months.

July 1, 2015, after a flurry of changes at work and some knee-jerk reactions and decisions on my part, I would find myself in position of forced resolve and great regret. While I felt a small amount of justification in leaving a bad situation, I soon discovered that my haste would land me in all-too-familiar and undesired territory.  Long story short, I accepted a job that I knew deep down I did not want. And, if I’m completely honest, I took it because I was hurt and I wanted to make the person who had hurt me suffer. Already in the midst of very personal and emotional crossroads, this would be my rock bottom. The next few months would be difficult but on this drive, on this morning, I was able smile and recognize that while I certainly do not ever want to find myself in this place again, this is exactly what my hurting soul and selfish heart needed.

First, the long commute, while not completely intolerable, would prove to be an ultimate attitude adjustment. Gas prices initially were higher and would be a source of frustration whenever I found myself at the gas pump or dealership for an all-too-often oil change. I started eating out less to help cover the additional costs. I was a little more aware of the miles that I put on my Jeep outside of work and made fewer and fewer unnecessary trips into town. I also grew tired of the same radio stations and started listening to BBC News and Family Talk radio. While I know that my problems are sometimes legitimate, I spend entirely too much time feeling sorry for myself and need to sincerely learn to appreciate the very wonderful blessings that I have been given. There are people all over this world living with conditions that no human-being should have to endure, yet there are amazing stories of how they do it with such grace and dignity, how can I possibly live in my warm, comfortable home, eat more food in one meal than many see in a week, and then snivel about not liking my job?

Then there was the job itself. Honestly, I hated it. Every morning was a struggle, I even started ruining whole weekends because all I could think was Monday would be here and I’d have to go back. What’s the good in that? Hmmm…I learned just how self-centered I had become. I have an amazing husband who has made so many selfless sacrifices that I was aware of but never really, really appreciated…until now. I have great friends but I never realized just how very privileged I am to know these people and have their kindness and support. The job forced me to do things that I simply did not want to do and when you find yourself doing things you do not want to do you learn to either wallow or make the best of it. I confess there were days that I wallowed but some days I simply did the job, stopped thinking of my own self and discovered that I have the ability to impact others in a positive way.

Outside of work I started really seeing what matters. I began to let go of a lot of insignificant baggage and learned that I no longer have to live with self-doubt. I do not have to be that selfish, self-center, self-protected person who refused to let go of a past that I cannot change. Spending my life focusing on guilt, regret and all that’s wrong is preventing me from living the life I so desperately want.  As I spent months searching and interviewing for a new job, I learned patience and I soon discovered that the job market has changed and is not overly-friendly. Every interview, every revision of my resume, every rejection was a blow and while it was beyond frustrating I also felt each one chipping away at my entitled ego. I would need to be persistent and rely on the help of others but eventually I would finally get the call I had been hoping and praying for.

Now, I sit here with a new perspective. In this moment, looking out this window, in this beautiful snow, in a city that I adore, feeling loved and supported by those close to me, I know that no matter what I do not have, I have everything.


Published by Fence Row Photography

Hello!! Welcome to Fence Row Photography. I am Tina Campbell. Owner, operator, photographer and lover of the great outdoors. Born and raised in Iowa, I have developed an eye for looking beyond the surface of the seasons and it has become my passion to seek, find and share the beauty in the everyday and the unexpected.

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