Life is all about taking small steps at the present moment, which will eventually lead to big steps in the future. From the moment you learn to walk as a young child, your first steps are small and clumsy as opposed to big and balanced. When working towards your goals in life, taking the necessary small, child-like steps before making the big strides forward are just as important as those small steps you took when you were learning to walk. It’s coming up on two months now since I left my life behind in Chicago and headed to the west coast and set my feet on the soil of the state of California. My last couple of blogs have been on this topic, so I thought that I would continue on this theme and share with you my progress in the nearly month and a half I have been here and the small steps that I have taken thus far, which will lead to those big steps I hope to take in the future.
Like many people with a college degree, my first job out of college is not my dream job, but it’s a paycheck and it’s not at all a bad job. For the past two weeks, I have been working as a sales associate at Pier 1 Imports, as much as I didn’t want to go back into retail which is where I spent the past eight years of my life, including the four years I was in college, beggars can’t be choosers. However; I can’t complain about this job, it pays decent, my coworkers are friendly and helpful, and management is laid back and also helpful and very willing to work with you, unlike my previous retail job in Chicago. Through this job, I have been able to meet new people, coworkers and customers, and I hope that through this position, I can begin networking and making some connections for future endeavors, after all, first impressions and word of mouth are everything. I have been applying to and interviewing for various positions hoping to find a second job as well, for it’s not easy to pay your bills and rent on one part time retail job, and I don’t plan on living with my friend who is helping me get started, forever. Two jobs will be temporary until bigger and better things come along and I go back to school and works towards my PhD.
Back in the rhythm of things
When I first got here, as I stated in a previous blog, I was homesick. Moving across the country and leaving behind the place you were born and raised is a big step and even though I am staying with a friend whom I have known nearly all of my life, it was still hard knowing that I had left so many friends and family back home, but in time, as you move forward, and things begin to fall into place, those things don’t bother you as much. In today’s day and age with technology, it’s easier than ever to communicate with people or take a trip to visit them.
When I first got here and was beginning to adapt, I found it hard to do things that I did routinely. Such as reading and writing, and meditating which as a Buddhist is important to me and my spiritual practice. Meditation is meant to help you deal and cope with things and purify your mind of evils and deal with mental suffering, but even such wonderful procedures as meditation can be difficult as you’re trying to get back in the rhythm of things when dealing with such a big change. Now that I have at least one paycheck coming in and I have a little bit of money to pay my bills, I feel better knowing that I can move forward with my goals. Since I have been working and I feel better about things, I have gotten back to my spiritual practice and meditation as well as reading and writing. I should never have allowed anything to take me a way from my meditation practice, but I look at it this way; by going through the period in which I could not focus on it because of homesickness and worry and could not get myself do the things that I routinely did, I came to realize that as long as I am willing to push forward and just allow things to fall into place, I learned to adapt to change and let things happen as they will. I don’t believe that things happen out of coincidence, everything happens for a reason and in that, I have began taking those small clumsy steps that will allow me to take those big, sturdy steps later.
I am no stranger to setbacks, and let’s face it, none of us are. We have all endured setbacks at one time or another; or if you’re like me, you’ve endured many. Setbacks are a beast that love to blindside you just when things are starting to look up. I’m not going to get detailed with the particular setback I am speaking of for that would be too personal, but we’ll just say that it happened recently, that it is minor, and it will be dealt with. It came just as I thought everything was going well. I had gotten my first job here, I have been thinking about the inquiries for graduate school in the next year or so which is mainly the reason I came to California in the first place, I have been making new friends, and experiencing new things and then all of a sudden a comet called setback fell from space and blindsided me. I couldn’t believe it, when things start looking up, you can always expect something to bring them tumbling down.
Going back to our analogy of life in steps, when you’re learning to walk and you’re taking those small steps, you’re going to fall a lot. Falling is a part of learning to walk, you must first learn how to move your legs and keep your balance and as you practice and you get better and better, you eventually learn to walk without falling so much and eventually you don’t fall at all. As you continue to practice walking, you begin to take bigger and bigger steps until you have mastered the art and walk and strut like the best of them. But even after you learn to walk, you’re still going to trip on the rug, or on that toy left in the middle of the floor, or that bulging piece of concrete on the cracked sidewalk. Life is the same way, just when you think things are looking up and you begin to take the bigger steps in life, setbacks come along and become that obstacle that cause you to trip and fall. Children don’t stay down when they fall during that period when they’re learning to walk, and people no matter what age don’t stay down when the’re walking and they trip and fall on some sort of obstacle. Obstacles do not stop us permanently but only temporarily, so as you’re taking those small steps in life towards your dream and towards your goals just remember that you fall only to get back up again as the old saying goes. When we trip and fall in our steps, we must remember to get up, brush ourselves off and continue taking those small steps and turning those small steps into bigger and bigger steps until we are exactly where we want to be.
This may be the final blog I write for a while about my traveling to California and my experience living here thus far. In the next few weeks I intend to write on different topics but hope that you will read them nonetheless. Thank you.
-Brett T. Mazzoni