the daily dixon

The story I didn’t want to tell…

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I started blogging on a whim in 2008 and was instantly hooked. I didn’t think I really had anything interesting to say, but apparently I did because people were reading. It was great. Over time, I started reading more and more blogs and found it interesting to see what everyone else around the country was doing. I guess you could say it satisfied my curious side.

Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed writing, ever. In school, I would put off my papers until the last minute and sometimes in college I even had my husband help me. I get major writers block, and I never really knew how to get around it. So when I decided to blog, it really baffled me. I thought, well this could be a fun way to keep my family up to date about the happenings in our life. Only problem with that was that they didn’t end up being my audience. A bunch of girls similar in age all across the country were the only ones reading. At first it was weird writing to a bunch of people you don’t really know, but I found it to be satisfying and decided to continue on my journey.

When my Dad passed away, I went through a great period of being “lost” for a lack of a better word. Blogging helped me get through that painful time. It was a welcome distraction and a reminder that regardless of what is going on in your life, you have to keep living. Besides, that’s what my Dad would have wanted for me.

As time went on and college because more demanding, I started to slack off in the blogging department. It’s not that I didn’t want to blog, I just didn’t have the time to devote to writing and we didn’t really do that much anyway so there just wasn’t much to say. I tried to come back a few times, but it’s a lot harder that people realize. I found myself lost again.

Upon graduation, my husband and I were facing a HUGE crossroad. We graduated during the worst possible economic times and there just wasn’t a lot of hope to pass around. The job market was bleak, our grace period on our student loans was narrowing, and our lease at our apartment was drawing to a close. We were trapped with no real light at the end of the tunnel. Do we stay in DFW or do we go home? If we stay, will we be able to find full time jobs to pay for our apartment? What happens if we don’t? It just wasn’t really a risk we were willing to take, so we took the high road and headed back “home.”

We moved into one of my father-in-law’s extra houses. He has living quarters at our family business as well as a lake house, so we got lucky. A place to live rent free. Only problem was that we absolutely hated where we lived. The neighborhood had gone downhill over the past few years, and we were stuck in a tiny town with nothing to do. I didn’t realize just how hard it would actually be. It took about two months of being there and we were regretting our decision completely. At this point, my husband was working with his Dad at the family business and I started a new job as well. There were many conversations about how this was going to work. Would we stay here forever? Should we try to move the family business to DFW? What happens if we fail? With so much uncertainty going around these days, we just decided to suck it up, stay, and see what happens.

As with any new adventure, there were good days and bad days. The only difference was that we already knew this adventure. We both grew up in East Texas and it’s just a different way of life than what we were used to in DFW. We were not the same people that we were when we first left to go to college. Our eyes had been opened to everything else that the world has to offer. So much so, I ended up getting my degree in international business and economics. What exactly was I supposed to do with that education in ETX? There aren’t a lot of international business jobs floating around that area, so like many other recent college grads, I found myself being under employed.

At this point, we were not very happy with out current situation, but were thankful to have jobs and a place to live. We knew people from high school that never left ETX, but we had very few real friends there. There is literally nothing to do except eat and go to the movies, and that gets old very quickly. I honestly don’t even know how we survived.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say we were slightly depressed. We felt like failures because we were suddenly lumped into that statistic that the news was always reporting about. You know, the graduates that had to move in with their parents (we lived by ourselves, but in a family-owned home), the ones with the unbearable student loan debt, and the under employed. It was so frustrating, because we had done done everything that was expected of us. Everyone says to go to school, and if you can’t afford it, get student loans. You will find jobs and will be able to pay them back because you have a college degree. No worries, right? Well, that was all fine and well until everything started going south half way through college. There was just no turning back at that point.

There is nothing more frustrating than doing what you are “supposed” to do, only to have to struggle so much because of it. Words just cannot express the level of dissatisfaction that was going on in our household. It’s not like we didn’t try to find better jobs, because we did. Three months before graduation, I was spending basically every waking minute searching, applying, and interviewing, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us. We did what we had to do.

Then Christmas came and I was talking with my uncle, and that conversation sparked something inside me and I knew what we had to do. He told me he was shocked that we came back to ETX in the first place, but understood why. I told him that some days I feel like I can live here, and some days I just can’t. His response:

“It doesn’t really get any better than that, does it?”

It was like a light bulb went off and we knew that we had to move. My husband told his dad that he wasn’t going to work for the family business anymore, and we started looking for jobs in January. The next two months flew by and before we knew it, we were moving back to DFW. Billy found a job first and it was a whirlwind two weeks of packing, finding an apartment, setting up utilities, and then moving. Just like that, we were back to the land of the living and instantly things were looking up.

I stayed home for two months and unpacked our house and then started my job search again. In May, I started my new job and absolutely LOVE it. We finally have real adult jobs with our degrees and consolidated student loans. Our friends are close by again and I get to see my adorable 7 month old nephew on a regular basis. It’s an amazing feeling and I couldn’t be happier.

This whole experience has been amazing to me. How can everything be so bland and then one simple sentence have so much power to change everything. I am so very thankful my uncle said that to me, because it’s what I needed to hear. Now that we are back to our real home, it seems like the last year was a completely different life. I know other people that are experiencing the same set of struggles we were faced with, and I just hope that they can be as lucky as we are. Good jobs are just so hard to come by these days, but they are out there. You might just have to search for a really long time, but something will eventually come along.

I am just very thankful that we were able to escape our financial nightmare unscathed. Because we have done literally nothing this last year, we have paid off our vehicles and all credit card debt. Our credit scores are pretty darn near perfect and the only debt we have are student loans which are no longer a big deal.

Sometimes things don’t always work out as planned and you just have to adapt. I’m so glad we did.

“The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

If you’re new here, welcome to the daily dixon! It can only get better from here!

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