Nothing More Unexpected

‘A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises’ ~ Issac Bashevis Singer.

A journal can broadcast so many thoughts, tell hundreds of stories, revealing who you are and what makes you tick for the whole world to read. Over time telling the story of the person you’ve become today, acting as a memoir to look back at the person you were back then.  Summarising  a mammoth piece of writing, such as your masterpiece journal, can be difficult but I’ve found a fun and aesthetically pleasing way to go about it. Look no further than Wordle.

Yesterday something unexpected happened. I say unexpected because before I’ve been left disappointed, making me think perhaps there’s some pattern going on here or a trend of bad luck is suddenly on a roll. Which is what I’ve been led to believe with so many 20-somethings struggling after graduation to get a job in their field and are instead forced into temping jobs that are not fulfilling yet pay the bills. Or worst being unemployed for years after graduation and being cornered back into living with their parents. Graduates from several consecutive years are fighting for the same job openings as they become available. Prompting quarter-life crises. It’s a reality of the times.

Yesterday something reminded me not to give up hope to get where you want to go.

Yesterday reminded me not to give up on my dreams and that glimmers of hope do exist even if they are few and far between. Yesterday made me believe in fate and that things happen for a reason with regard to where you end up and who you meet. Yesterday reminded me enthusiasm and persistence pay off.

Yesterday reminded me of this.

About yesterday. Generation Y has been labeled the most educated, affluent, assertive and IT-literate generation, but even then I know I can’t just walk into a job with just qualifications, employers seem to be demanding experience and it helps boost your interview confidence when you have an arsenal of experience to draw from. The problem I’ve found with getting experience is you either need previous experience to get experience (vicious cycle) or with the economic situation there isn’t the resources to offer it in the first place, any spaces limited and therefore competitive.

Now firstly it’s quite coincidental that I ended up in Calgary. Calgary having one of the most successful IVF programs in Canada. IVF being a career I had contemplated for a long time, applied work, science to help people, it made perfect sense in my head. The pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit together. Maybe it is fate in action.

The gamble. Unsolicited genuinely passionate letter and CV to the IVF clinic. Asking for the opportunity for experience working in the IVF labs. Anytime, for as long as possible, unpaid, that’s how much I want it. The fact this opportunity isn’t even out there makes me buffer myself against disappointment. The most you can do is try, right?

Yesterday. I discovered an answer machine on the phone at 7.40 in the morning. The Canadian working day begins early compared to England but correspondingly ends earlier too. It was from one of the lab directors I wrote to a few weeks back. So with a quickening heart and a sinking feeling I call back. Now it’s not 100%, totally, crystal-clear or certain BUT  two of the lab directors I wrote to have discussed, and there is a chance I might be able to have a placement in their labs. They just need to discuss it with someone else first. Talk about set me up on a high for the rest of the day! After so much rejection, even if it’s not a guaranteed yes, it’s progress, finally. Even if the placement is for a couple of months it will make my time here worthwhile, it would have given time here a purpose even if I’m struggling to find something to boost my resume for the rest of the year til I can apply for clinical embryologist schemes. Surprising what can jump out at you when you least expect it.

LESSON: At the end of the tunnel there is always a shining light no matter how bleak or impossible things seem. Hang on in there.



Filed under Building my CV, Calgary, Canada, Career, Graduate, Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, Personal Development

7 responses to “Nothing More Unexpected

  1. What a wonderful post, and you are absolutely right – hope is so important to hold onto, and yes, everything definitely does happen for a reason! When I look back over the last few years, and think about how difficult and uncertain times had been, whether in a bad relationship or being laid off from my job and not knowing what the future held – everything always led me to something better, and recently too, I’ve found when one door closes, another opens even better than the first, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the right time, having patience, and having hope 🙂

    • Em, thank you millions for all the lovely little comments you’ve been leaving on my journal, they are so appreciated. I’m just catching up with the blogosphere and it’s great to come back to these little gems of Em-ness. I look forward to getting to know you better and will definitely be delving into those archives of yours.

      That’s inspirational and many grains of truth there. There’s always a light in the darkness whether that flicker comes in the form of a person or an opportunity. Plus, everything has a funny way of working out even if it looks bleak at times.

      My new life philosophy is to be more an active participant in my life, looking for opportunities and showing gratitude for these open windows and new doors. Responding to difficulties instead of just accepting them with defeat. I was really stressed at the employment gap I had been accumulating but now I’m biting the bullet, accepting it and trying to do something about it. I reminded myself I should be thankful I didn’t jump into a career I didn’t love just because it was there, grateful for the chance in Canada and not feeling guilty about the gap but classing it as some travel and figure-out-me time. At times I’ve been guilty of being passive and thinking I can’t change things, just existing and letting life happen. But no more 😀 Got to keep moving towards being fearless right?

      Comments like yours give me hope 🙂 and I hope anyone reading it who might need a glimmer of hope can gain some too.

  2. I’m a graduate student, too… and I did my undergrad in Calgary (total aside).

    But, yes, one of the worst revelations of grad school has been simply that all this work doesn’t even guarantee anything. It’s those risks you take that sometimes take you further than the degree itself. Best of luck!!

    • I was actually at UOC last Friday and got lost in one of the Bioscience buildings, I was trying to keep cool and look all student-y, like I knew exactly where I was going and I was meant to be there. Not going to rob some taxidermy pieces but I felt like I shouldn’t be here snooping round the department after hours!

      So many of us are in the awful situation, to grad school or not to grad school? How/where do I get the experience? Is my degree enough? I only have to read the quarter life crisis forum on to see people who’ve been temping after graduating 2-3 years ago and still nowhere near to where they want to be. Trying to keep in a positive frame of mind helps 🙂

  3. Sophie

    I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that they do give you a place with them!

  4. Lauren


    I love this post. (And Wordle is very cool too!) Thanks for reinforcing 1. that there are other people going through the same kind of things all over the world and 2. that it’s ok, and as you say, “At the end of the tunnel there is always a shining light no matter how bleak or impossible things seem.”

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