I'm sure I'm not alone when I say 2011 cannot be done soon enough.
What I thought was going to be my "turnaround year," actually ended up being days and months trickling with doubt, anxiety, and fear. I look back and wonder how I got through it knowing full well the hardships aren't over yet. I woke up this morning feeling like someone was sitting on my chest -- when will the worrying end? I've asked myself before and ask again if it is time to give up this career and take a 9-5 job I may not really enjoy but that provides a steady paycheck and health insurance.
Fast forward a couple of hours, and I'm standing in front of the frozen hash brown potato case at the grocery store. As I try to manipulate my cart so another shopper can get by me, I turn to see a past customer looking back at me. I think she was as surprised to see me as I her, and after exchanging our "hellos," she asked if my ears had been ringing. She planned to call me next week. She and her husband are getting divorced. She wants to talk about her options.
I don't know a word to describe fully the shock I felt at hearing her news. I loved working with this family -- they were kind, fun, thoughtful -- I envied the life they had. How could this be??
And I realized again as I have before, that I tend to get emotionally involved -- perhaps more than I should -- with my buyers and sellers. I can't help it. I just do. My job is more than just unlocking doors and pointing out this and that about a house. It's more than filling out contracts and a multitude of other paperwork. It's about helping people move on to the next chapter in their lives. And in order to do that, we get to know about the marriages, the divorces, the new baby, the new job, the job loss, the illnesses, and the deaths. More often than not friendships form.
Running into my past customer this morning reminded me that every one of us, as they say, is carrying some sort of burden. It also seemed to be a sign that, at least for now, I am to continue on this path of selling houses.
Life happens, and it's really, really hard sometimes. But if part of my work involves helping ease that journey for others, I'd say I have a pretty good job.