Day 6: How do you overcome setbacks?

In today’s health/fitness blogger challenge the challenge of the day is to share how you overcome setbacks.

Overcoming setbacks should be my middle name.  I made the choice to leave my cushy, well paid job to go on to become a teacher, which always was my dream.  While I did eventually become a teacher, it meant lean years, bankruptcy, and having to move back home with my parents.

Things got better and I moved out, and got a teaching job, a job I really loved.  And I had that taken away from me, and still, to be honest I don’t even know the reason why.  And that hurt.  I was lucky enough to find a job the following school year, but for a number of reasons (including the chronic daily headaches and its treatment) I wasn’t re-hired.  There were things I could have done better, I do know that in hindsight.  I do also know that the treatments I was undergoing was not helping my mental or physical state at that point.

The next school year I was worried as I was unable to find a teaching job, or any job at all.  Hundreds of applications were sent out, and I was told by a major city school department that I “didn’t have the qualifications.”  At the time I had a B.A, an M.Ed +15 credits over, and 5+ years of teaching experience.  How is that lacking in qualifications?

I was lucky to be hired as a substitute teacher for that school year (3 days/week), but it meant lean times.  It meant sacrifice.  It meant my mum was buying my groceries.  It was hard, stressful, and demoralizing.

The summer of 2010, I set out looking for a permanent teaching job.  I applied for every position available across the state, and even out of state.  By the end of July, I had heard back from none of those schools.  It was then I met (in person) Stephanie, and took the chance, the leap, and went across the pond to Glasgow to get a second Masters.

It was amazing, despite losing my mum halfway through the school year.

And then I decided to stay on to pursue my Ph.D and I had that ripped away from me last August.  I don’t think I have ever felt so low.  I returned to my childhood home, and began to apply for any job I could find.  ANY job.  I had 2 interviews in the time period between September and December.  I was not offered either of them.  I was lucky enough to find a retail job for the holidays, and even more lucky that my dad took a chance and co-signed my loans so I could pursue my dream.

I never thought I would be where I am today at 37, sitting in a flat in Glasgow, Scotland.  I always pictured that by now I’d have a family, a dog, a white picket fence in all.

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan.

I can’t say its been easy.  It hasn’t.  I still worry every day that I’m not working hard enough or doing enough, or what is going to happen if I lose funding or something happens or any other number of issues that could transpire.

I certainly hope that in a few years I can look back on this time and laugh about how worried I was, that the time for setbacks has passed and the time for progress is now.

As much as I wanted to give up all of these times, I didn’t.  When faced with setbacks you just have to keep trying, and hope that someone has got your back.


How do you overcome setbacks?


  1. 12/11/2012 / 02:47

    Wow. You’ve been through a lot. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad you are pursuing your Ph.D. and are on the right track for pursuing your dreams.

    • 14/11/2012 / 17:44

      Thank you for replying! 🙂 I hope that I succeed in finishing this. I am so excited to get really started on my research!

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