During this time, being a nontraditional student, as well as a single parent to an 8-year-old is not for the faint of heart. My son and I had our routines set for the weekdays. We would wake up, get dressed, brush teeth and go about our day. I would take him to school (my favorite thing to do) and he would enjoy his day with his friends, teachers and in the afternoon, enjoy the Boys and Girls Club.
After recently moving to Plover the beginning of February of this year, Tony Evers “Safer at Home” order was mandated in March.
Everything changed. I had lost both of my part time jobs and in April I would lose educational benefits that helped me stay financially on top of things. I had no other income coming my way but luckily, I had been working on my savings.
Not only was I in a standstill financially, my son’s education was going to be completely changed, a routine was encouraged but how could I motivate him to follow that when in reality there is no place to go?
Before COVID-19, My day consisted of doing everything humanly possible in order for me to be present when I picked him up after school. I would work on campus, the YMCA, do homework, over plan for the future and stay on top of my classes…that changed drastically when COVID-19 hit Wisconsin. My responsibilities consisted of being there for my son while also somehow managing a 15-credit workload exclusively online until the 3rd week of May.
A fulltime 15 credit workload in person can be intense–imagine having to do that completely online while instructors’ grade you as if you have no one else in the world to take care of. As a parent, that was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. The ability to be present was burdened by classes and my mental health was already being affected. The support and interaction I once had with so many people was gone.
If you knew me, you’d understand that I gravitate towards positive and supportive people. (The universe smiles on me! If you know me and are reading this, thank you for sharing your light with others!!)
When things change drastically, our mental health feels the changes more quickly than our body does. Our mind is the strength to our perseverance. My mind helped me let go of all the fears, insecurities, and doubts that came with COVID-19 and allowed me to focus on my path. My path in life doesn’t begin nor end with COVID-19, so I pushed against everything and looked for an internship. An internship I needed to pursue in order to graduate as planned in Spring 2021.
After looking and being discouraged by “40 hour work weeks during the summer”, “commission-based job”—I, luckily, found two!! Best part, they liked me and hired me on. (Thank you, Portage County Business Council and Patriot K9’s) Most amazing part, they all have many years of experience in areas I’d LOVE to learn more about especially event planning, marketing and communication, leadership and everything else in between.
Altogether, they bring resources and are willing to serve their community in many circumstances. That in its entirety is what I, as an individual try to do in every aspect of my life. To allow others to become aware of the possibilities within and around them in order for them to advocate and live a purposeful life.
While my difficulties are by far different than everyone else, I encourage you to stop and think about what truly matters to you in your life. If you lost your job, what is it that you love doing? Are you a builder? A designer? Making projects with your hands? Are you amazing with technology? My point of view is that it’s never too late to start something you enjoy! There is a market for what you are interested in doing. You have an ability that many people don’t. Bring that forward instead of hiding it. Allow your creativity to emerge from this situation in life and grow. Put the fear aside and push yourself.
Today is the best day to rediscover who you are supposed to be. Tomorrow never comes so work on your dreams today. I’m working on mine!
Be resilient, persevere, be bold. We’ll find ourselves in a new place very soon.
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