A few weeks ago I punched my man card. I hauled a trailer for about 9 hours (roundtrip). I have plenty of friends who are experienced in this, and can even back a trailer into a parking space… but I’ve never really had the occasion to do it.
My first surprise was after picking up the trailer from Uhaul (what a horrendous experience), I drove home to load it up. The entire trip home, with an empty trailer, was wobbly, creaky, noisy, bouncy. I was surprised and hoped the rest of the trip (the long drive) would be better.
Once we loaded it up, there was no wobble, bounce, or creak. It was a nice, pleasant drive from then on.
I’ve thought about that since the trip and it kind of reminded me of when I lost my job. I know, I know, I always bring it back to career stuff, right?
When I had a job I was confident. I had a job title, business cards, a company credit card. I had purpose.
When I lost my job I lost the tangible things (business card, company card, paychecks), but worse, I lost my confidence. I felt I had no purpose.
My job search suffered. It was “wobbly” because my trailer was empty.
Actually, it wasn’t really empty. I had a supportive wife, great kids, loving family and community. I had people who cared about me and watched out for me. I had my health (which, unfortunately, I let decline during my intense job search), talents, friends. I wasn’t poor, destitute, living in a shelter, under a bridge or out of my car. I could tap into financial/food support systems from the government, the church and our family (not in that order).
But I felt empty. And I moved forward in my job search like my empty trailer wobbled down the highway. I’m sure I was even creaky (and probably cranky).
If I could rewind to that dark, low time in my life, and be able to take a little of what I know now, I would completely reevaluate and understand, perhaps even “inventory” what I had in my trailer.
Yes, I had lost a lot, but I still had so much. The family, support, mental and physical ability, potential, etc. should have been recognized, but it wasn’t. I didn’t appreciate it. I was desperate. If I could counsel that old me I would help me see that my trailer was full, even overflowing, and that it didn’t need to wobble and creak.
I ask you: what is in your trailer?