UNSWEET TEA

  • Alia

Humble and HAPPY Home

I'm never going to stop saying that things can and do change in an instant. Anyone who has ever experienced sudden loss can more easily grasp this than someone who has only ever known what life looks like when it's great. It is easier and preferable to accept when things improve over when things suddenly take a turn and we must deveop coping mechanisms in response.

- I didn't just say that to say that things have taken a turn.-


On the contrary, things are better than ever and it is thanks to an outlook change, one that I have been trying to implement for over a year. I had previously trained myself to see the downside of things, to focus on all of the ways that things could go wrong in a preemptive strike to try and mitigate the damage that could result from the unforeseen. That isn't a way to live, you're always in crisis management if you do that. I learned that from a book called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," that I purchased for a friend who was always in crisis mode... I'll readily admit that I was the same, and together, we were always navigating or manufacturing crises.


Instead, Miracle has brought me a more positive way to see things because the world can't always be falling for her. In fact, I will always hold the world in my hand for this child. If mine crashes, she won't know.


In the past two months, things have moved very fast for me. Being pregnant during a global pandemic wasn't in my plans, matter of fact, being pregnant at all wasn't in my plans...but, THINGS CHANGE. And, sometimes, the things that needed to happen, do, if for no other reason than that it was time and you needed to do something different to make things better. I found out that I was pregnant on March 2, 2020 at 4 weeks LMP. That's about the soonest that anyone can know or confirm a pregnancy because weeks 1 and 2 are post menses and ovulation, week 3 is implantation and there isn't enough HCG, so by week 4...it's on. And there I was, crying to my best friend on the phone because I knew how badly she and her spouse wanted children and here I was with a child I was nowhere near ready for.


THINGS CHANGE.


By March 12, I was laid off and at home in a world facing a pandemic. I sat, like many millions of others, with no job or idea of how life would look. Many jobs are gone for good and there are still people trying to figure out how to live through this. What I had at that time was a roof over my head and at least a guaranteed $2453 coming in between my mother's income and my own. Then, I had my side hustles, but a baby was coming. So while we were never at risk for losing our home and we had food in our stomachs, lights on and were cool in the heat, we knew things would be tight. I remained grateful that I could just stay home and stay safe. We did, however, start looking for a larger place to live, to no avail. (More about that in a moment.)


When the HEROES Act was passed, my mother and I were both approved for UI benefits. Her claim went through without issue, but mine required weeks and weeks of calls (and tears,) until things finally got straightened out. The blessing in that struggle was that, through my own initiative, I came away with a job in the midst of a pandemic making more than I had ever made at the time. I got the backpay from my weeks without work and then we straight into a job as an essential worker...but, unlike MANY other essential workers, I was paid fairly and safe from the general public. I have had this job since 5/11 and I am so very happy here. Yet, there was a glitch. My status was intermittent and subject to layoffs (but I doubt it since we ARE STILL in a pandemic.) The thing was, with a baby on the way, you can't lean into uncertainty. You have to have a solid foundation, and this position didn't come with benefits or leave, two things I needed badly. Health insurance has been covered, but leave was critical to continue to have income while I recovered from giving birth. As an intermittent employee, you don't qualify and any time off is unpaid. So, I continued looking. In the meantime, grateful to have income, several things began to change.

  • The living situation became untenable and, for my own well-being overall, I asked my mother to leave.

  • Then, my car became too unsafe to drive and I MIRACULOUSLY came into my new car--a car that is several model years newer than the one that was wrongfully repossessed (still awaiting resolution.) With a new car and now 100% responsible for the rent, utilities, vehicle, insurance, and all of my creature comforts, things were getting really squeezed despite having regular and healthy income.


I finally budgeted my income against my expenditures and saw that things could be just fine as they were in my current home (though not completely meeting my space needs or comfort level,) if I just made a few extra hundred per month. So I started looking for remote work. I found some opportunities I might still pursue, but a better paying job was the goal. And then it happened. I was emailed and scheduled for a pre-employment examination, an exam that I could've taken back in January before I even got pregnant to begin, but that I fell asleep at the wheel and overlooked the email. I digress, I had a foot in the door. I took the examination, passed, and was scheduled for an interview. It was STRESSED that this job required mandatory attendance for the first 4-5 months. Legally, I wasn't required to disclose my pregnancy, but at a point in the interview, I saw that it would be in my best interests to do so. That moment was right after they hired me on the spot. So, I leapt out on faith and said something. I prayed the outcome would be positive and was rewarded for my "honesty and integrity," such that despite them knowing I'd need significant time off post-partum, the entire team desired to have me join them. I begin my new job at the end of August.


Let's recap: I now have,

A new baby

A new car

A new job...


You know what was missing? A more comfortable living space because I had clearly outgrown a 2 BR 2 BA with me, three dogs, a baby, and a small business. As I browsed home listings, I found one out of the city I had truly wanted to remain in, but I knew that my choices were better if I explored the surrounding areas. I called to apply and was told that my mother had already filed an application with them back when we first began to look in March and that they were waiting on me. I pounced on it. $50 later, my application was submitted and within three days, I was approved for a home. 3 BR 2 BA, perfect for me, my daughter, and my dogs. A garage for all of my craft machinery, a yard for the pets to run in, a front yard to plant flowers in, a dining room for me to feed my daughter the baby food I want to make for her...


New Recap:

I HAVE IT ALL


NOT A SINGLE BIT of this is because of me, it is because of God and the faith that I continued to have as I tried to change my circumstances for my daughter. The process is uncomfortable. I liken it to Peter and walking on water. God said, "Yeah, there's a storm all around you, but you have to keep your eyes on me and I'll bring you through it. I will keep you safe." The trick was to not take your eyes off of God and to remain steadfast. The trick was to keep your faith and put your hand in the hand of the One who troubled the water to cause you to move, yet keeps it still enough to carry you through to safety. Without troubled waters, we would sail along in life without any character development. I have applied for jobs and not been hired, I have applied for homes and not been approved, I have attempted many things in life and been slapped down. I have lost friends, lost family, said a few too many painful goodbyes and here I am. You have to BE HERE to see what happens next.




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