At my worst

This is definitely not the first time, nor will be the last time I quote this:

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either that nothing happened at all, or by having everything happen all at once.”

Paulo Coelho

10 months ago, I made it to become a university lecturer, apart from another full-time job offer for a hotel pre-opening project that together brought me so much joy in my career and life. The two jobs somehow complete each other and turned me into the type of adult I wanted to become. My students seem to enjoy those work-life experiences that I bring into the classroom. I like to share with them all the fun I have at work, as well as all the challenges on a day-to-basis, but overall, they know I am doing what I love, even on those worst possible days of hustle and stress.

Wake me up when September ends.

It was June 2022 when I first started taking two jobs at the same time, I thought my life couldn’t get busier. On the one hand, I was leading our hotel Sales & Marketing team of our hotel pre-opening project. On the other hand, I traveled to the university three times per week, and used all of my leisure time for hotel work or to finish my weekly marking for 100 students. Three months in a row, a typical day of mine would be to wake up at 5:30AM, take shower, get dressed then go straight to work. I used to get home late, around 8:00PM, and go to bed around 10:00PM or 11:00PM. The only favor I did for myself was to enroll myself in a bi-weekly fitness program with a personal trainer. I’ve tried to get myself to meditate for 10 mins daily but I didn’t succeed.

There were days that I got a little low, I thought I would not be able to carry a 3-hour lecture, but somehow, regardless of all the awkward situations, I managed to get through every single class. By awkward situations, I am referring to those days that I wasn’t able to speak fluently. I kept swallowing all the words and I had to apologize to my students. Or there was this time that I came 15 minute-late for a class that I prepared to teach my students about “Time Management”. I am sure they would never forget, and I would never forget. Then I kept telling everyone: “Wake me up when September ends”.

Remember December

September ended successfully; I am no longer busy like the bee I was in the previous three months. The jobs get easier as I could see myself getting comfortable in the roles. I thought to myself that perhaps I deserve this time of my life after all, to have the jobs that I love and to surround myself with the people I want to be with. Of course, life will find its way again to test my will. Two weeks before Christmas, I learned that my boss decided to take a new path in his career and life that he believed is the right thing for him to do.

“3 months”, he said he would be leaving in 3 months. I still didn’t know what to think yet as he was one of the main reasons that I took this job in the first place. I know the day would come but it was too soon for me to cope. I wasn’t prepared. I was 6-7 months at the job. I wasn’t ready to receive someone new giving me orders. I guess nobody dislikes changes as much as I do, but what can I do? I told myself that my last official act as his Director of Sales and Marketing would be to create the best possible memories and business successes before his departure, as well as to make sure of a smooth onboarding for the next person to come.

Emotional Intelligence

I became extremely busy again! One event after another, one deadline after another. I find myself struggling to speak to my students (again), I wasn’t sure if my students could tell, but I decided to come clean. I told them that if I spoke too fast or made it confusing for them to understand they should let me know, and that the past few weeks have not been easy on me as I’ve drawn myself into much of work and life matters.

The best part? I had to deliver a lecture on “Emotional Intelligence (EQ)” on some of those worst days. “Perfect!”, I thought to myself when I was reviewing the weekly modules. I thought life really knows how to test my ability. So, what with “Emotional Intelligence”? I gave my students some scenarios to discuss in class that they seemed to enjoy. They also learned some tips that I shared with them on how to manage EQ. As we were coming closer to the end of the class, I suddenly went off script, spontaneously, like I always do, I told my students: “I know we are here to learn and prepare you for the industry. We are told to act confident and that you should fake it until you make it. But I thought it’s equally important that we know that there’s a long road ahead of us, in order to be sure that you are prepared for the ride, you need to make sure that you have enough support from people around you. You can stay strong and confident for the world to see, but let’s remember to take care of our souls, to have people that you share your news with, when you are happy or when you are sad”.

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