Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

If you've ever found yourself saying, "what am I doing here?" this post is for you. Generally, we stick to DIY's around here, but I wanted to share this story with you.
My husband and I have been trying to ADOPT for a while now and while we're still a long way off, the next step of the process involved buying a home. We decided to relocate to the city where he had been commuting to for the last several years. When he moved to Michigan in '06, this was his home. His job was still here and he loves this city and missed his friends.  It's a nice city. It's one of the largest in Michigan and yet still has a small feel so it was the best option for settling down.
However, it meant leaving my current job as the commute and structure didn't support the needs of our adoption. If you've ever been worked intricately with little people, you know how hard it is to leave them. And the sting was made worse as I didn't end up getting a job we thought I had. So no job lined up.
The job market is still really rough in Michigan.  JSYK.
I spent the first month we were here just adjusting and settling in. We had budgeted for me to take a month to look for a job and we used the entire time period! As it began to run out, I was starting to get super itchy and nervous about finding a job, but nothing was turning up. My cousin had an in at a retail store and she suggested me to the manager for a seasonal position. The manager hired me on the spot and let me start the next day.
I was really, really grateful.
I liked the people, my manager(s), the busy atmosphere, everything. But I also knew that it was a seasonal job and that left an amount of uncertainty and stress. Between that and being in a completely new and unfamiliar city, thoughts of, "what am I doing here" and "what will happen next?" were fairly frequent.
There's an old saying, "bloom where you are planted" that was driven into me during my younger years and it just kind of became my motto.
image credit HERE
Brain: This isn't what you're trained for.
Heart: Bloom where you're planted.

Brain: Am I seriously getting yelled at by a customer over this??
Heart: Bloom where you're planted.

Brain: John leaves the house at 5:30a and I don't get home til 10p,  I thought this stage of life was over?
Heart: Bloom where you're planted.

Brain: The season ends in 2 weeks and I don't have a job.
Heart: Bloom where you're planted.

And so the heart's constant whisper won and each day I showed up and bloomed where I was planted.
I love Jesus. For me, a lot of that means loving people (*all* people) and doing my very best (representing him well). So as usual- the perma-smile was always in place, the tone was chipper and the pace was quick (though sometimes a little chatty ;)). There was no job beneath me and nothing to complain about.
And do you know what happened?
I got 4 job offers from customers in line. Four. Well.. technically five... but the fifth was crazy shady. They were all great fields, too- marketing, alternative medicine, sales- great stuff! And I took one of them in a field that I LOVE doing a job that I care about where I can help people and be a positive influence.
You just never know. You really never know who you're influencing each day and who is watching you when you decide to bloom where you're planted. The rude person we may encounter- we have no idea what their day/month/year looked like before they collided with us. We have the unique opportunity to wake up each morning that we're here and make the world a better or worse place, simply by existing in it. The job that I took- in the exact field I was hoping to enter when we moved here- was a total example of blooming where I was planted. I was checking out a customer and I recognized her, she had been through my line before. So, in my always informal tone I greeted her with, "I know you! You're here all time!" which turned into a conversation about how I was just a seasonal employee and would be needing a job soon. All very lighthearted... she said I was her favorite employee there and I said she should tell the company since I was leaving soon. And then she gave me her card and told me to call her! What?! It was amazing. Do you know why? The last time she came through my line apparently there was a very angry customer ahead of her. The woman was upset because she couldn't get the discount she wanted. My (new) boss was simply impressed with my reaction to the angry customer.
Bloom where you're planted, yo.
I don't even remember the interaction because it happened so often. If you've worked retail, you know how it is- there will always be a slew of angry customers. I could have snapped back at the woman. I could have gone silent or cold. But apparently I didn't- and that one decision... that one little interaction... it made all the difference.
You know what I like to tell people? You can only control your own attitude, but if you do it well  enough you can usually control everyone else's attitude around you. When you encounter someone with a bad attitude, test that theory out. It's amazing what a smile and a few words of encouragement can do. It's true that you can't win them all- but you can definitely make a dent.
So the next time you find yourself in a job, school, event, area, situation, relationship...  whatever... and your brain says, "what am I doing here", allow your heart to whisper back, "bloom where you're planted". Then sit back and watch the garden grow all around you.
That's how to really see life in pink... la vie en rose.


  1. What a great attitude !!! Bloom where you're planted what a great motto!! I sometimes pity the salesgirls that get yelled at by the customer for no apparent reason...well maybe there is but I am sure no fault of the sales person - she only works there! The customer is usually just frustrated because there is no help or service...I am guilty of that just the other day. Went to one store to buy a laptop, laptops were cheap and ugly and none in stock (good thing this is their business)! the guy had a bad attitude and wasn't helpful - went to another store to buy a stationery bike - not one sales person around!! in the whole Walmart - hubby claimed they were all hiding from me!! Went to Micheals - saw wool 1/2 prince yaay!!! only one ball left !!!! The lady was very nice but nevertheless their was only one I have retired to my old 10 year old desktop reading your article and thinking what a beautiful attitude to have. I think those words were the inspiration I needed to do something (once the frigid -45 degrees) gets warmer!

    1. I am SO glad they spoke to you! They help me so much. And I feel your pain- it's easy to get frustrated as a customer and soooo easy to forget who is on your side :) Just a tip about yarn (so random) if you go to Hobby Lobby they will order your yarn for you (free of charge) so that you can get the same dye lot. :)


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