• Dakota Brown

The Difference One Year Can Make

One year ago, I found myself suddenly (and quite unexpectedly) unemployed.

I'm not going to go into the details as to how that happened, because even a year later the sting is still bitter. All I will say is this: I tried to leave a toxic work environment and that employer cost me my future employment opportunity. (Employers: don't gaslight your employees. Just don't do it.)

Regardless of how it happened, I was reeling. I was finishing a stressful college semester and was going into the holiday season without any source of income; I'd been hurt by someone I'd trusted and worked hard for. I was devastated.

Because of my situation, I could not claim unemployment. Things got a little hard for my husband and me; we scraped by, but it wasn't easy.

I was unemployed for nearly 3 months. During this time, I vowed to never let myself go through another situation like that ever again. I spent my days baking and crafting, watching Netflix, and working on my final assignments of the semester. I did anything and everything I could to stay busy.

At the end of January 2020, I secured a position with a local marketing firm. It felt like a miracle; I could do what I loved daily (writing) and get paid to do it!

I'm not sharing this story for sympathy. I truly rose above the nightmare I was dealt, and my hard work paid off.

I'm sharing this story because that time in my life was transformative. If it hadn't been for that situation, where I promised myself that I would never allow another employer to abuse me in any way and that I would find a way to provide myself a secure income, I wouldn't be where I am now.

I never would have taken this leap.

As bitter and difficult as those months were, they made my independence possible.

So, if you're in a place where you feel like something needs to change: change it.

It's not easy. But it IS worth it.

Do what you need to do for yourself, and the rest will follow!

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