Friday, June 10, 2011

my aunt calls it grace

Ever since I started doing yoga more regularly, I've experienced a phenomena that I couldn't explain. I compare it to what devout deity believers call: answers to my prayers. In a text message my aunt sent me, she called it grace.

It's been a rough couple of years for my finances and my career goals. A year ago, I was "let go" from two jobs within weeks of each other. I experienced four months of unemployment last summer. When I found a job, it was for a school, getting paid very little for part time work. When I found another job to supplement my income, I gave up a second job I had previously acquired, only to be told that the new job no longer desired my services, thereby removing hundreds of dollars of income I had planned for and needed badly. (Are you still with me?)

I've joked about starting a scrapbook of my rejection letters, and turning it into a book, titled: A Book of Jokes. With love, from the Economy to my Generation. When the school year ended, I was planning on applying for unemployment once again, only to find out that because I signed a form accepting a position at the school in the fall, I would not qualify. Basically, the state was saying, "Bummer you don't have a job for the summer dude. But it's not our fault."

So when I went to the bank collect my loan money for the yoga teacher training program, I spent several minutes staring at the $3,200 check made out to the Yoga Center of Minneapolis. I sat there, running my fingers across the perforated edges, wondering if maybe I should just keep the money for the summer and use it to, you know, eat and pay for gas.

I decided, with shaky resolve, that I had to use this money for its intended purpose. I drove to the yoga center and handed it over to the program coordinator with a weak smile. Because it seems that people who practice yoga regularly are more open and compassionate than the rest of the world, I walked over to price out the required reading materials for the program and explained how I am officially jobless with no current plan for income.

Weeks ago, when I first met with the program coordinator, she mentioned that a staff person was leaving in August and she would be interested in seeing my resume, if I wanted to apply for the job. After sending it to her, she wrote back saying she would get back to me as she had other interested applicant.s To me, in that moment, it was a verbal rejection letter.

After sharing my feelings of monetary hopelessness, she looked me square in the eyes and said, "You know that girl who was going to quit in August? She's now leaving July 1. She just called to tell me. Like five minutes ago. This seems like fate. Do you want to come back into my office for an interview?"

Thirty minutes later I was filling out employment forms, agreeing to my new, 15-hours-a-week work schedule, and planning my training shifts. This was yesterday.

Today, I went to the yoga center for my first training shift. For those of you who have worked in customer service for any significant amount of time, you know those annoying first few shifts, where you try to learn the software and how to deal with clients. A lot of the time, you train with the weathered employees who show you the shortcuts and roll their eyes at every annoying customer and their overbearing boss, giving you a sense that this job probably gets old quickly.

Take all that knowledge and toss it. Here at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis, it's rubbish. The customers are eager yogis and yoginis, some more pompous than others, but all of them are usually heavily laced with good intentions. Then there are the teachers, who wander in smiling and leave pleased, even if there were only two people in his or her class. Finally, there are the passersby who wander in asking confusing questions about yoga and its different forms. But, even as misinformed people, they are sweet and kind and seeking truths.

This job will, by no means, cover my bills this summer. But it will fill my happiness cup, for sure.

I think my aunt was right. This really does feel like grace. I hope there's more in store.

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