I'm still on this rollercoaster that only goes up; I feel this way, happy, despite the fright I experienced this summer (I'll get into that later). As summer 2017 comes to an end, and I reflect on the season and the year so far (because when am I not reflecting?), I realize that I am at a point in my life where I have more clarity on who I am: I am an Afro-Latina woman from the Bronx, I am an educator, I am bilingual, a writer, and most of all a learner. Who I want to be? That part I'm still piecing together and will let you know when I have it 100% figured out... stay tuned ;)
Last week I went to Serendipity 3 with a friend who visited from England (yay Study Abroad friends!). It wasn't my first time sipping on their famous frozen hot chocolate, yet the restaurant continued to be very reminiscent of the movie Serendipity, and of course, the idea that some good things, such as romances, happen merely because of luck.
Serendipity: a desirable discovery by accident; good fortune; luck
This summer, in many ways, felt serendipitous. The most serendipitous-like thing turning out to be that I am finally fully employed and have a good feeling that I'll be at my current job for a long time (The American Dream Charter School teaching 8th grade English). Before landing this job, however, while I was on vacation, I received a rejection email for a position I was positive I would be offered (Posse Scholars usually have this kind of optimism haha). My optimism failed me at the worst possible time. It was the last week of July and I was sitting in a hotel in Havana, Cuba with my boyfriend when I received the email. This, of course, was followed by unlimited buckets of tears. The thing is, that when I applied for this job I felt good... the way you feel when you try on a bra and it fits perfectly! Yet there I was, in what I believe is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Havana Cuba, feeling dizzy, blind, hopeless, worthless, and even irresponsible for not being in New York in that instant already applying to 100 more jobs. My boyfriend who comforted me as I silently cried told me, "God does everything for a reason. Something better will come." My best friend in NY texted me the same message minutes later. That had to mean something.
I had no choice but to sit tight and enjoy the rest of my vacation --I decided to put the stress on hold. When I got back home on August 2nd, I worked on cover letters, gathered references, and submitted a handful of job applications that same week. On August 7th, the principal of a school in the South Bronx circled back to me after having reached out to her in May. On August 14th I went in for a demo lesson, and on that same day, in the principal's office, I was offered the 8th grade English teacher position. I began my new job the very next day and the rest... well, the rest was history.
So when I went to Serendipity 3 the other day, I couldn't help but think about its definition and attribute my successes to serendipity --to the idea that I was lucky or that the good things in my life only happened by accident. Sometimes there's no escaping that feeling that good fortune is handed to you. Upon reflection, I had to remind myself that it was not just luck or serendipity --it was actively searching for the opportunities that I knew would bring me success in the long run. The hope that I would find the perfect job where I felt happy, motivated and appreciated is what drove my persistence. And when I least suspected it, that hope and persistence circled back to me in the form of that South Bronx principal reaching out to me. Serendipity, I love you though you are just an illusion that drives my optimism and my belief that good things happen to good people. They do, they sure do, but sometimes you gotta hustle and work extra hard to finally sit on the comfortable chair that turns your hopes into reality. If there's anything I've learned in life, it's that nothing is handed to you. At least not where I come from.