How To See Beauty In Adversity

I got in my car Monday morning and Fifth Harmony’s song "Work From Home" was blasting through my speakers. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t that be nice if I didn’t have to go to work today?” Little did I know, that was actually about to become a reality.

They called an office­-wide meeting that morning at 9 a.m., which never happens, so I knew something was up. The CEO sat everyone down and told us that unfortunately the company couldn’t survive, and that they were letting everyone go...effective immediately.

Now, we were working for a startup, so this was a risk we knew were taking when we joined, but we all were still in shock. I was left with literally no paycheck as of that day, no severance package, no health insurance, nada. I have to say the feeling was quite surreal and left me a little numb.

Before all this happened, I was working on my side­ hustle, which was pursuing a career in teaching voice. I was perfectly content with keeping my day job while I could have fun with my passion. But when life threw me this curveball I thought maybe this is a sign to follow my dreams head on.

Thankfully I prepared myself for this situation and had some savings lined up so I wouldn’t be completely in the gutter, and I put all of my energy into becoming a voice teacher. As I continued my search and went through some interviews, I got to see more of what life would be like as a voice teacher. Eventually, I came to realize that it didn’t fit the lifestyle (nor the paycheck) I wanted at my age .

Another realization that was quite profound was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book "Big Magic," where she speaks about following your creativity and never losing sight of it. But she also mentions that you shouldn’t put the pressure on your creativity to support you financially. You may end up resenting your creativity and suffocating it in case it doesn’t work out. A­ha, light bulb! I realized I still wanted music and singing to be in my life, but at this stage, with little savings and several bills to pay, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting that pressure on my talents. I had big dreams, but I also had real needs.

I’ve redirected my path to continue my profession in what I was originally doing at my previous company. I feel it in my gut that I can continue to pursue my passion for voice while still having a day job that is helping me grow my business and marketing skills.

The one thing I’ve realized throughout this journey is that some things may look great on paper, but it’s not until you explore their reality that you see things for what they actually are.

Sometimes you may feel like everything is stable and that there is nothing to worry about, but you have to be ready for anything that comes your way. When something doesn’t feel right to you even though you want it to, recognize and accept it. You know yourself best.

I'm grateful to have gone through this experience. It's shown me that nothing is permanent and change is constant. Life will throw you curveballs, and it’s in those moments where your character is tested. I'm sure you’ve heard that numerous times, but I know first hand what that's like, and it's not easy.

It all comes down to how you view your situation, just like how people view this painting. There are two ways to look at it, but you ultimately choose which way you see it. I chose the beauty instead of the haggard. Your inner beauty shines through in moments of adversity, and when you can stay positive and motivated, you can succeed. Remember what your beliefs and values are as an individual. Treat yourself with love and kindness and know that only you can make the best decision for yourself in that moment.

We are in charge of how we view the world and what we see. Let’s all choose to see the beauty and stay strong.

Kristianna George