• virginiapatterson

Gut Punched TWICE

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

After being gut punched twice in 12 months you HAVE to find a way to keep moving.

Think about how you handle life when it throws you a curve of a lifetime TWICE within a year. They say make lemonade out of the lemons but it that truly what you do?

"It's never too late for a new beginning in your life."

-Joyce Myers

About 9 years ago life started to gradually become the life I had worked so hard for in my 20's. I started climbing the corporate ladder one steppingstone at a time in the most perfect direction. Soon after that I met the most amazing man that I never knew could have existed. Year after year everything just kept coming together. I eventually landed the job of MY dreams and married that amazing man! I was unstoppable - we were unstoppable.

I will not bore you with the details of those glorious 8 years. Although if I knew things would have changed so abruptly, I would have soaked in a little more of those golden times for sure.

Fast forward to early 2019 when the world seemed to come to a screeching halt. That amazing man of mine went in for what we thought would be a routine colonoscopy. Little did we know this would change the course of everything we knew... or thought we knew.

A few days after this "routine" colonoscopy I was traveling for work and received the most unforgettable phone call. The day my amazing world came to a standstill. The call that changed the course of everything. Come to find out my husband had stage 2 colon rectal cancer and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change the course of where we were going for the next 12 months. GUT PUNCH NUMBER 1! I am not going to lie it was the hardest 12 months I have had in my adult life. I was terrified about all the decisions we needed to make and all of the unknow we didn't have answers to. I was terrified of all of the treatments and doctors’ appointments. I was terrified of a surgery that led to an emergency surgery and then another surgery. This time in my life seemed to drag on forever. Pushing all my fears, anger, and tears so far down just to keep moving day after day. I thought if I just keep pushing then soon enough, we will get to this end of this and get back to some sort or normal life together.

During all of this I just stayed focused on the things I could control and pushed everything else down deep. Let us be honest, having a complete melt down was not going to solve anything at all. Let's also not forget I still had an amazing career with a job that I absolutely loved. I had even started working on a new job description for a position I knew I would be amazing at. So not every part of my life was a mess. I just kept telling myself, "stay focused on what you can control". Little did I know life was winding up for that second gut punch because that is when Covid hit. My dream profession was in hospitality. More specifically a Director of Catering for large function facilities. The company I worked for had 19 location but mostly in California which was hit the hardest even in the beginning of the Covid outbreak. So late March I received a call that I was going to be temporarily laid off. Welcome to GUT PUNCH NUMBER 2. All within a year I felt paralyzed. I felt like I could not breathe. I felt helpless. I had been in hospitality since I was 17 years old. My entire career was built on an industry that was crumbling in the blink of an eye. What was meant to be a temporary layoff turned into permanent, but I am sure you have guessed that. In the beginning I truly hoped things would get back to normal in a short time. I held on to the hope of getting back to work in an industry I knew so much about. Almost 5 months later and I feel I am floundering in what is next for me....

What I do not share with people is the struggle it is daily to not sink into a depression. I went from having a very active career in hospitality and dealing with people all day to being at home talking to my 4 dogs. I was traveling across country monthly and now I travel to the kitchen for a snack or a dog treat. I drag myself out of bed every morning as to not sleep into the afternoon! I don't share with others that this last year had been a huge struggle because there is a part of me that thinks if I break down then I wont be able to put the pieces back together. So instead I push forward because if I can just get through this then I will be even stronger than before.

With the world slowing down my next chapter in life was will need to be written.

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