Homeless and living in his car was his breaking point. It took 25 jobs, but he finally found what he was desperately searching for.
How many jobs do Americans hold in one lifetime? The answer is 10-12. I’ve had twenty-five, and I’m only 41 years old. It took me 25 jobs to finally discover my true passion and happiness.
I grew up in a small border town, Calexico CA. Calexico has the worst unemployment in the US with over 25%. Another 25% of jobs taken by people from across the border in Mexico.
Living in one of the hottest places doesn’t help. Over 120 degrees in the summertime. It was so hot in Calexico when I was young that I tried to fry and egg on the pavement. If you love your eggs over easy Calexico is the place for YOU!
To be employed in Calexico was a difficult task, let alone have these many jobs. All my friends would say I was the luckiest man alive, I always had a job. But what they didn’t know, I was on a mission to find my dream job. My average stay at one job was eight months. Who said finding happiness was going to be easy.
I knew deep down my future job would be related to helping people in some capacity. My heart and soul are telling me to keep searching for happiness. No matter what the consequences.
Things weren’t looking good. My son had joined a gang at 13 years old. I lost my home, job and filed for bankruptcy, that’s when I decided to move to another city. Born and raised in Calexico, the only place I’ve visited away from home was Disneyland.
I found Irvine CA while searching the internet. All I knew is it was one of the safest cities in California. I landed a job in Irvine, but I made one crucial mistake; I had no place to live. I slept in my car in a parking lot. I got away with it for three days until the police asked me to leave. The closest place to Irvine was my mother’s apartment in Oxnard CA. That’s a little over 100 miles. Do you have patience? Try commuting from Irvine, CA to Oxnard at 5 pm rush-hour California traffic.
I remember crying when I found out it took over three hours one-way driving to my mom’s house. My family was back home waiting for me to get established. Finally, after one month of commuting, I rented an apartment. It was a two bedroom apartment for $1,675.00 in Irvine Ca. My gross monthly income was $1,800.00 before taxes. You do the math. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were the food of choice at the time.
My family eventually moved to Irvine. I wish I could tell you got easier, it did not. From layoffs to changing jobs and chasing my dream, I ended up homeless living in a hotel with a family of four. After I had run out of money, we stayed on a living room floor of a friend’s small apartment. My son who is 6’ 3″ could barely fit in the 5ft sofa. It’s easy to be positive when things are great, but to be positive when things are in shambles is what makes the difference.
Maybe I should off stayed at job #2 in Calexico with an excellent retirement instead of following my passion. It wasn’t fair for my family to be going through this, but I kept pursuing my dream regardless. I landed in the ER twice for stress related symptoms. After moving four more times, my family had enough.
My last stop was Corona CA, and this is where I found my passion. Not only am I helping people by volunteering, but I’m chasing my dream to become a motivational speaker/coach. I joined Toastmaster.org six months ago. I won two international speech contests, and now I’m the president of the club.
After 25 jobs, opportunities are on the horizon, and I ‘m so grateful to be sharing this story with you. I’ve been married for 22 years now and have two beautiful kids. Life couldn’t be better.
One of the key things I did was changed my thinking. You change your thinking; you change your life. Be patient and have faith. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel even when you think it’s dark.
Giving up was not an option. It only took 20 years, but it was well worth it. It made me into the person I’m now. Just keep moving forward.
The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.
Photo: Flickr/ spelio