Monday, February 04, 2013

Overcoming Adversity Blogfest

Today, I'm participating in Nick Wilford's Overcoming Adversity blogfest. If you haven't already, please head over there to hear the story behind this event. Once it's over, Nick's going to compile all of the entries into an anthology to benefit his son's school fund. :)

The Rules:

  • Write about overcoming adversity for something you believe in.
  • Please keep your (family-friendly) entry to 500 words. (442 words.)
  • It can either be a flash fiction piece or an episode from your real life. Poetry is fine, too.
  • Please post on either February 4th or 5th.


Years ago, I found myself in a dark place.

I'd done everything society expected of me—I went to college, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in marketing, and gained experience in the private sector—but none of that seemed to matter. The job market was in shambles, and I'd already lost two positions.  A sudden death in the family left me reeling. I didn't recover.

While the student loan collectors circled overhead, I bled my savings dry. There was no other way. I'd applied everywhere, gone on countless interviews, but always met the same excuses:

"We [never had any intention of hiring you and have] filled this position internally."


"Another [blood-related] candidate had more experience [with nepotism]."


"Unfortunately, we feel you're a little over-qualified [to clean the toilets in our fast food restaurant, and all of your dreams are dead]."

(I might have added some inferences there.)

Anyway, months turned into years, and I found myself dangerously close to the ledge. My friends were moving on with their lives—taking big city positions, getting married, and having babies—and I'd returned to my hometown a failure. The height of my fears had been realized.

When I wasn't researching companies in the obsessive, overly-ambitious manner I do most things, I spent my free time volunteering and writing. You probably know where this story is going now. I used those early WIPs as an escape and didn't think much of it—until I snapped. 

It happens. 

Anyway, that was about the time I decided to forge my own career. Why put so much pressure on myself to conform to what society called a safe, traditional path? I loved writing, and there was nothing stopping me from pursuing it on a professional level. 


So, I threw myself into research, gathering advice from every book, website, and blog I could find. It took a while to learn the ropes, but once I did, I felt the difference. Writing had become more than a hobby to me; I'd found my passion. Gone were the days of bitterness and apathy—for the most part. (I still hiss when I drive past places that wouldn't hire me, but that's beside the point.) My family was thrilled to have the old me back, and they wholeheartedly supported my decision to write. 

A few years have passed, and in that time, I've been blessed with a fantastic publisher, wonderful friends, and a place where I really belong. I'm hard at work on my next writing project, and to supplement my lack-of-income, I've been doing freelance graphic design. It might not be life-sustaining, but for now, it's enough.

I'm happy. :)
Have a great week, guys! ♥

56 comments:

Meredith said...

Good for you for realizing what makes you happy and making a life out of it! That's so inspiring.

Clare said...

Good for you, Carrie! I completely disagree with society's definitions of normal and safe. If you're doing something you love then that's all that matters! :D

Nick Wilford said...

Carrie, I'm definitely inspired by your brave decision to forge your own path. Who wants to be part of the normal job world when it's so ****ed up anyway?? I had to laugh at the annotated responses from those hirers. :D I'm glad you're doing something that makes you happy.

Thanks for taking part!

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Carrie. I'm impressed with your drive to keep going and to succeed. I took a similar path as you, learning how to write as I went along aided by tons of research.

More power to you!

Gail said...

Always nice to hear a happily ever after...it gives us all hope.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Carrie,

I am so GLAD you followed your heart. I SO can relate to your situation. Your passion for life and creativity kept you alive and above ground. May your path be strewn with rose pedals from now on.... you paid your dues....

ilima said...

What an inspirational story...forge your own path. I love it, thanks for sharing.

Melissa said...

I hate that you had to go through all that, but I'm glad you chose to write. You are so good at it. And your marketing background gives you an incredible edge.

I'm also glad we met. My life would be downright dreary at times without you. :)

michelle said...

Thanks for sharing your inspirational story Carrie.
Wow, I really admire you for hanging in there and following your heart... and it has paid off!

E.J. Wesley said...

I feel like quoting Batman to you (as I'm want to do), so I will: "Why do we fall down, Bruce?"

Here's to finding your place in the world, and I believe you've definitely found it, CB. :-)

Checking out all of the great folks who've signed up to help Nick and Andrew today ... I'll see you out there!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to realize what we really want. Glad you found your place, Carrie!

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh man, I so feel your pain. Been there, done that. Still am, for that matter. But we both followed the same alternate path, and while we wait for our other careers to straighten out, this one is fun and has its own advantages. I'm so glad we came together in our alternate careers! I love being pub sisters!! And I love you!!!

JeffO said...

Good for you for picking yourself up and following your dream. And I'm sure that marketing skill will help you with your books!

Natasha Hanova said...

Nothing personal, but I'm glad you 'snapped'. You're such a talented writer and I know good things are in your future.

I mean just look at you now… You wrote a book and its coming out in like a month!

Way to combine your two worlds!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Meredith! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Clare! You said it. It's doing what you love that matters. :D

Cortney Pearson said...

Way to pick yourself up again! That would be so discouraging, but I'm so glad you found your passion with writing!!

jamieayres.com said...

I love your positive attitude. All we can do is take it one step, one day at a time. And I find ignorance is bliss . . . like right now, I have waaay too much of my plate, but I'm just not thinking about it. *repeats "one step at a time" in head over and over* ~Hugs!!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Nick! I'm with you. The "normal" job world is pretty messed up. Why try so hard to infiltrate it? :)

I wish you the very best of luck with this blog-hop!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, J.L.! Here's to our paths continuing to cross. :)

M Pax said...

Writing is the best hope there is. Thanks for sharing your story.

Kelley Lynn said...

It is so great to learn more about your Carrie. What a strong, inspirational person you are!

Carrie Butler said...

I love happily ever afters, too! Hopefully it all turns out well. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Hey Michael,

Me too! And while I'm glad you can relate, I hate to think that you went through something similar. May both of our paths be brighter from this point forward. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Ilima! :)

Carrie Butler said...

D'aww...

Thank you, Melissa! Not to be sappy, but I feel the same way. <3 And now I'm going to sing!

♫ My liiiife would suck withoout you! ♫ *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you very much, Michelle! :)

Carrie Butler said...

I LOVE Batman quotes! *fist-pump*

Thank you so much, EJ. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Too true, Alex. :) Thank you!

Carrie Butler said...

I'm so blessed to have "met" you on this journey, Nancy! You are a wonderful friend/critique partner/pub sister. :) I love you, too!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Jeff! I really hope so. :)

Carrie Butler said...

You know what, Natasha? I'm pretty glad I snapped, too. I mean, it certainly wasn't fun at the time, but it helped me grow as a person. :)

Thank you!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you so much, Cortney! :)

Carrie Butler said...

I think I'm going to have to join in on that manta next month. "One step at a time, one step at a time..."

Thank you, Jamie! *Hugs*

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, M Pax! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Kelley! :D

Lisa Regan said...

And where would this community be without you? :) What an awesome post and I'm so glad this is where you ended up because Strength is one of the best books I've ever read!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Lisa! *Hugs* I'm so glad to have met you on this journey!

C.M.Brown said...

What a strong person you must be Carrie. I think I would have buckled, glad to see it has all come together for you now and you are living a life you enjoy!

Trisha F said...

Phew. You sure have had some unpleasant times, but you've come a long way. Thanks so much for sharing this post!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great writing Carrie. I'm so glad you overcame adversity and made it through all that to live your dreams! (I also really loved your snarky asides in the interview/rejection section)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Sometimes the only doors that are opened to us are the ones we are supposed to go through.
You are where you are supposed to be :)

David P. King said...

This is great, Carrie. I love reading about other hurtles. It helps you and others in the process. :)

Tara Tyler said...

i am so afraid this is happening so much! i'm so glad you found a nitch and are making it! yeah! i'll be visiting you soon!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, C.M.! I appreciate that. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Trisha! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Tyrean! I was hoping my snarky asides wouldn't take away from the spirit of the blogfest. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Good point, Elizabeth! Thank you so much. :D

Carrie Butler said...

It does help, doesn't it? I love reading about how our friends have overcome things. It has always given me hope, regardless of where I am in the writing process. :) Thanks, David!

Carrie Butler said...

Me too, Tara! Thank you. :)

Heck yes! Summer of 2013! It's happening!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

It's amazing how a period of darkness can lead you to a new passion. Too bad we can't remember that during those dark times.

Sally said...

You made me smile as I thought of you 'hissing' at the places who turned you down. It was their loss as you are now proving. Well done for following your dreams.

Carrie Butler said...

I wish we could remember that in dark times! *Sigh*

Thanks for stopping by, Stina! :)

Carrie Butler said...

A (persistent) lapse in maturity, I assure you. ;) Thanks, Sally!

The Golden Eagle said...

Your story is one of the most impressive that I've read in this blogfest. Glad you found your passion. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you so much, Eagle! You don't know how much that means to me. :)