Everything Changes

Hello! I am sorry it has been a few weeks since I have uploaded a story or a life update. A week ago from today, my life took a very quick turn away from what I thought I was going to be doing for a few months. So I figured once things calmed down I would update my blog and let you all know what has been going on in my life. Here is a day by day assessment of what happened and where I am now. This is going to be a longer than normal post from me so here is the TL;DR.

TL;DR: My life, money, living situation, and job were all changed super quickly.

The day before everything changed (Tuesday, March 24th):

I was fully unaware that this day was going to be the start of everything changing for me. Originally, I was supposed to work this day, but the night before I had called into work for a sick day because I had not been feeling mentally or emotionally well. I was struggling with the pressure of my upcoming payment on my loans, my body constantly hurting from my job, my want to be anywhere but Idaho, and my building worry about what COVID-19 was going to do to my living situation and job.

I spent the day resting and trying to decide what I was going to do if my living situation fell apart. For those of you who don’t know, I was living on a college campus still even though I had already graduated. The college had kindly let me rent out my room so that I could be searching for a place to live and move to by graduation time in May.

Most of this day passed uneventfully and I had no clue about the building storm that the next day was going to bring.

The day everything changed (Wednesday, March 25th):

The day started normally, I woke up at 5 am and got ready to go to work for the day. That morning I had a few small hiccups as I had to prove to my work that I did not have a fever and therefore could go back to work. Once that was all worked out, I went right back to work not knowing what was going to happen in just a few short hours.

I ended up getting off work later than normal because of the process I went through proving I did not have a fever. Right before I was leaving, my managers were talking about the Governor’s announcement that our state was now under a shelter in place order and how it might impact our work schedules. I didn’t think much of it, as our job was considered essential and I knew we would keep working despite the order.

Yet, by the time I got to my car to leave to go back to the college, I noticed that my phone had a ton of messages. I looked at Facebook and my heart dropped.

There on my Facebook feed was the announcement that the college I lived at was closing and they wanted everyone to move out as quickly as possible. My living situation had just evaporated.

I sat in my car for a few minutes, contemplating what this meant now for me. And I came to one conclusion; I was going to need to move back to my home state. Now, I did have some very kind friends who later offered to let me live with them so I didn’t need to move, but I knew that at home, I would be mentally more healthy, plus I could quarantine there and not need to pay rent or need a job. So I called my mom, told her what was going on, got out of my car, and went back inside for the hardest conversation I have ever had.

I have never outright quit a job before. And to say that I was a blubbering crying mess after telling my boss my plans to leave would be an understatement. I was rocked to my core. I am not someone who likes to disappoint people, even when I feel like I am melting under the pressure of their expectations. I really did love the people I worked with, and I felt horrible that I was going to leave them, but I knew that this was the best way for me to move forward.

Through a lot of tears, I said goodbye to my boss and headed back to my car, mentally psyching myself up for the packing I was about to do. During that short thirty-minute drive back to school, I called the rest of my family members and let them know what was going down. I could feel the panic building, but I didn’t know how bad it was going to be.

As I arrived back at the college, I was met with panicked faces and lots of tears as the students who were also living on campus still, anxiously tried to figure out where they were going to live. The rest of that afternoon was a frantic day of packing and crying.

When it came time for dinner and all the students gathered, I will never forget that feeling of underlying panic and sorrow I felt and heard in the voices of every student as they conversed during their last meal together on campus. It was heartbreaking.

As we finished dinner, a friend of mine asked me to take her to the store and I agreed. I needed a mental break from the panic and now sleep deprivation I was feeling from being up so early that morning. We pulled into a Walmart parking lot and I looked at my phone realizing that my credit card company had texted me.

My heart dropped like a stone and then it began beating fast.

 Someone had stolen my credit card numbers and had made over $800 worth of charges on my card. Feeling true panic building in my chest, I called my card company and they shut down the card. At that moment I thought it was over, and I figured I would just use the money from my debit card to get myself home since my credit card was now shut down.

Then another message, this time from my bank telling me I could not withdraw more money than I had from my debit card.

“No way,” I thought to myself, “There is no way both got stolen. I never use my debit card.” I logged into my bank app and stared at the negative numbers on the screen. I frantically called my bank and they told me that the same fraudulent purchases which were made on my credit card had also been made on my debit card and now my card was canceled.

At this moment, I truly began to panic and my head spun. In just a few short hours, I had lost my living situation, quit my job, and now had no access to money to get myself back home.

I just started laughing. I honestly had no other response. I was so bewildered that I didn’t know what else to do. Never before had I felt so out of control, but also stuck within a moment in my entire life. Thankfully, my friend was super supportive and with her talking to me, I was able to mentally drive back to the school to now assess what I should do about my money situation.

The whole situation was resolved when two of my very close friends provided the money I needed for the trip home with no hesitation. Many crying phone calls later and a lot of thank you’s, I was going to make it back home after all.

 That night as I went to bed, I reflected on what had gone down that day and what God was doing. I realized never before in my life have I had to rely so much on others. I pride myself on being fairly prepared to handle anything that life might throw at me, but God tore all that down. While I was still very shaken up by the whole experience, I felt comfort knowing that God was still taking care of me, even when everything fell apart.

The day after (Thursday, March 26th):

This day was all about hanging out for the last time with my friends. Since I am done with college, I knew I would not be returning to live on campus or take classes with them. So I hung out with them as much as I could. I also was blessed by friends who bought me food to eat since I was unable to buy food while my cards were shut down. That night as I headed to bed for my last night ever on campus, I sobbed. I knew that I had gone through a lot the past two days, but I had not let myself stop and breathe.

The trip home (Friday, March 27th):

 I woke up around 5:30 am so that I could get a start on my long drive home. My drive from the college to my home takes about ten hours and crosses four state lines. I knew it was going to be another long day, and with the shelter in place order in effect, I was not sure how other states might be handling traffic crossing in and out of their borders. I wanted to get out of Idaho and be home as soon as possible.

I loaded the last few things in my car, said goodbye to a good friend of mine who got up early to tell me goodbye, and then drove off campus for potentially the last time. The weather was wonderful the entire way home. I had no problems driving the ten hours and arrived back in my home town in one piece.

The following days after the change:

As I sit and type this up, I am currently self-quarantining for two weeks in my mom’s house. I know I was around many different people at gas stations in many different states, so I am making sure I did not pick up any diseases while I traveled.  While I may not have a job right now, nor a place of my own to live in, God provided me with everything I needed for right now at this moment and I am truly thankful. I will miss all my college friends, but I know that I am where I need to be. (Also, all of the fraudulent charges have been removed off of my cards as of yesterday! Yay! I also got word that all my loan payments have been postponed until September! What an awesome blessing!)

So overall, here is what I learned: God’s plans are the best plans. While I am jobless and moneyless, I no longer feel mentally stressed or depressed. While it was a dramatic change, God knew the best place for me and how to get me there. Even though I thought I knew where my life was going, God knew even better and He will always know better.

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