My first job in Canada was in the fashion retail industry which I am so grateful for. It taught me the basics of providing front-line customer service. However, this was not the industry I envisioned to work in after graduation. I got into retail through Person X who introduced me to Person Y. Person Y was part of the management team at Le Chateau. She was so sweet, got me plugged in and I started working as a style consultant in July 2017. At the time, I was paid $11.40/hour which was not a lot but it was consistent income so I was happy! The thing about me is when I make a decision to stay committed to something, I put in 1001%. So, I made sure I went above and beyond, exceeded my daily/weekly/monthly sales target; which resulted in being recognized as one of the top 10 Le Chateau employees regionally. Yup, I worked hard!!! Things were going great that in the next few months, I was so determined to be on the management team and get my Permanent Residency (PR) sharrrrp. However, something happened. You may be wondering, what could that be? Hmmm..
In June 2017, I graduated from my Bachelors Degree so I applied for my Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). My study permit was expiring on the 30th September 2017. Guess what? I got a letter from CIC about my work permit being denied on the same day my study permit expired. I was told I had 90 days to restore my status or I would be deported. Yup, that is how I looked reading that email. This meant I had to cease working at the end of September. I remember informing my manager that I had to stop working due to something beyond my control and she was so confused. Imagine my state of confusion and frustration. She kept telling me she did not want me to leave and they would love to have me back, when I have everything sorted out. Now I am thinking, what do I do? how will I make money? #brokeitdown. The solution was to restore my status which entailed paying for restoration fee + study permit fee; in order to stay in Canada. This meant I had to return to school as a way to remain in Canada. This is another blog post for another day so stay subscribed.
While applying for work in my field, Person X introduced me to Person Z who had a cleaning business. At first, I was like nahhhhh! I came to Canada to be doing cleaning job? lol no way. After a few days when hunger was doing legwork with my tummy, I considered. I reached out to Person Z and I started working with her to clean houses across Ottawa. The weather was getting really cold but I could not complain, so I sucked it up. No matter how challenging situations get, I always try to search for the positives. So every time I went to clean a home, I changed my perspective. I saw myself sowing seeds of care into peoples homes. Before I would clean, I would lift up whatever burden that house was going through to God and ask Him to help this household #assistantholyghost. Even if they did not believe in God. I did not expect them to reach out and say "oh, our lives are improving". I just sowed seeds of care. My life felt so clustered so cleaning became therapy for me during times when I felt overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed. I enjoyed cleaning and organizing things because it helped refocus my state of mind.
At my own pace, I have learnt to create room for what only matters to my journey of peace, progress and purpose. Everyday, I am learning to value progress not perfection and consciously enjoy the now process. Whatever you are experiencing may not make any sense but in due time, all the pieces of your life will work together for your good. My desire is for you reading this to have a perspective shift about cleaning - from chore to care. That anytime you chose to create time to clean or organize your physical space, you remember that you are investing self care in your mental space. When you clean and organize areas of your lives, it helps you create space for meaningful people, things and experiences that allow you flourish peacefully - on your own terms.
Now, cheers to loving, learning & laughing through my journey; on my own terms ;)
Till next time,