Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Fulfilling Your Dreams

Beginning Again in 2021

by Ann Chiappetta

After eight years of being a full-time trauma counselor for the Veteran’s Administration, I was dismissed from the position in 2019. I don’t like saying I lost my job because I am not returning to work, at least not in the traditional sense. I did feel lost, though, along with being angry, hurt, and unappreciated; the loss of routine and confidence kept me from bouncing back right away.

When 2020 unfolded, my desire to find employment in the counseling field didn’t appeal to me anymore. A few months later, when the pandemic thrust its way into our lives, it became clear that I wasn’t going back to work, at least not in the traditional sense.

Now it’s 2021 and society is slowly rising from the post-COVID ashes and I am rising alongside others who have been waiting for a chance to straighten up and get on with life. I asked myself, okay, Ann, what would I want to accomplish that I couldn’t when I was working a full-time job? I wanted to write more and read more and increase my creative productivity.

I am collecting the tools an author must obtain and store in her writer’s toolbox. Since my post-employment income is less, I am focusing on completing more with the help of assistive technology, marketing, and novel writing. Each of these has a modest price tag and is also a grand investment. I’ve been taking online classes. I am determined to relabel my goals and accomplishments. It’s scary, but I now tell folks I am semi-retired, I am pursuing my writing and marketing work, and I am grateful to be able to open a new door and walk through it with a positive attitude.

The best part of this new adventure is the network of writing friends and longtime colleagues who have given me support and encouragement. My family have always been my cheerleaders and becoming part of a supportive community keeps me motivated. Volunteering for projects is another way to pay it forward and is fulfilling. I sometimes think about what happened in 2019 as a necessary step to where I am today; as hard as it was at first, I am thankful it proved to me that I am a resilient person.

About the Author

Ann Chiappetta M.S. is an author and poet, making meaningful connections with others through writing. Ann’s nonfiction essays have been printed in Dialogue magazine, among others. Her poems are often featured in Poesis, The Pangolin Review, and Magnets and Ladders. Her poetry is also included in Breath and Shadow’s 2016 debut anthology, Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow. Her books—a poetry collection Upwelling: Poems, a memoir Follow Your Dog a Story of Love and Trust, Words of Life: Poems and Essays, and a short story collection A String of Stories From the Heart to the Future—are available in both e book and print formats from Amazon. Visit her site to learn more about her work.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
Inclusion in Recovering The Self is neither an endorsement nor a confirmation of claims presented within. Sole responsibility lies with individual contributors, not the editor, staff, or management of Recovering The Self Journal.
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