Exactly one year ago, I went on an interview. It was the second in the three-part series. I wore my dark blue coat over my black dress—the go-to uniform I seemed to have unconsciously matched for days like it.

I entered the office, straight into the conference room overlooking a busy cityscape. It was sunny that afternoon. There were two people in that room that day: the woman who previously interviewed me, now with a foreign man in long-sleeves colored light blue. My then palpitating heart has now gone a thousand times faster, wanting to beat out of my chest. I still don't know how I appeared calm that day.

"So you're a photographer," the man said. "Aren't you guys always.." He motioned like he was clicking a camera. I got the question a lot.

"I've been doing it since I started my first day job. I do both things separately—one on weekdays, the other on weekends." I assured him and the woman who asked me the same question previously.

The challenging part? They gave me a sheet of paper with a situation I needed to act in. I was never good in acting; I always end up laughing (especially in the wrong moments). A couple of facts, products, a corporate guy who needed a discount, some decisions to make—those were all in that piece of paper. I took my time (which seemed like a thousand years) looking at the words, breathed in, and told myself what I always say whenever I needed to do something that really scares me: Oh well Lord, wtf, I'm gonna do this anyway, so let's get this over with. Thanks so much for this. Here we go. (I'm serious.)

I started with, "Hi, good afternoon, Mr. X, how are you today?" The rest went well, or so I thought. When that was over, I still got to answer the same scary questions I was asked the last time: How are your analytical skills? Can you cite samples when you used them?

And there I was, blabbed my way into this and that as if I really knew the question.

When the session ended, I smiled and thanked them. But that being unsure got the best of me. The moment I pulled off my coat, I felt the weight of how big of a disappointment I was. I hate feeling helpless. At that point I was tired of failing myself. I was tired of letting me down. I was tired of putting myself out there for the nth time and ending up being rejected.

I walked through the city and took a picture of the buildings. I had been in the city for five years already but I felt it spewing me and not wanting me back.

I went home without any expectation. I lay down in the dark with a heavy weight in my heart and slept the night burying its silent ache deep within me.

A day after that, I felt an uneasiness I can't seem to shake. I didn't want to give it up—I want that job. I emailed a thank you note to the woman and left it at that. Still without any expectation.

Five days before my birthday, I returned to the same office and got on the third interview.

On the same day, I was offered the job.

Never in a million years was I ever surprised like that.


Almost a year in the job, we said farewell to my direct superior. He had since become one of my favorite adults ever as he made an impact in my job life so big he can never fully know.

He recalled the interview they had with me like this:

"We had a lot of interviews that day, I still remember. But after all those interviews for me and Ms. X that time because we did it together, there is no doubt. Make her an offer and let's hope she accepts it. You did. From day one it has been a pleasure working with you."

Learning their side of the interview was one of the many nuclear bombs of surprises this job has ever given me. After hearing that, all I can think was, "REALLY???"

Because I CANNOT believe it. I felt defeated after the interview because that was how I saw myself: a big, sore loser. When oppositely, during that time they saw a potential in me that I would've never believed I had.

Life surely is cruel sometimes. It tends to crack our bones and beat us up into pieces until we can't find the will to get up. But then God comes and redeems; He picks us up when we can't anymore, warms us up when we can't seem to feel anymore. He redeems, and He redeems fully.

This road trip—my depression, disappointment, and dissatisfaction in my previous jobs until I got caught in the light—wouldn't have been a good story if not for Him. He is the best author that I know and I'm glad He is the one writing mine.

I love good surprises, always have. If I ever feel the lows of life again, I will reread this story, of how good it felt to be surprised and how otherworldly it was to be fully redeemed.

Of how if it's not okay, then it is not the end.