Many people seem to have their life paths set from a young age. They dream of becoming doctors or veterinarians, their aspirations unwavering. As I transitioned into young adulthood, I found myself drifting, without a defined purpose or calling. Unlike those with steadfast dreams, I had yet to discover my own.

My journey took an unexpected turn when I secured a job at a local restaurant, creating a bond with its owner that would shape my life indefinitely. Through our connection, I not only weathered life’s challenges but thrived. I was granted a flexible work schedule that allowed me to pursue an education. Starting with basic courses, I gradually earned a liberal arts degree, a journey that took longer than most.

As I delved deeper into education, I found myself inspired by the relationships I forged with fellow students and faculty. A newfound hunger for knowledge led me to tackle more demanding subjects. I excelled as an honors anatomy student and teacher’s aide, and it was during this time that my passion for science took root.

Still lacking a specific career in mind, I embraced the newfound sense of direction. Balancing my education with work in the food industry, I powered through my studies. Eventually, equipped with a science degree, I pressed forward. The desire to connect with diverse individuals led me to pursue further studies in Oakland, focusing on microscopy.

Two years of intense learning later, equipped with certificates in advanced fluorescent and confocal microscopy, I was ready to apply my knowledge. I secured a role at an Environmental Laboratory, initially starting from the bottom but soon rising to lead the microbiology department. However, the lab’s closure due to a buyout and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic left me adrift once more.

In a twist of fate, I found myself back at the restaurant where it all began. I believed this would be temporary, as the pandemic’s duration was uncertain. But as time passed, temporary turned into two years, and the restaurant faced a situation eerily similar to the lab’s demise. In the midst of uncertainty, a spark of hope emerged.

During a shift, two observant customers recognized my dedication and approached me with a potential opportunity. They praised my customer service skills, multitasking abilities, and unwavering positivity. Their vision was a new startup called Handymen, a venture designed to tackle the small jobs other contractors wouldn’t touch, all while fostering trust and relationships. Their sincerity was palpable, and I was offered a position within their ranks.

While this prospect was daunting, it was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore. Despite the challenges, I was drawn to the chance to learn new skills, step outside my comfort zone, and be part of a supportive environment. With a mix of excitement and trepidation, I embraced the chance to start anew.

As time went on, I found my footing, the challenges eventually becoming second nature. The sense of contentment I experienced at the lab returned; I was happy again. The years of hardship leading up to this point suddenly held a purpose, as I settled into a role that felt like home.

The last few years have tested us all, and the pandemic brought about much loss and despair. Amidst the darkness, I discovered a beacon of hope in Handymen. This opportunity has been transformative, allowing me to learn invaluable skills and work within a community that values service and positivity.

In retrospect, I used to envy those who seemed to know their path from childhood. However, I now understand that my winding journey was a gift. The challenges, the twists, and the uncertainties all shaped me into the person I am today. Without the unforeseen events caused by the pandemic, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Handymen—a place where I truly belong.

As I reflect on my evolution, I realize that the most rewarding paths are often the ones we forge ourselves. Handymen isn’t just a company; it’s a testament to the power of resilience, adaptation, and embracing the unexpected. Through it all, I’ve come to realize that luck isn’t in knowing your path from the start—it’s in the ability to embrace the journey and find your place within it.