My sister posted this article today. The link is below, so before you read this, go read that!
It spoke to me right away because I have had the exact feelings that he talks about:
“The issue here is, once again, expectations. If you think you’re supposed to be working 70-hour work weeks and sleeping in your office like Steve Jobs and loving every second of it, you’ve been watching too many shitty movies. If you think you’re supposed to wake up every single day dancing out of your pajamas because you get to go to work, then you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s just unrealistic. There’s a thing most of us need called balance.”
Let’s start from the beginning.
I graduated college May 2014 with a sociology degree and a concentration in human services. I have never been the kind of person that knew they wanted to be a certain thing since they were little. I changed my major multiple times and kind of just rolled into sociology and as soon as I graduated, considered going back to school for something else.
I worked really hard the summer after college but I also made sure to travel and have fun- I road tripped down south and had the best summer. I scored a job as a youth employment case manager for a local nonprofit in august after I graduated. I started my job and wasn’t sure what to think at first- In the first few months, I did not have a lot to do and not many clients- my job is a very self-motivated job. If you want people to help and work with, you have to do outreach and go out and find them. Once you have the people to work with and help find jobs, the job gets more exciting- much of it is out in the community finding local businesses to offer people internships.
When I first started this job, and it wasn’t exactly what I had thought or expected, I was not happy- so my focus became finding the next thing to make me happy- the next job, the next field. I was not living in the present and always focusing on my future- whether this was researching potential careers, schools, or jobs. (This is crazy now that I look back to think that I was about to switch fields after trying out one job after college graduation!?)
I realized that I was driving myself crazy- living every day waiting for the next “thing,” and not even knowing what that was- searching for it, really, became exhausting. I had given myself anxiety with my own thoughts and questions of the future, without even knowing it.
I had a different blog post planned for tonight, but felt inspired reading this- because I have been through the same thing. I noticed something: as soon as I stopped obsessing about the next thing, about my future, about what am I doing right now and is this really my forever thing- I enjoyed my job more, put more of myself into it, and started to feel more passion about it. I am a strong believer that you can find a passion in almost anything if you work hard enough at it and like Mark said, create that balance between work and life. That’s another thing that improved more for me in that time- I made more time for friends and other things outside of work.
I still don’t know what I’m doing, but like Mark said, that is kind of the beauty in it! I have an idea, but I have many ideas. I already know that I won’t be a one career forever kind of person- just because you majored in something, does not mean that that will be the majority of your life. I want to work in an animal sanctuary/nonprofits, mental health nonprofits, be a photographer and a blogger. I am determined to find a way to integrate all of these things together in some way, but I’m also not going to obsess over it- I’m going to let them find me. Whatever happens, happens. And if I am working hard, I will be passionate and it will be a success.
Things that I changed to make myself happier in the present (while still not knowing what I am doing!):
- Thinking about every day things to be grateful about- writing them down and journaling. This can be something as simple as “my favorite coffee shop had a new coffee flavor I love” or “I went to dinner with my friend!”- Writing it down makes you realize every day is different and makes you focus on the positives.
- Being happy where you are- notice the great things about your job-for me it was the flexibility, getting to be out and about, getting to be creative, problem solving at times, and helping people. There is a reason you are where you are at this time and something led you to that- so go with it and throw yourself in.
- Accept your bad days, get a cup of coffee or tea or a wine later and move on. Tomorrow is another day, you are only human, and no one has it all figured out!
- I think the biggest thing that I figured out is that you can do it all. And if you want to and have enough drive, you will.