Perhaps this is going to sound hypocritical, but not many people can do what I’ve done and be humble about it. I’ve worked my butt off for so very long to achieve what I have, and I’m satisfied. This feeling, right now, is exactly what I hoped I would feel.
– June 1, 2013
It’s easier than you think to lose sight of the important things in life. When I graduated college, I wrote a blog detailing how I felt about my life leading up to that day and what I hoped would be in my future and posted it on Facebook. Only four people liked it and two bothered to comment, but I was still glad I wrote it because it was true to how I felt and I knew I wouldn’t want to forget that feeling. Seven months later, I forgot that feeling until I went to the movies tonight and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I walked out of that theater feeling completely jazzed about life, about possibilities and about truly making the most of the days I have left on this earth. It forced me to take a hard look at how I’ve been thinking these last few months and how I need to get back on track.
The job market hasn’t been kind to me lately. I’ve made this blatantly obvious, but I’ve also been kicking up a lot of dirt just because I thought it would make me feel better. Although it may help a little, it hasn’t changed my situation.. so I know that means I need to change my attitude. I don’t have the full time job in my field that I wanted right now, but I do have a job. That’s more than some people, and I should really quit griping about it. See? A positive from a negative. The societal pressure to go to college and get a job in your degree of study immediately upon graduation is incredibly intense and, in my opinion, a very skillfully created brainwashing technique to churn out a workforce rapidly. I think college was a good choice for me because I truly enjoy learning, but I know plenty of people who didn’t go to college and are sitting much prettier than I am at the moment! The point is, a lot of us allow this grand plan to get in the way of our own desires and I think that’s why we stray and stress so much. Yes, I want a job, but not at the expense of my psyche, my health or my happiness. I can still be proud of who I am and what I’ve done instead of sulkily skimming through online job applications and shamefully hiding away from inquiring minds. I have not fallen from grace because I don’t have a full time job in communications. Furthermore, I (and so many others) need to stop beating ourselves up for not knowing exactly what we want to do in life. It’s okay not to have a steadfast plan, and feeling uncomfortable means you’re growing.
…But I simply can’t predict how I will feel once I step outside this comfort zone, so the only thing I can do is just.. leap. It’s not a plan and that’s scary, but it’s also liberating.
Confucius said, “it does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” I’ve never considered myself to be foolish and certainly not a quitter. My end goal is still to find a job I can enjoy more than the one I’m working at now, but I think I need to stop making myself feel guilty because I’m not where I thought I would be. There are plenty of other things that happened in the last year that I didn’t plan for, but they’ve gloriously changed my life for the better. Yes, I still feel like I need help finding the job that’s right for me, but I need to quit obsessing over it. I’ve had a lot of opportunities fall into my lap at a very young age, and this is the first time I’ve had to work so hard to achieve a goal. But you know what? Perseverance is good for us! So while it’s important to remember what it is exactly that we’re looking for and what we want out of life in the grand scheme of things, it’s also important to live in the now and appreciate the little things. For example, I can move anywhere in the world because I have nothing tying me here, I can spend days in a row with friends or family members because I’m fortunate enough to have time off frequently and I can stick to what I want… or change my mind whenever I feel like it! So what do YOU want?
I want to keep learning. Not from books or computers, but from life, people and through experiences. I want excitement and freedom and to always find joy in the simple things. And most importantly, I want to continue to enjoy what I do no matter how long I’m doing it for.
Maybe these aren’t the best conditions or requirements for a specific job. In fact, they’re incredibly broad and vague and I doubt any employer would snatch me up if I said these were the things I was looking for in a job. 14-year-old Tanya would be so disappointed in me now for changing the plan. But the truth is, having a plan may be responsible.. but straying from the plan and going after what will make you feel best is the most fulfilling. I don’t want to follow the rules or the expectations that others have set for me because that’s not what will make my life fulfilling. So although I don’t yet have that “perfect” job I hoped I would be working by now, I know I’m going to get there. And when I do, it won’t even feel like work.
So until then, I’m going to follow my heart and continue to learn from experience. And even though I’m still scared out of my wits and worried about where this will all take me, I’m confident that I’m going where I need to go and those who matter will be with me and support me throughout the journey.
This moment is the best moment. You can go anywhere, be anything and do anything you want. The choices are daunting and sometimes worrisome, but there’s one beautiful loophole: if you don’t like where your path has taken you, you can choose a different route just as easily.