This might be a long-ish post – so grab a cup of tea or wine and let’s chat.
Lately I’ve been reconsidering what direction I want my life to go in. Ooh, deep right? But seriously, I’m lost.
I know it’s not the end of the world to be 23 and not know what you want to do…but it still bothers me. I feel like a lot of millennials can relate to that pressure – the pressure to follow a specific path that’s considered the “norm”. The “ideal”. You know, the go to school to get a degree, travel a bit, immediately get a job in your field, find the love of your life, buy a house + car, then settle down and have kiddos.
That’s not what I want.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that type of plan – hey, that WAS my plan – it’s just not for me anymore.
Over the past year I’ve had to completely reevaluate my mental health, my relationships, + my purpose. I went for counseling. I meditated. I did yoga + clean eating + therapy.
And I realized something. I don’t want to invest my time in anything that doesn’t bring me joy.
So here’s my list of 5 mistakes I’ve made while trying to figure out what I want to do with my life:
- PURSUING MONEY INSTEAD OF HAPPINESS
When I graduated high school I went straight to college. Without a doubt I knew I wanted to get an education, but making that HUGE of a life decision at 18 is pretty daunting, right? Because I felt pressure to decide on a career immediately, I chose something at random, committed to that for 3 years, and then realized I had wasted my time. While I’ll never regret my education because I value the skills I’ve developed + I’m lucky to always have a trade in my back pocket just in case I need it, I wish I had chosen what I wanted to do rather than a career that I thought would impress other people.
I constantly find myself trying to explain to people that I have a diploma in a trade + I have student loan debt, and yet I have absolutely no desire to work in the field I’m trained in. It’s a perfectly good field, a perfectly good career. The career I tried to convince myself I wanted for a long time. I wish now that I had waited to choose something I enjoyed…rather than listening to other people and just choosing something that would make me money.
If I could do it all over again now, I would pursue my passion instead of a paycheck.
2. INVESTING TIME IN PEOPLE WHO AREN’T WILLING TO INVEST THEIR TIME IN ME
It took me a long time to realize that my worth does not and cannot come from other people. It has to come from me. If I don’t value myself and realize my full potential, other people won’t either.
I used to think that the more effort I put in, the more I gave, the harder I tried, the more someone would appreciate me. But I was wrong. So very wrong.
Because nothing changed and all that happened was that I ended up losing myself, my joy and my self respect in the process.
You have to appreciate your own worth, know your value, and refuse anything less than to be treated the way you deserve. Don’t let a bad boss or a toxic friend damage your self worth.
If someone hurts you once, forgive them. If someone hurts you twice, be cautious. If someone hurts you again, fuck them and move on.
3. PUSHING AWAY MY LOVED ONES
Take the help you’re offered. If I hadn’t wasted so much time suffering alone instead of accepting the help I was offered, I would be a lot better off. Having a good support system is extremely important and makes the struggle easier.
4. DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, BUT EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS
Albert had it right.
It has taken me too long to realize that unless I make changes, nothing changes. I tried to convince myself that things would change + work out on their own, but I knew I had hit a solid brick wall and I needed to do something.
I’ve been stuck in a rut, feeling really unhappy and directionless. And I felt like that for years before I did anything about it.
Moving on and realizing that I value my happiness over other people’s approval has been a big change for me. Pursuing joy rather than money is scary, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about what’s going to happen in the future.
I want to open myself up to new and exciting opportunities, continue to grow, and do what’s best for ME. This decision has challenged me to my core, and yet I’m extremely happy to be on this progressive path instead of going around in circles.
Bottom line: don’t be afraid to change.
5. CARING TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Classic mistake. I always felt like I needed to do better for someone else, compete with someone else, or change someone’s opinion of me.
Then I realized…
If I’m lucky, I’ll be liked by many and hated by a few. But I had made the mistake of forgetting that everyone is disliked by someone and that’s totally cool.
I can’t make people like me and I sure as hell can’t make them change their minds. I’m better off forgetting what people think and concentrating on being the best me I can be. Even though that’s really tough sometimes.
If you’ve hung in there with me for this whole rambling post, kudos to you.
I know that these mistakes are just the first of many I’m sure to make, but I’m glad that I’m letting myself grow and improve now instead of later. Hey, I still don’ t know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I know that my decisions will be based on pursuing my passion.
Hopefully you’ve related to something in this blog post, but even if you didn’t… remember that sometimes you just have to be a Boss Bitch and make the choice to pursue joy.