A message to myself.
It’s time to stop…Just stop! Stop with the apologizing and self-deprecating thoughts, and beating yourself up. Stop avoiding what you want because it’s too hard or not what you think is expected of you. It’s time to stop feeling frozen and empty while you try to live a life that is not yours. It’s time to just realize that you are okay and that your life, is YOUR life. You should not be living it according to what others may or may not think and how they might perceive you. No one else is responsible for your happiness anymore than you are responsible for theirs.
My life has never been what you would refer to as…normal. Raised by my grandmother, I grew up on Merle Haggard and evenings spent watching black and white musicals. My idols were Gene Kelly and The Oak Ridge Boys. I had a crush on Adam Cartwright, until I discovered he was bald and I spent my days, day dreaming of being the next Jane Austen or Debbie Reynolds or both. We moved, alot…and that’s an understatement. One year, we moved 4 times. I’ve had countless “first days” of school and had packing down to a science. Through my twenties my best talent was my ability to rearrange furniture. Only now, in my mid-forties am I able to finally be okay with leaving my sofa in the same spot for more than a year. Instead, when that nagging feeling that it’s time for a change comes along, I rearrange books or clean out a closet.
Along with my somewhat gypsy attitude I’ve developed what I thought was an annoying habit of changing jobs. My career has been a source of much anxiety over the past couple years. For whatever reason, I had it in my head that a real career was something you found or worked into. It involved a cubicle or office and spending your days solving problems or creating new processes and managing people or departments. Monday through Friday, nine-to-five, dress up and save for your retirement. The fact that I have not been able to accomplish even a remote semblance of a successful career has driven me to near madness but I’ve finally…FINALLY…figured out this is not who I am. For years I have tried to mold myself into someone I was never really meant to be. Anytime I’ve had an office, I’ve found myself staring out the window (when I was lucky enough to have one) and daydreaming of what was happening on the other side. Meetings, while sometimes fun and interesting, were generally spent doodling in purple ink and wondering why so much time is spent talking about how to do something rather than just doing it.
Truth is, I’ve had some great jobs, and some not-so-great, but every single one has brought people into my life that I cannot imagine not knowing. Every position, every project, every new relationship, has taught me more about myself and the world around me. So, while to many it may seem irresponsible and immature, I am no longer going to apologize or feel ashamed for job choices I have made or will make. This journey is mine and the way I see it, as long as I live by the golden rule and I take care of the people in my life, then I get to travel my road how I see fit. My journey is not like anyone else’s and I don’t want it to be. I’m not one of those who discovered their path early on and that’s okay. I admire those people and I’m profoundly happy and proud of those who have been able to live their dreams and I am going to be profoundly happy and proud as I work to live mine.