Do you remember those little cars that when you pull it backwards on the ground, it winds it up, and then when you're ready, you release it and it goes zooming across the floor? That's what I've been feeling like. Like I've been held back, just waiting to be released and zoom! Who's been holding me back? ME! I had this idea in my head to start this blog on January 1st, 2013. Something new to start off the new year with. While that's a fine idea, today during my morning meditation, the words "just do it" popped into my head. And I thought, "To hell with it, I'm going to launch my blog now!" So here it is. I'm releasing myself and ZOOMING!
There are many times in life when we need to say, "To hell with it" and stop holding ourselves back. This could be in relation to a job, relationship, living situation, or any other aspect of your life. First I want to talk about jobs.
Our society and culture subscribes to the belief that you go to a job and earn a paycheck to pay the bills and afford other fun stuff you enjoy. It's "just something that you do." Have you ever been told that? When I was contemplating whether I still wanted to be a teacher or not, my dad told me once that "you don't have to like your job, you just have to do it." I knew immediately that that was not true. At least not for me, and I believe it's untrue for everyone. But I do think there are people out there who CAN shut themselves off, so to speak, and put in hours at a job that they feel absolutely nothing for, and detest going to every day, just to earn the paycheck every other week. I am not one of those people. Granted, there will likely be aspects to ANY line of work that you aren't crazy about. But those aspects should be minor in the grand scheme of things, and overall, you should feel excited about what you do. Every day. What did I do about that teaching job? I quit. Yep, I went to school for 5 1/2 years (because I changed my major 3 times in the first 2 years), earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education, graduated, got a job, and hated it. I didn't up and quit right away though. I gave it a fair shot. My first job was teaching 3rd grade. It was supposed to be temporary, while the permanent teacher stayed home with her new baby. Three months was what I signed on for at the beginning. But as that other teacher postponed returning to work, my job length increased. Three months turned into six, then nine, then the whole first semester. In December I was offered to stay on the rest of the school year. I declined. I had been miserable in that job for weeks. I felt like every time I walked into the building, a little bit of my soul died. I had to get out. I questioned whether I wanted to teach then, but didn't give it up entirely just yet. I took the following semester off of teaching, and then resumed the following school year. This time as a subsitute teacher, working mostly in middle school. I loved it! I was sure I found "my" niche. The next year I actually landed what I thought was my dream job. Teaching 6th grade, math and science only. I no longer had to teach every subject. I got to work with the age of kids I liked best. The school was new so I got to get in from the start. I was ecstatic. And I really did enjoy it, for a little while. After a couple of months I grew disinfranchised with it. But I chalked it up to being a first-year teacher. I was still learning. I stayed on another year. But you know what happened? Just TWO weeks into the start of my second year of teaching, I KNEW this was not what I wanted to do. No doubt in my mind this time. I stuck it out the rest of that school year since I didn't want to abandon my students. But after that, I turned in my official resignation and have never regretted it.
Sometimes it takes us a little while for it to sink in what it is we do and don't like. But invariably it will hit us. And when it does, it's up to us to listen to that little voice. Respect it and take the necessary actions. Is it scary? Sure! When I quit my teaching job, I had NO other job lined up. While teachers are known not to make a ton of money, it was still more than I'd ever made in my life. The steady paycheck and insurance benefits sure were nice. But I put my mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and happiness above the paycheck and benefits. And I'd do it again. In fact, I HAVE done it again. But that'll come up in another post.
Next I want to touch on relationships. Work and relationships are two of the biggest parts of our lives. The biggest decisions we'll make are what to do for work and who to spend our lives with (or not). While the mindset of our society seems to be shifting away from "having" to get married and have kids to accepting the single individuals, there still is that assumption that "of course" you'll get married, or settle down eventually, right? The people who repeatedly choose to remain single are an anomaly. I'm not advocating to stay single or not. If you meet someone you're absolutely crazy about and couldn't imagine living without, then by all means spend the rest of your life with that person! If you want to get married, get married. If you want to just live together forever, then do that. If you're happy living alone, then great! It's your life, do what you want. (On a side bar, that's obviously related to what I just said, I'm all for marriage being legal for everyone. The fact that some consenting adults in our country aren't legally allowed to get married is beyond archaic. That trend seems to be shifting, though, and I hope it continues to do so, with eventually (soon) every state recognizing gay marriage.)
Relationships and jobs aren't all that different if you think about it. Everyone says you have to "work" at a relationship. And it's true. When you start a new job typically it's for the long-term. At least that's the expectation at the offset. Same with relationships. You don't usually start dating someone, then progress the relationship if you know you're only in it for a year or two. You think "this is it, he/she is the one." Sometimes you're right, but more often you're not. At least that's the case if you're one of the majority of people who don't marry their high school sweetheart. We have multiple relationships. Each one is the relationship we need at that time. Not necessarily forever. But it's probably more difficult to end a relationship than it is to quit a job. Especially if you're married or living together. It gets messy and can get ugly real fast. But if you're unhappy, you need to move on. I promise you'll never regret leaving an unhappy, unhealthy relationship. The thing with being in an unhappy relationship is, it's keeping you from being in a good and happy relationship! You might think, "This is ok, I'm not that unhappy, it's ok some of the time." But that's not good enough! YOU deserve more! You deserve to be happy and treated with respect. You deserve the kind of love you know, deep inside, that you want. And it's out there! You're never too old to move on and meet someone new.
Put your happiness first, live in love, and everything will work out as it's supposed to and for your best interest (even if you don't see how at the time).
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The trick with courage is realizing that it isn't so much about overcoming fear as it is about not settling for less."
(modified from tut.com)