Hey readers, long time no see. I have struggled to come up with ideas for a post for the past two months. There were several occasions where I would write an entire post, but then decide I hated it and delete it. I think one main reason for this was that I had gotten into a space where I was no longer writing for myself, but for other people. All of the people who have sent me nice messages about my posts, I am so thankful for your words and I would love to receive more. But I also unconsciously started to become more wary in my writing. Deleting so many things because I didn’t think other people would get it–stuff like that. That is a personal problem I have that has needed to be addressed for a while now. But today, I felt inspired. So let’s go.
Back when I first entered undergrad, I wanted so desperately to become a lawyer, specifically, a civil rights attorney. I thought it would be a good career for me because I am very passionate about the subject, and I had many people tell me I would make a good attorney. However, as time went on, I realized that this may not be the career for me. I was not willing to do all of the reading–I barely read all of my articles given to me in undergrad–and that was not going to fly in law school. The thought of working so many hours everyday is also something that turned me off, so I strayed.
For a while after that, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I stayed very focused on work in the social justice field because, one, it was my major/minor, and two, it has always been something I cared deeply about. I considered having my own nonprofit for a while, but it is difficult to make a career out of just that and to be financially stable. I used to say that I didn’t care how much money I made, that I just wanted to help people, but I was lying to myself. I do want to help people, but it’s okay to also value money.
As much as I enjoyed studying social justice, there came a time in my life where I realized just how much it drained me. I am very very sensitive to the things in my life, such as the people around me, the environments, etc. I am also an empath. So surrounding myself with sad scenarios was detrimental to my health, and it showed. I had bouts of depression and anxiety that would seemingly appear out of nowhere. But sometimes it was a reflection of the work I was doing or what I was studying. It would take quite a toll on me.
At the time, I didn’t realize because I still felt inspired to do more and find ways to combat change, etc. But looking back, I realize how much it affected me. And as I get older, I find myself becoming more and more sensitive to the things around me. If I pursued a career in social justice, I simply would not be happy. I considered sacrificing my own mental health for work once upon a time. I didn’t care if I was sad or anything; people like me were suffering and that would always hold more weight. It would be selfish of me to give it up just because it was hard to deal with. And maybe it is selfish, I don’t know, but I don’t think it is a bad thing to be selfish sometimes. And I would not be serving myself if I chose to pursue a primary career in this area.
The last major career I considered was Human Resources. I was a sociology major, so I had a lot of experience learning about people, etc., and I thought I would be good at it. It also did not seem as boring as they made it out to be in The Office, so I was interested. I stuck with that for a bit, talking to several professionals over phone calls, zoom meetings, etc. I was getting somewhere. I had a lot of places to apply for, a couple references to top HR Professionals…And then my laptop broke. At the time, I was still using Word because I hated Google Docs. But that meant all of my work was gone. My notes, contacts, applications–gone. There were maybe two contacts I still had from emails and LinkedIn, but I lost everything else, and it left me feeling discouraged.
As sucky as this was, I think it served as a wake up call. HR work was not something I wanted to do, not really. It was something that I deemed as “not bad.” I thought that I wouldn’t suffer from boredom everyday, and I knew it paid pretty well. But it would not have made me happy.
I still went back and forth with what I wanted to do after this, but I was a little more honest with myself about what could make me happy. I had just graduated, so everything felt like it was moving so fast. People would say it’s okay to not know what you want to do yet, and while I believe that it really is, jobs and bills would say otherwise. I decided to turn back to working with people, and started working at a daycare center with kids. I absolutely adore children, and I loved all of the ones that I worked with. But I knew about one week in that it wasn’t something I could do for the rest of my life. I ended up leaving that job for several reasons, but one was how unhappy I was. I hated getting up at 7-ish everyday and getting home at 6-ish, with only an hour break in between. I felt like a robot and like I barely had any time for myself. I didn’t like a lot of things about how the place was run either, and I felt like all of it was just a sign that I was settling into something I knew I didn’t want to do.
The bottom line is that none of these jobs worked out. They weren’t really meant to. If I spend my life doing something that drains me and wears me out mentally more than it brings me joy, I am letting myself down. I have not lost interest in social justice work, but I no longer want to hold myself to the obligation of pursuing it as a career– at least not as my sole career–which is what I believe was part of my reasoning. I think being a black person, specifically a black woman, somehow unconsciously added to this obligatory feeling.
Currently, I am choosing to do what I love and what makes me happy. What I want to do. I have quite a lot of interests, actually, and that is okay. As an added bonus, I have realized just how many different ways there are to reach other people or to make a difference while still serving myself, even if seemingly unconventional. I am often finding new things that I really enjoy, but there are a few that I want to take my time to pursue long term. If I work hard to do what I love, I know will be okay. I used to say this in the past, but I would struggle to truly believe it, hence, I wouldn’t actually be okay. I have come to realize how powerful thoughts are and that I have to truly believe I will be okay for it to come true.
At first, even when doing things I love, I would always think too far ahead: “Okay, how will this make me money?” And I believe that is where I went wrong. I was focused way too much on money, and things would go downhill. I know it seems to make no sense. How can I be too focused on making money and then not make money? But it was real for me. As much as I want to be happy in my life, I also want to be financially stable. I did not grow up with a lot of money at all, and generational wealth is something that is not in my family. So most of my hyper focus on money was rooted out of fear and worry more than anything. I don’t think there is anything wrong with focusing on money, but when you do things out of fear, they rarely ever go in your desired direction.
On top of this, when things weren’t going my way, I would get discouraged, begin to overthink, and completely shut down. It’s a coping mechanism that I developed quite a while ago, but one that always brought me back to square one.
Developing a relationship with money is something that I knew I needed to do in order to change my thought processes and the ways I approached getting it. I will talk more about that in my upcoming post, as it will be too long to include in this one. But coming to the realization that I could do that and what I love was a win win. I hope I am making sense, but please do ask questions if I’m not.
I have struggled, made mistakes, and had some setbacks in my process, but everyday I learn something new about my own journey and where it will take me. I do not yet have everything figured out but I am getting there, in my own divine timing. I am actively working on my relationship with money, and surrendering to the process by allowing myself to do what I love. It has been…different. I have learned to be more patient, which was quite new to me. And I have had to go back and reflect on my fears and hesitations, but it is growth. I will get there.
I think so many people have this mentality that you have to work 8 hours a day and go above and beyond to be successful. I will not say that this is wrong, because there are some people who enjoy that lifestyle, and it works very well for them. But there are also people, like myself, who are simply not meant to do that. We all have very different journeys, we just have to figure out our own.
For me, happiness is working more independently. I would like to be able to make my own schedule and do what I want, and have time to explore the world and have fun. This takes quite a lot of discipline, I have learned. I am getting there, but it has been a trial and error kind of process. Seeing what works and what doesn’t for me personally has been something to adjust to. I tried to devise my own 40 hour work week at first, just to see, but I was drained, even when doing work in things I enjoyed. I believe in breaks and taking time for myself. Not only will it prevent me from feeling drained, but it will allow me to do my best work when the time comes. I believe in working hard, but I am not interested in working for the majority of the day five days a week, nor do I think it is necessary, so I simply won’t.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned this in my posts, but I consider myself to be spiritual. I believe in God, and I believe that we all have Angels and spirits watching over and supporting us, but I don’t necessarily follow a religion. I work on my relationship with my own spirit team and Angels, and it is why I have the faith that I do, that everything will be okay. What I mentioned in this post is my personal experience and that path that I am meant to go on. I do not have it all figured out quite yet. But I will get there when I am meant to.
Thanks for reading, much love.