What Are You Waiting For?
At Book Club on Sunday, we were discussing our jobs and work environment, and how some of them weren’t the greatest, to put it lightly. And for some of the girls, their jobs were fine, but they’d be happy to retire at any day! Now please don’t misunderstand me: This is the most amazing, inspiring group of women, and I admire each and every one of them. But I did not, at that moment, relate. I do not feel the same way at all. I love what I do more than anything in the world. Sure, there are frustrations and stresses. Sure, I don’t always like the responsibility and demands of a brick and mortar business. But I love owning Transparent Heart Yoga, and I love teaching Yoga and Ayurveda. I love creating community, and I love sharing all of my knowledge with everyone! I sometimes feel like the luckiest girl in the world. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now I’m a bit of a “free spirit” and an adventuresome person, and I have no problem taking risks. And I understand many are not like me. So I try not to give much advice on the subject, even when I’m asked. But this has been a theme for me throughout my adult life. When I graduated from college, I had such an idealistic view of what I wanted my life to look like, and what I wanted my career path to look like. And, of course, finding that first “professional” job out of school was a terribly frustrating experience. I had the gumption and the go-getitiveness to search for, apply to, and interview for a job. But I did not have the life wisdom and outside support or advice to really be creative, smart, and effective in this search. And I ended up settling for the best of the offers, which turned out to be a decent job, although “not what I expected” for the beginning of my design career. I kind of enjoyed the job and I really enjoyed the people. But 8 months in, I had a revelation while driving into work one day. I realized that I could possibly spend the rest of my life working at that job or a job like it, and that would be my life. I knew I’d spend most of my waking hours working, and although the job was good, what was the point? If I was going to spend most of the hours of my life working, why wouldn’t I want it to be something fun, or at least something I really enjoyed? And although designing Audiovisual Conference Spaces had its perks, this was not my life’s work. And don’t get me wrong, I loved having a fancy business card and dressing up in suits for meetings. I loved going out to jobsites and checking on infrastructure. I loved traveling to different cities for work. I had a fantastic job! But my soul would not let me go through with it for long.
I ended up quitting after that 8-months-in revelation and took a 6-month hiatus to be a photographer and a waitress. I ended up going back initially part-time (I needed the money!), and then back to full-time. I lasted about 5 years total. I have actually not made as much money to this day as I was making at 25 years old. But oh do I love my life. There were many trials and tribulations, heartache, and debt, but here I am. I made it through the fire. And although my life might have been “easier” if I had just stuck with that stable job for at least a few more years, if not many more years, I chose a different path. I have always been a seeker and an idealist. I am not comfortable “settling”. It killed me when I would talk to my co-workers about their dreams, and they either didn’t have any, or saw no point in pursuing them. But me? I’ve always been a dreamer, and I’m proud to say I still am. Over the years, I’ve learned and struggled and discovered what it is that I really want, what will really fulfill me.
And guess what? When I do that thing, the world around me becomes a better place. By me fulfilling my dreams, I get to share with and inspire others. I get to create a healing space. I get to foster an uplifting community. So had I stayed a designer, I’d probably have a ton of money in the bank and be financially secure for retirement. I might have even been married with 2 kids. Who knows? But this life that I have now, I love with my soul. I know that my soul chose this particular path, and I will continue to walk on it. So the moral is: Just quit that job you hate and see where life takes you. Ha ha! Nope. Not my advice. But, how can you take a single step today in the path toward your dream life? And what are you waiting for?