Consider Your Happiness

Last night, I realized that I follow a lot of self-made motivational speakers, most of which are women of color. For the most part, they constantly asserting where they came from and where they are now, raking in money that would have taken them half of a year to earn at their previous employment prior to deciding to step out on their own. With each of their posts, they build this courage in me to step out on my own, to build an empire the way they are building an empire. Yet, each time I lift my foot to step out, I quickly put it back down and avert my eyes to something more tangible than taking a leap of faith.
In the midst of conversation, I brought this up to my boyfriend. I made mention of the numerous accounts I didn’t even realize I was following that belonged to these amazing self-starters, offering their wisdom and tips about the journey to success via online classes and books. My boyfriend shook his head, just as impressed as I had been when I first started following their accounts, and noted that maybe the cynic in us was preventing me from actually going out and purchasing one of their books in the hopes of seeing what knowledge I can acquire from their experiences. But then, after discussing it some more, we realized that regardless of the reason I wasn’t ordering any of their items, had more to do with the wealth of knowledge I had already gained from them, just from their social media blurbs that they posted.
And then my boyfriend posed or rather stated something to me, that has resonated with me since he said it last night. In essence, he informed me that while I admire and want their lives, I don’t want their lives, and I should focus on what I want. Like I said earlier, I have acquired a wealth of information from these women, most of which urges me to stop sitting down waiting for opportunity to present itself and instead create opportunity. As my boyfriend so eloquently put it, no one can teach you to be confident, it has to come from within.
It’s no secret that I haven’t been happy for a while now or that I’ve been trying to make the most of out of a considerably unsatisfying situation. With a rejection letter in hand for the doctorate program and this lackluster desire to not do anything outside of clocking in and out of work, I’ve been feeling less than myself. Why? Because I’m essentially viewing the world with rose-colored glasses thinking that everything is going so much better for everyone, everywhere, except for me. I’m walking around feeling jilted.
The only silver lining has been in the illusion of creating a home and career of my choosing and essentially semi-preparing for it, to make it real, by planning and writing everything out. And somehow, even with that silver lining, I have continuously found disappointment because I haven’t been considering my happiness. Instead, I have been scouring high and low for affordable apartments that offer the things I would like, but not necessarily love. I have been viewing and reviewing listings for positions that I think I’m capable of doing, rather than ones that I would want to spend the rest of my life doing. I’m discounting my happiness in hopes of removing myself from the worse possible situation to something only mildly horrible in comparison. And I need to stop.
I am selling myself short. I am selling my ambitions short. I am selling my future short.
However, it has gotten me to wonder about how many other people are in the same boat as me? Dreaming of a million dollar bank account, but settling on the reality of a job that barely pays the bills. I’ll admit, I love paying for things in full and want nothing more than to put all my bills on automatic payment. My current income doesn’t allow for it though. So instead, I have found myself navigating the murky waters of splitting up bill payments with each of my paychecks to ensure that they are completely taken care of by the end of the month and before the new bill arrives. It’s an unnecessary headache that I have made a necessity, because I have continually chosen to settle, cause any job is better than no job.
Yet, the email I received yesterday, from one of those loving ladies that I told you about earlier, stated that working a career/job you don’t love is more stressful than being unemployed. And there were no lies about that quote.
The one thing my boyfriend had stated he wanted to come into my life and ensure he discouraged me from, was settling, and yet, here I am doing just that. But it’s hard when it feels like so much is at stake if you don’t. But happiness matters. It should be at the forefront of important decision making.
I haven’t taken my happiness into consideration for a lot of things and I intend on changing on that. But first, I’m going to focus on figuring out the things that would make me the happiest and take it from there.

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