Ok, so an explanation (and a blog entry!) is long overdue! So let’s get right to it: I am moving to Texas next week! Contrary to what I may have led some people to believe with my abrupt Facebook post, this was not at all a rushed decision. Towards the beginning of this year, my boyfriend and I realized we share a common issue: here we are, young adults with degrees, who have been unable to find jobs that make us feel like our expenses in higher education were worth it. So we began to look for a place that had 1) a lower unemployment rate (because the ones in New York and New Jersey are disheartening) 2) a place that had a lower cost of living and 3) a place that had a creative atmosphere. Texas came up as being a place that offered all those things. So we began to apply for jobs just to test the odds. Within a month and a half, we began to hear back from jobs. So the prospects already seem a bit more promising. Enough for both of us to want to see where it leads. And that’s basically it.
It seems so strange that the explanation is so simple yet I have taken so long to write this entry. To be honest, I had a few different drafts of what it would sound like. It wasn’t until one of my drafts hit the three-page mark that I realized I was no longer just telling my story, I was trying to get the people that may think I am insane to understand me; to somehow tell me what I was doing was right. I was trying to plead with those who think I am “living in sin” for living with my boyfriend outside of marriage; I was trying to get people who know nothing about me aside from my relatives to not think I was setting myself up for failure; I was writing as if I was on trial. My writing was less of an oration and more of a plea for approval. A lot of things are not set in stone but I can’t shake this feeling that though that may be the case, I NEED to do this.
For too long I have sat back and tried to plan every detail of things and never have any of those plans held up with the test of time. So I am just doing it. I said goodbye to fear a while ago and I will continue to do whatever it is in my power to make sure it stays buried. For the first time in my life, I am embracing not knowing. I am letting go of trying to get people to understand me and putting into practice the faith I was taught to have for all these years.
So my final words are this: I am walking by faith and not by sight. I do not have to see my home yet to know that I will have one. I do not need to see my great paying job to know I will have one because the Lord promised me that if I delight myself in him, he will give me the desires of my heart and this move is my proof of my love and trust in him. And even if I have to struggle for a bit then I fully embrace it because it is a part of my journey and my growth. If you want something, you have to be willing to go out and seek it even if the end is not in sight. So stay tuned!
About a month and a half ago, I quit my job. Was it a terrible job? Absolutely not. In fact, it was quite the opposite: the people there were nothing short of kind and courteous to me, my bosses worked around my schedule and were willing to give me any days off that I needed and I could even bring my laptop to pass the time and keep me occupied. It was a great job. Though this job had everything in terms of ease and operation, it was inhibiting me from doing the one thing I needed to do more than anything: progress.
I’m sure my quitting seemed ungrateful and pretty much illogical to some (especially because I had no other job lined up) but I could not shake this feeling that this was not what I needed. There was something more out there for me and, though I did not have the answer to what it was exactly, I knew it was there. It was then that I realized I needed time a lot more than I needed money; time to figure out where I needed to be in life and what I needed to do to get there. This feeling would not let me sleep and I cannot count to you the amount of times I prayed to God asking for him to guide me in the right direction. Little did I know, God was giving me the right direction the entire time. I was simply fighting it.
Let me continue by saying I am incredibly grateful for the job I had. In the year that I was there, I acquired skills that I otherwise may not have known. It’s just that at a certain point, I started to get the feeling there was nothing else for me to gain there and my time there was up. I actually ignored this feeling for almost two months before I finally made the decision to act on it. I kept going over in my mind the people out there who needed jobs to support themselves and couldn’t find one yet here I was ready to give one up. I convinced myself I was being ungrateful and, essentially, slapping God in the face for turning down what can easily be considered a blessing.
But with that thought came a question whose answer became the catalyst for my decision: why was I holding on to this job?
My first thought, of course, was money. I started to think about the bills I had. Was it so that I could make my loan payments? Partially. I couldn’t afford to pay more than the minimum payment so 1) interest continued to accumulate (making my payments seem in vain) and 2) my credit score was not seeing any significant increase. So what other reasons was I holding on to this job? Was it so that I could save up for a car? Well, I didn’t really make enough to save up for one and even if I could, I would make enough to pay for responsibilities that came with a car (i.e. gas, insurance, etc.) So why? Especially when there was nothing else for me to gain there? I began to realize that money was not important to me, at least not now. There was only one thing really important to me; something that unnecessarily working had caused me to neglect: myself.
Then one day, the answer hit me: I was holding on to the job because I was comfortable there.
If there is one thing I will keep reiterating in this blog, it will be my desire to continuously push myself outside of my comfort zone. I am set on doing this because I am sure that the things that will help shape me as a adult will come out of me being uncomfortable. I know this because thus far, being comfortable with where I am and how I am living has only been stifling my ability to progress. Perhaps when I am older and ready to rest from my accomplishments in life, being comfortable will take on a new meaning. But as for now, saying I am “comfortable” means nothing more in my mind than “I am stationary” or, in other words, “I am not moving.”
By the end of my life, I want to say I jumped out of a plane, have gone white water rafting and sang on a stage in front of people and a ton of other things. Why? Because just the thought of those things terrify me. However, I know on the other side of those experiences is a piece to a puzzle that will essentially put together the me I want to be. I understand that people may not get my decisions or will call me unpractical but honestly, the more the merrier. The more people who think I’m insane, the more people I can inspire.
As of today, I am no longer unemployed. I have secured a position as bookseller at one of my favorite book stores and also have an interview tomorrow for a full-time position working with children (wish me luck!). In my one month of unemployment, I was presented with four different well paying job opportunities! I say that with amazement because two of these jobs were ones I had applied for months earlier and had expected not to hear back from and the final two came as a result of something I had applied for just a couple weeks before.
So what did I do for the month I was unemployed that was so revolutionary? I got to know myself. I assessed myself and began to change the things I needed to change in my life. Most of that required just figuring myself out. So one of the main things I did (with much inspiration from the topic of my last entry) was write. Every thought I had, every idea I had, every goal I wanted to complete and every thing I wanted to accomplish, I wrote down. Soon, I figured out what was hindering me and set in motion a plan of action. The first plan involved me starting this blog, which I am already finding has inspired people. I also made the time to see and/or talk to people who I knew would encourage me and understand where I was coming from. I refused to embrace negativity or entertain any idea that did not reflect my journey. I got more in tune with myself spiritually and get my mind back to where it use to be in regards to finding my purpose in life. I also began to realize (from being at home more) how extremely physically cluttered my life was. I have been holding on to things that are of no value to me. I started researching how to change this that and came across what is called minimalism. I am a firm believer that this helped dramatically impact my life! [I will talk more about this in my next entry “How I Became a Minimalist” so keep following!]
I am not telling anyone to quit there job and I am not saying that you can have everything figured out in a month. Everyone’s experiences are different. But what I am saying is to listen to yourself and part of that requires you making the time to figure yourself out. Work is certainly important but even more important is the person doing the work: you. So don’t neglect yourself. My theory is that if you take time to find yourself first, then the right job will find you. That doesn’t mean you won’t work a few jobs you do not want in the process but you have to dedicate as much time to yourself as you do your job and I was not doing that. You don’t necessarily have to give yourself a huge amount of time but every little bit helps!
I believe that once you take the steps necessary to finding yourself, you can and will reach your full potential. I believe there is no need to revolve your life around a job unless you absolutely have to. I am aware the society we live in practically revolves around money and that there are responsibilities that need to be handled, especially if you have a family. Am I saying that what I believe is 100% accurate? No. Someone could be reading right now and think this is the most irrational opinion ever but the beautiful thing about an opinion is that you are entitled to it. You own it. But one that that is true is that unemployment, no matter what people may have you think, is not permanent! I have yet to meet a person who has lived their whole life and couldn’t find a job. Because they are out there! What isn’t out there is your time. That is, and will always be, something you will have to find for yourself. You will never be unemployed if you make life your full-time job.