My parents raised my brother, my sister and me to be passionate. They wanted us to put all our energy into something we were passionate about rather than focusing on making money. This always seemed like an attainable goal when I was growing up. I had seen my parents do it. They had fairly mainstream careers despite telling us to follow our passion. Now that I have graduated school, following my passion is not as easy as one would think it would be. I often feel stagnant and stuck. It is hard to differentiate myself from my fellow candidates when it comes time to apply for positions that interest me. I know my strengths, my capabilities and my potential but allowing myself to jump out in a pile high of resumes seems like a gargantuan task.
My roommate and I were both in the same boat. She had got laid off from her dream job and I was still trying to land mine. We would chat and share our frustrations. I deciding that landing my dream job would not be my be all and end all. I wasn’t planning on giving up, but I wanted to focus on adding value to my life in the meantime.
The gym is a place I like to go to get rid of my frustrations. I try to do my own little workout routine or if I am really wiped I will do a class. After a hard day at work sitting at a desk I need that time to re-energize. This is my way of keeping my sanity. Exercise is proven to reduce anxiety, fight insomnia and act as a healthy stress release.
Today I skipped the gym and met up with a friend to swim in an outdoor pool. It was truly a magical night, I got to watch the sunset, catch up and paddle around. Being outside is also a nice treat. I was livid when I got off work, but after spending some time outdoors, I felt back to my happy go lucky self. Sitting on my couch, watching television like a blob never leaves me feeling happier. It is also a huge time such for very little reward. The feeling of getting fresh air and being active is something that cannot be duplicated. Catching a beautiful sunset at the end of the day is an added bonus. I decided that a new goal I want to set for myself is trying to witness more sunsets during the week.
In my current work situation, it is not unusual for my employer to request that one of us stay late. Not because we have not completed our duties but to help him with additional things he wants done. I got in the habit of saying yes in the hopes that eventually we will be all caught up. This never ever happens. It also doesn’t help the situation every time I stay for a few extra hours because it feels like I am enabler. It also leads me to have no life whatsoever. Two weeks ago, I decided to stop. I have goals that I want to reach and things that I feel are important in my life as well. I am not saying that I am never going to help out, but I just want to make sure that I am meeting my own needs as well. I want to set clear boundaries and make sure after work stays are for time sensitive problems and emergencies only.
Especially during the week, it is very easy for me to go into isolation mode. I have to push myself to actually make plans during the week and interrupt my regular routine. I have found it is very beneficial to reach out to people that are beyond my circle of friends and to attend more networking events. I strive to have more meaningful conversations and varying opinions on life and culture. Good conversation is good for the soul.
Being creative is another thing I try to push myself to do. Some days I will leave work and not feel a sense of accomplishment. The feeling of creating something or completing a task start to finish is extremely rewarding. I try to think of projects I can do to harness my creativity or If I am super tired I settle for my adult colouring book.
Deciding that I must do more of what makes me happy, as well as creating time for the activities that give me fulfillment was very important to help alleviate my feelings of being stuck in a rut. It was a conscious decision to decide that I was going to create my own work, until the rest came together.