Last time I wrote about pursuing long-term happiness, I stated:
“Stay tuned for more; this journey is only beginning and I will ensure I share every step of this process with those who are experiencing a similar quarter/mid-life crisis.”
So here I am, having taken the time to let this all sink in, to read more, to explore & really think through what I want. When lacking depth in a paper or an in-class discussion, my favorite French professor always said “il faut creuser” (i.e. you must dig). So I dug. And I’m back to share the buried treasure with you: the next step in this journey — acceptance.
But first, context. I want to take you back to what I mentioned in the first installment of this series, Acknowledgement. I carry some huge fears; the biggest one being failure. “I can’t — I have to focus on school so I can get a job and pay off student loans,” or “I can’t — I need to focus on my job to pay my bills,” or, the worst, “I can’t — it’s not realistic/ it’s just a hobby.”
Wrong! Not can’t; won’t.
I have 2 siblings, and they are both doing what they love full-time. My parents are wondrous pillars of support for all of us, always encouraging us to pursue our dreams. They’re also solid examples of unwaveringly building the life you want. So why am I late to this? Because in fearing failure, I have overlooked the potential of long-term success & joy, as well as the interim growth.
And that’s what I have been missing: perspective. While the voluntary removal of a (relatively) secure 9–5 makes it seem like a scary ending, I have to remind myself: that end signifies what I said above — a beginning. And more importantly, that I’m trading this superficial security for my happiness.
That’s all fine and dandy, but what do I get from all of this, you ask? Well, as I mentioned before, acceptance. Fear et al. included.
- Acceptance of the fact that I am finally, actually doing this (eek).
- Acceptance that it is going to be terrifying, uncertain & not without failures along the way.
- Acceptance of the fact that I am 100% in to making my life all about my passions.
- Acceptance that I will no longer separate my reality from my dreams & loves.
- Acceptance that I may work all hours of the day and night, 7 days a week, taking no days off, just to make ends meet.
- Acceptance that amidst all of the blood, sweat & tears, there is a splendid amount of growth & happiness to be found.
It has fully registered: it’s sink or swim, and I never was very good at sinking. Even when my dad decided, after multiple lessons leading nowhere, that the only way I would learn how to swim is by diving in. (Here, I initially wanted to say I’m a fighter, but another thing I’ve accepted that’s truer in these situations, is that I’m fearful. Sometimes, I need a push before I proverbially fight full force.)
So, diving right in (pun intended), here’s what I’ve done/ am doing/ plan on doing:
- I’ve stopped actively seeking out 9–5 opportunities that are a perfect fit for my experience and not for my passions.
- I am working on securing tutoring & freelance writing gigs, both of which I enjoy tremendously.
- I’m going to start working on the novel I’ve always dreamed of writing.
- I’m going to start making candles that I can eventually sell to raise funds for local abuse shelters.
- I’m going to write on Medium regularly (whatever frequency works best, the aforementioned considered). I’ve had great feedback on post topics my friends & family want to read, and I want to & will deliver.
Finally, going back to my post, Promises, I’m happy to say I’m fulfilling yet another. I’ve found that job (or those jobs): the one(s) where I don’t have to kill myself to prove something I’m not even sure I understand. I understand that I am the only one responsible for creating my happily ever after. No more uncertainty, no more wasted effort.
So now, it’s my call to action, or as my dear friend says, my time to “manifest into being” the life that I want.
To be continued…