By Rachel Marini ~
I started this blog as a way to get my thoughts out. To just clear my head and see an overwhelming situation through fresh eyes. In essence, this blog was about me discovering who and what I wanted to be at a time when I felt completely directionless.
As it turns out, TONS of people are in the same boat – frustrated, scared, overwhelmed. Whatever I am feeling, someone else is feeling it, too. I discovered that even those who feel they have a solid plan sometimes get anxious as to whether they are settling too soon, or putting blinders up to other opportunities they may not have considered. The future is scary: this we can pretty much all agree on.
If you truly know me, you know how indecisive I can be. From ordering beer at a brewery to choosing a career, a lot of decisions cause me anxiety. I get to the point where I think TOO much and forget all about what I want, focusing instead on what others think or what’s most popular. Will it look lame if I get a cider? Will this potential job impress others when I share what I do?
We’re told time and time again not to base our decisions on popular opinion, but I think there’s something deeper. I think I choose the pale ale because that’s what everyone else picked, so it saves me from making a decision that could be completely wrong in the end. It’s easier to pick the job that looks great on paper instead of the one that requires taking a chance. Why form a new path when the other seems to be working great for most people??
TRUST. YOUR. GUT.
I trusted mine when I took an unpaid internship, worked at a restaurant as my sole source of income, and started taking night classes. This was for sure not in the plan, and it definitely did not make complete sense at the time. But that internship turned into a job (very unexpectedly), spending time at the restaurant made Jacksonville feel more like home, and night classes introduced me to different positions and organizations within the nonprofit field of work.
Now I’ve been employed for a little over a year, earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, quit my job at the restaurant….and I’m getting antsy.
The quote about life being a journey and not a destination has never been truer for me. Yes, I feel like I’m making a difference through my job. Yes, I enjoy the people I work with. Yes, I love Jacksonville and spending time on the beach with friends. All of these things are great… I guess it’s just something about this age that makes a lot of us feel unsettled.
After sharing my “antsy” feelings with friends and even my parents, I found that most feel (or have felt) the same exact way around this time in their life. PHEW. Just knowing that I am not being selfish or ungrateful searching for something new makes the feeling a lot easier to digest.
What I’m struggling with in my decision to make a change is that there are quotes, motivational speeches, and talks with loved ones that could support either side.
“You only live once” – Great. But should I prioritize spending this short life close to family or exploring new places and meeting new people?
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”- So true. But what If I’m doing what I thought I loved and it still feels like work?
Needless to say, I’ve been talking myself in circles trying to figure out the path that makes the most sense for me.
Thus far, this is what I’ve come up with:
1. DECISIONS DON’T MAKE THINGS FINAL: I decided to be a teacher, now I work for a nonprofit. I decided to move to Jacksonville, but who says I can’t pick up and go home when I’m ready? The same applies to whatever I do next.
2. YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE: Move somewhere new, and you will meet people. Even if you don’t, family and friends are just a phone call away.
3. THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS IS YOURS: Who knows you better than you know yourself? You may take yourself on a more twisted path, but it will be okay as long as YOU decide which way to go.
4. TAKE TIME TO BE QUIET AND LISTEN: Stop thinking so much! The answer will come, I have no doubt about that. I just have to listen and decide what path feels right and true for me. We have time.
As Oscar Wilde so expertly put it, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”.
All you can do is listen, talk it through, and have good intentions. Trust me, we’re gonna be OK.