If you asked me to describe myself in three words I would say I was passionate, loving, and a workaholic. From a young age I picked up my family’s work ethics, and have brutally policed myself on my drive and capabilities ever since. From holding down three jobs while pregnant and finishing college, to co-producing a leading troupe in San Diego with more determination than we know what to do with, drive and work have never been far from my vocabulary. But I currently find myself in new territory. I am currently in a personal and professional transition that I’m not quite sure how to process.
Ironically enough, I have always been one to follow a formula, at least in my professional life. You work hard in school and get the grades. Then you go to college and get the degree. Then you find a job and work hard and get promoted. Then you continue to work hard and continue to rise in said job. But what happens when you find out that formula isn’t fail proof? What happens when you realize that the college degree you were told to get comes with devastating student loans that you now have to pay back? What happens when you find out that those in your career don’t follow this same formula, and more often than not, those who work the least and have friends within the system are the ones to get promoted as well as take the praise for your work? Well in my personal story, the answer is you walk away from that formula and you decide to work for yourself.
So after almost a year of contemplation, depression, and constant anxiety, I walked away from a situation that wasn’t helping me grow. And here I am. A professional showgirl, graphic designer, video assistant, and now blogger who has no idea what my next steps are. And for someone like myself, that is terrifying.
I’ve been through various transitions in my life. I moved out to California from Charleston with about $300 to my name and no clue what my next steps were. I had my daughter two weeks after my college graduation with no clue as to how my husband, then boyfriend, and I were going to survive. I walked away from a drug filled life including “friends” and surroundings cold turkey when I decided to get clean. But the one thing I keep thinking about, is that in each of these transitions, I threw myself into work. Work took on various forms, but it was work none the less.
The question I keep asking myself is, what do I need to confront? Instead of distracting myself, what if I took time for me and figured out what I need in my life to feel whole. Instead of being afraid of what the future can hold, what if I entertained the excitement of the unknown? What if I don’t have a plan, but just a general direction? What if I give myself time to just float and see where it takes me?
I have a lot of family and friends who are going through their own transitions. Some are having kids, some are changing jobs, and some are starting to evaluate where they are in space and time. My advice to you, is not to get caught up in the comparison game. Focus on yourself, and allow yourself time to mourn what you lost, and celebrate the unknown. Give yourself time to float before you power down the river to success. Realize the beauty in stillness and spend some time in the air before you ground yourself. It’s okay, as long as you know that it’s not a long-term solution. Sometimes we all need to go on a soul search. Read things that interest you. Show some love to your body by working out and meditating. Take some time to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.”
What if that was our 30 day challenge? What if we took 30 days to show some self-love? Where will that take us? What’s the worst that can happen? You come out happier and more confident than before? I will be taking that journey, and I invite you all to do the same.