I woke up early this morning and lay awake for a while before getting up, listening to the birds and crickets chirping. I wondered – as I finally decided I would get up and “beautify” myself as a mood lifter – whether the day would stay overcast and humid, or whether the sun would come through and burn away the grey skies.
It was a strange kind of morning: my anxiety has slowly been waning over the past few days but it was still present enough to make me antsy, and to make me wonder about my past actions. Should I have dropped from my graduate program? Was it a mistake to start painting again (where or where will I put all these canvases!)? Should I have forgone the shower and just started working on my writing? Should I be doing more? What more should I be doing?
These were the questions that kept rushing through my head while I attempted to meditate during my shower. It wasn’t until I had gotten through a rather lavish hair conditioning process that I had relaxed enough to let an idea penetrate the brain: Anything can be made lucrative.
Was that not where you thought I was going? Reasonable, okay gimme a sec to explain.
A great many of the decisions I have made in my 24-year-old life have revolved around what others thought were worthy – or financially-rewarding – endeavors. Becoming a Physicist, then later getting a doctorate and becoming a Political Science professor, were two goals motivated by this. Lofty goals I was truly motivated to pursue, yes, but underlying them both was an anxiety rooted in the need to prove to others that my passions were worthwhile. Eventually – on both accounts – that stress nearly destroyed my passion for both subjects and has me re-pivoting my life, yet again, to find a more fulfilling line of work.
There are people out there that really do make a living doing what they love. Swimming with sharks and teaching scuba diving courses, painting and doing commissions professionally, being a professional wine and cheese connoisseur – if one wants to do something, there is most often a line of work suited to that interest. Even when there isn’t, there is always the possibility that a person could make that line of work themselves.
The realization that – so long as I plan properly, work towards it, and overcome my anxiety (again with this nervousness!) of becoming a businesswoman and entrepreneur – what I should really be spending my time on is discovering the inspiration behind my own passions. Discovering myself through my desires and following them into the work and disciplines that I truly find fulfilling.
A day job may always be needed and that’s fine, but if my better-late-than-never self-pep talk in the shower taught me one thing, it is that I am not going to waste my time chasing other people’s expectations (no matter how reasonable they are) of me if I find they really serve no higher purpose for me. I gotta find my peace of mind, and all that time and energy I spent on my anxieties of the future and of the past I will now put toward my own project of cultivating self-love and self-worth.
No more pursuing what ain’t good for me.
No more pursuing what ain’t good for me!
It’s time for something better. ♥