Michelle is no stranger to suddenly changing directions in her life allowing her to get to know herself deeply and experiencing new things.
Let go of the false beliefs
As children, we are taught to find a passion or something we really like and do that - forever. We are told that a long-term career comes with stability and financial security. We are told that a long-term career equals long-term success. We are judged if we choose creative paths because of their unknown natures. We are judged for working part-time jobs or receiving financial assistance. We are judged for wanting to start our own businesses due to the risks of failure. We are judged for juggling multiple jobs and streams of income.
These are all false beliefs.
I have seen this conclusion first hand. Here are a few examples;
1. My dad was a school custodian all my life. He had a long-term career with benefits and was one of their best workers. He was loved by many and went above and beyond for his bosses, coworkers, and even the kids who attended the schools. He suffered from back pain but every day he went to work and pushed through it. Then he couldn't work anymore. His sciatica was interfering with his ability to work so he went on disability with the possibility of going back to work. Then he had a few heart attacks and there was no more possibility of resuming his post. His career, which he dedicated his life to, was gone just like that. Now, you can find him at home renovating his house, spending time with his girlfriend and travelling when he can.
2. My dad's girlfriend was a dental hygienist for twenty years. She was a single mom who worked hard and dedicated her life to her career and providing for her kids. She bought a beautiful home with that career. Then, arthritis visited her hands and she couldn't work anymore. She had to quit her lifelong career and change directions. She struggled at first because her experience didn't match her options. She also had to sell her home because she couldn't afford it anymore. She had moved back in with her kids for a while or slept over at my dad's house. Now, she works as a personal support worker that has her driving around town. She also bought a home with my dad with the money she received from selling her previous home.
3. My best friend created a business for herself that had her bringing in an amazing income. It was her life purpose. Her passion. She was helping people. She was travelling all over Canada. Then, she got in a car accident resulting in a concussion and bodily injuries needing surgery. She had to close up her business and now lives with her husband on one income.
4. My brother had a full-time job. Then, he got fewer hours. He had to get a second and third job. He found another full-time job. He and his girlfriend bought a house. He doesn't work there anymore. Now, he has his own landscaping business and runs deliveries for Amazon. They also sold their new house and moved into a condo.
I'm using careers and finance as an example because wealth was my biggest personal concern but this theory applies to all areas of life. Whether relationships, friendships, homes, cars, fitness, nutrition - nothing is ever set in stone. People change and grow emotionally; psychologically; mentally; physically. Situations, events, and possessions change as well.
Nothing in life is permanent.
Life is a book with many chapters
I struggled for a long time with my false beliefs. I turned thirty years old, still had no job, had been on assistance for a few years, and was raising kids on my own. I had a lot of anxiety about the fact that I didn't have a career. I had even more anxiety when I would start to do something but it didn't last. I didn't have financial security. I had nothing stable. I compared myself to others who had full-time jobs and careers and felt like I had missed something. I was failing at life.
Then, other people's careers and lives started changing and I realized that life is a journey with seasons and weather changes. It's a book with thousands of pages and hundreds of chapters. I realized that the life I was living and had been living wouldn't be this way forever. I realized that having a career doesn't equal security. I realized that success doesn't lie in the amount of time you've been in one place. I realized that everything we "own" is never really ours to keep.
Upon this realization, I stopped stressing out about my destination. I stopped stressing out about the big house, the car, and the "perfect" life I am supposed to have. I stopped stressing out about being "rich" financially and started focusing on being rich in my heart. When my mindset changed, my materialistic obsession dissipated because I know now that my happiness doesn't rely on the job or the things I can buy but on my experiences and my ability to be grateful for life at every stage.
The same concept applies to everything else in life. One day you have it, one day you don't. And if you do manage to keep something until the day you die, you still die without it.
So enjoy your life! Write many stories. Start new chapters. Embrace the journey. Change directions. Learn new things. See new worlds. Practice new skills. Life is too short to dedicate it to things that don't enlighten your life.
Don't settle for mediocre
When we are taught to never quit, we are taught to settle. How is that?
Well, as humans, we go through changes. We grow and with that growth, our curiosity, interests, and even passions also grow or change with us. What you once loved may not excite you anymore. If you are taught that quitting something in honour of your growth is beneficial to your quality of life, you won't hesitate to leave behind the chapter you just lived through to start a new one. You get excited to see where this one takes you. Doing this allows you to explore new things, new ways, new skills, and a new you. But, if you are taught that quitting is negative, then you hesitate to change directions. You stay where you have outgrown. You stay where you are no longer happy. You are held back by your beliefs and others' opinions. You stop growing and your book quickly takes a dark turn into the horror genre.
"Quit", "let go", and "change", are all words that have negative connotations attached based on fear. Sure, it can be scary to change paths but it can also be exciting and bright. The possibilities are limitless. There is so much to be seen, to be done, and to be learnt.
Quitters are not stupid. Quitters are self-aware and know themselves enough to know when to quit.
Quit that job that has you dreading beautiful sunny mornings. Let go of that boyfriend who always puts you down. Change your business path and create a whole new one. Save that money and travel for six months. Try new things and quit them after a week. Quit your accounting job and become a painter, then quit that and sell handmade jewelry.
Do it all! Just don't settle.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Michelle Brady