A recent tragic event in my life taught me that you have to rid yourself of what makes you unhappy; life’s too short. You or your loved ones may not be here tomorrow.
Toxic people? Cut off those ties. It may be hard to let someone go, but give it a few days, and you’ll be sighing with relief. A job you hate and keep saying you’ll quit? Take the plunge and finally say, “see ya!”
Once the crappy people and draining work are gone, you can begin to focus on what will truly make you happy. Pursue that job you’ve always wondered about. Rather it be working at Starbucks because you love the smell of freshly-brewed coffee or restocking books at Barnes and Noble because you love the smell of new books, go for it! Take the plunge and try to move up the corporate ladder. If you’re stuck at a stagnant job with no room for advancement, look into other companies and don’t be afraid to apply for an upper-level position. That state you’ve always wanted to live in? Apply to the jobs there, too.
When you remove the waste from your life, you begin to see the possibilities. You begin to have time to pursue the “what ifs?” You begin to realize that you’ve been complacent in life and were not truly living to be happy. And what’s life worth if you’re not going to do what makes you happy? No amount of money or prestige is worth your joy, sanity or time.
Last week, I quit my waitressing job. I’ve been at the same restaurant now for almost three years, and while the job has served its purpose, I’ve been saying for months that I just wanted to quit. I’ve dreaded going to work and lost all motivation to be there. I’ve grown weary of the unprofessional ways in which I’ve been treated. So I finally took the plunge. Yes, I’m scared; I’m scared of going a semester without a job; I’m scared of starting somewhere new for a summer job; I’m scared of not having as much money; I’m scared of what my finances may do to my relationship; I’m scared of failing.
But I quit because I was scared of the sick feeling in my stomach when customers cursed me out and then still came back in to eat the next week; I was scared of never trying to work at a coffee shop, a bookstore, a gym or a health food store — all entities that embody things I’m passionate about; I was scared of losing time with my family before I move away next year; I was scared of sacrificing sleep to the worried, anxious thoughts plaguing my mind at night; I was scared of the tears that I was crying; I was scared of being unhappy.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to be scared. I’m going to charge ahead with confidence in my choice. My choice is temporary as I plan to graduate in a year and find a professional job that makes me happy to get out of bed in the morning. But for now, I’m choosing to see where the next year takes me.
I’m getting married on the last day of 2016, and then everything will change. It’ll be time for married life, a career, a move and a house. So I’ll be spending the rest of 2016 enjoying my unmarried college life. While responsibilities are still relatively few, I’ll be chasing the stars and rediscovering true happiness. Wish me luck!