Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I was talking to my parents the other day over the phone and they casually mentioned that roughly half of their friends (who have kids my age) have children living at home who aren’t making a living. This conversation made me think about my friends and the people that I know and where they stand in their career. I can count on one hand how many friends I have that are actually working in their major post-college – and out of those only a few are actually content with where they are.

It makes sense, to be honest. We are bombarded every day with post after post about people who are “living the dream”. They make success and “having it all” look SO easy. It’s just important to remember that we are seeing one side. Those people are most likely going through the same struggles that we all experience. It’s all about perspective – and I’ll go out on a limb and say that most people on the internet lie. That was part of the reason I wanted to start this blog – so people like me understand that what they are experiencing is SO NORMAL. No one is alone in their feelings, and realizing that fact alone can be so helpful.

Part of the issue is that in your twenties, every single decision feels SO do-or-die. Does anyone else feel like this? Every decision – who you hang out with, what plans you miss out on, what jobs you take, where you decide to live – feels like you are making this decision for the rest of your life. What I constantly have to remind myself is that careers can change, you can move, and friends can shift. Nothing is set in stone; and while some decisions definitely set you on a certain path, the path to your life fulfillment is up to YOU.

My generation seems to have an overwhelming drive to do it all and have it all. We are traveling more than any previous generation. We are marrying later, marrying less, and waiting to start a family. I love that my generation has started to focus more on the “I” and less on what is expected of us. It’s important to make sure we are focusing on ourselves for the right reasons, and not just to boost our social “clout”. Figure out what makes you happy and go for it! And remember, what you enjoy now and what makes you happy now might not be what makes you happy in 5, 10, or 20 years. We have to learn to grow with ourselves and our interests in order to maintain our passion in life.

I was talking to one of my friends who is currently living at home with no job, and she said the hardest thing for her is the fact that her sister is doing amazing in her own career. This comparison made her second guess her career choice and wonder why she didn’t pick a job with a larger payoff. She spent this time unemployed researching other possible jobs and there were so many options out there – she locked up and became overwhelmed. She finally started applying for jobs in her original career sector after she took sometime to “reset” and remind herself why she choose it the first place. I think we all need this “reset” once and a while, and it’s important to find what works for you.

I’ve got a few books that I like to reference whenever I’m feeling unfilled in my career or a little lost in life in general (I’ll provide amazon links at the bottom of this post). The first is this amazingly fun and quirky short graphic novel called The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins. I HIGHLY recommend this book (and it’s on sale!)- it’s so fun and quirky and just a great reminder to remain true to yourself, always. It’s also a fun book for kids, and teaches a great message.

The second book is Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With The Universe by Yumi Sakugawa. I love love love this book. It’s short, has amazing illustrations, and an equally as amazing message. This books reminds you of your purpose and place within the universe, and for me, helps me feel more grounded and present.

Another HUGE tip I have when you are feeling lost or unsure in your life is to put yourself out there. I’m a creative person by nature, so doing anything creative is the most amazing and fulfilling thing I can do for myself. I sign up for art classes (usually at the cutest little studio Bari Zaki on Chicago’s northside, link below!) and immerse myself in those items that make me passionate. I personally love doing classes and things like that because I can meet people who are passionate and supportive about the same things I am!

I also love going to the museums by myself to sketch; or even just going for a walk to lake front or through the city. Spending time with myself and doing these items I love are instrumental in my personal growth. What are some items that you do to propel your personal journey forward? How do you remind yourself to stay true to who you are? Comment below, I’d love to hear!


Art Classes: Bari Zaki

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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