Welcome to my comeback post, after what will most likely be the first in a great many predictable blogger drop-offs.
I truly believe that being healthy and happy means removing toxins from your life. Whether that’s too much stuff, unrealistic expectations or a job that you’re deeply unhappy with. Life is too short to spend eight hours of your day in an environment that makes you miserable.
On that note, let me just say that I don’t necessarily believe in following your passion. For many years, I was convinced that I wanted to work in eastern African policy or humanitarian aid. I worked several refugee resettlement jobs in Egypt and DC…and I HATED them. Realistically, I didn’t have the education or skills necessary to thrive in that field. I only had passion — and that wasn’t enough.
Then, I found a nice office job. I had a quiet private office with a mountain view and unheard of benefits (pension, anyone?), and while I was thankful for it…I HATED it. This job had everything that was supposed to make me content, and that made me afraid to move. For three years I stayed in a job that I disliked because I didn’t want to give up what was safe, and I didn’t want to fail in the process. When JD sent me a copywriting position, my impressive self-confidence told me that there was no chance anyone would pay me to write. I was wrong.
Almost nine months later, I am thankful that, with my husband’s unfailing encouragement, I was brave enough to try something that seemed altogether impossible and totally uncomfortable. I took a job that offers me less money but abundantly more happiness.
Writing is not my passion. It doesn’t light a fire within me like the struggles that face resettled refugees and asylee’s in our country. When I’ve finished writing copy for a class on French pastries, I am under no illusion that I’ve done something equivalent to helping a newly settled refugee understand their health insurance (or lack thereof), but I feel happy, fulfilled and challenged. I wasn’t great at my passion — and that’s actually OK.
It wasn’t always possible for me to chase down (read: reluctantly apply to) a job that made me happy. Sometimes I’ve worked jobs just to pay the rent, and more than likely, I’ll have to do that again. It took me four years to work my way into a job that brings me happiness, but it was so worth it.
I got rid of a toxin that consumed almost 2000 hours of my life every year, but there are so many other opportunities to — at the risk of going full-on GOOP on you — “cleanse,” from eating less junk to watching less junk (except for the bachelor, always watch the bachelor), the list goes on. What are the toxins in your life?