This is still a hard lesson for me, but today my aunt was frank with me and I love that I can continue to hear her being so honest with me.
Cony, you’ve got to stop with this shit where you don’t think you’ll be able to get jobs, especially ones in places you want to go. Sadly you’ve got your mother’s genes in the self-doubt department and I need you to break those patterns. You can and you will do something absolutely beautiful with your life, but you will get nothing if you keep wishing and never believing it for yourself. Sometimes we all need to love ourselves a little more to fully know we are capable and deserving of what we want. So write those cover letters, tell them how much you want that job, and think positively. Being positive in life will bring so much good to you. I mean, why the hell do you think I’m still alive? …Because I’m positive.
And she’s right. She’s been so close to death so many times, but she’s always pulled through. How? Apparently her positivism. Being witness to her strength and fervor to live in these last few weeks makes me a believer that her positivism has been her “secret” to living happily. She savors everything in her life and doesn’t get worked up about anything. Instead, she finds a way to laugh at the issue, even if that means laughing at herself and calling herself an ‘old decrepit woman.’
Upon hearing what she told me, I could barely keep a straight face. I was in between a sheepish smile to almost tearing up at how hard she was hitting on the truth. A lot of us never reach a point where we believe in ourselves and our capabilities. We invest so much time on our flaws, endlessly degrading ourselves and begging others to excuse us for the stupidest most insignificant things when in reality, nobody else may have minded. Seriously, why the fuck do we always say “sorry” at any sign we may intrude into someone’s personal bubble or for any other reason? Are we really even sorry? It’s just a word we say to make ourselves seem polite…? Dumb. Don’t be sorry for dumb shit like accidentally getting in someone’s way at the grocery store. Be sorry when you need to be.
We limit ourselves by believing all those judgmental voices we have created; those we have grown up hearing from our parents, siblings, our closest community, and society. Sometimes we end up believing those voices rather than our own.
There’s always going to be endless voices and messages that want to stray us away from our potential and our authenticity if we don’t believe we are capable of the simplest things. Right now that for me, is being able to land a job (anywhere at this point!) where I can gain greater research experience to see if I want to go back to Graduate School, and of course, I want to love what I do. I refuse to fall into that mindset that I should just get a 1-2 year job that I don’t like to just have something under my belt. Life, as expressed by my aunt, is too short to take part in things that don’t bring us joy. Yes, I know that this will probably make things more difficult (but think positive, right?) for me in the long run just until I find a job, but I also don’t want to continually fall into a never ending cycle where I latch onto to the next stressor in life after I’ve dealt with the last one–again, life is too short for that and no matter what, stressful situations will arise beyond my control, so why resist?
I want to believe all that my loved ones and friends have told me–that I will go far in life. “Going far in life” for me means being able to live a simplistic life that brings me joy and provides purpose. I never grew up with unnecessary materialism and I’m not going to start now with the childish idea that expensive materials bring happiness. In order to get there though, I know that I need to find my niche in this rather unknown part of the world now.
The post-graduate-I’m-an-emerging-adult-but-with-the-soul-of-an-old-lady world.
Maybe this means going back to some of my roots and finding support there. For me, that means looking through my old school journals and bucket lists to remind myself of what I wholeheartedly wanted before other forces began to tamper with my confidence. There’s a reason I continuously write–younger versions of myself have taught me a thing or two after looking back at those journals and re-integrating myself into the mindset I had been in when I wrote that particular entry.
My aunt is right in all of this.
Right now, I am just scared when I really shouldn’t be. Somehow something will work out and I will be happy with my little job. I have no freaking clue where I may end up, but I am not putting any limitations on where I would like to be (other than Texas–too hot). Brené Brown is my real-life inspiration for what can be done with social work at a macro scale and of course, my amazing 1st year research professor is a constant inspiration for her macro/research/public health and social work profession. If they were able to find a way to create a career they love, I am able to do the same–it just will take time.
I mean I’m only 24, right?
Don’t try to find/Words now, you fall/Then go, reach out/The choice is yours to find
This life you’ve got/The light to guide/Your faith decides/The roads you’re going to find
Realize/So tired/Got hope, desire/Even though it’s hard to forget/What you can’t afford now/Chasing all your thoughts, you know that/You’ll be all right in time
This life you’ve got/The light to guide/Your faith decides/The roads you’re going to find (2x)