There’s so much pressure these days to have a constant income. Really, that pressure starts long before even being of legal age to have a job! Think about it…in the early stages of starting to learn how to count, or match patterns or read, people begin to judge children’s performance and and use that to determine how successful someone will be. Yes, that may seem a little extreme, but really think about it and you’ll see the truth in that statement.
I was getting ready for an interview this morning and got thinking about all the things I’ve learned while not working. This move to New York was a big adjustment, along with Paul starting a very rigorous school program, so me not having a job right off the bat was a major blessing. Yes, it’s been tough not having a steady income, but I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.
Growing up, I was encouraged to have a job from a young age, and I welcomed the pressure and having my own stash of cash set aside. I was such a practical little child, though, and would constantly be saving my earnings for the big things I knew I had to pay for I the future…a car, college, living on my own. I very much appreciate my parents for teaching me these skills and instilling in me the importance of hard work and saving…but sometimes I can’t help but feel like I lost a little bit of “just being a kid”.
School didn’t help either. Pressure to know your major and what you’re going to be doing after high school is overwhelming. Everyone had to go to a university, and tech schools were for the dummies. But now I wish I had been exposed to all of the careers out there. There are so many different opportunities for careers that I never knew about, so many different ways to be creative and stretch your mind beyond just the state school!
I’d decided pretty early on that I wanted to pursue the field of nursing. I’d decided in high school, got into the university’s college of nursing, and started my job in labor and delivery only a month after graduation. Everyone in college was always jealous of me for having a major that stated the career I would have, but I wish I had more options right out of school than just working in a hospital. I missed out on the chance to stop and think about what I wanted to do.
This time spent not working has been the first time I’ve truly questioned, “what do I want to do when I grow up?” Yes, I was asked all throughout my life, but never with as much knowledge of what the world has to offer.
So here’s some things I’ve discovered about myself and learned with unemployment…
I’m more creative than I thought I was.
I enjoy teaching and learning.
There’s so many opportunities for work from home.
You can be good at more than just one thing.
Writing is a passion of mine…
so is being creative in the kitchen!
You can do absolutely anything that you set your mind to!
There’s so many opportunities to love your work, you just have to know who you are.
I know that I chose a good field to go into; I love being a nurse. But I never want “being a nurse” to be my only career. I feel like I’m just discovering more of who I am and what my likes and dislikes are now, and I’m grateful for this discovery. I have to thank Paul for his encouragement and for not rushing me to jump at a job right away, but encouraging me to find my passions and figure out how to use them. Discovering who you are is a lifetime process, and one I never want to dismiss.
So tell me…has anyone gone through a similar “mid-20s crisis”? What have you discovered? Where have you ended up?
I’d love to hear from you…simply comment below.