Finding my path

I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself over the past few years. Not so much in the sense that I’m not taking care of myself physically or mentally (for the most part), but more in the spiritual/energy sense. It’s like what I once thought was a certainty no longer is. What I once thought was my path, no longer seems to take me to the destination I want to go. The things that have been going on lately, the good things that have been happening to me, have made me re-think and question what and who I am. This sin’t necessarily a bad thing, just unknown and so I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself because I keep trying to avoid asking myself the big questions, the ones with life-changing results.

It seems wise that I should start off by reassuring my readers and saying that I still know who really I am and what I ultimately want out of life, but I’m not sure about how I’m going to get there anymore. I went through a lot of bullshit mentally, physically, and spiritually while I was in Alberta, all of which was focused around my employment. It broke me. It broke my confidence in myself and my abilities. This was all because of poor management where I was working and I know that it wasn’t really anything that I was doing wrong, it couldn’t be because I was doing EVERYTHING I could and some of that had to be right, but nonetheless It made me question what I was trying to do with my life and whether or not I could continue to do it for years to come. I had never, ever, EVER felt like that about myself before and I never want to feel like that again.

The hardest part about it all is that it not just broke my confidence in myself, but crushed my career hopes and dreams. I walked in a strong, idealistic, optimistic extremely hardworking fresh-faced kid and I walked out a crushed, heartbroken, wavering, discouraged, and saddened individual. It’s important to note that all these feelings were ONLY about my career path and future. In my personal life, I walked out of Alberta with amazing friends and experiences that I will cherish forever and would never change for anything. And on that note, I have to say I wouldn’t have made it out as unscathed as I did without those amazing people who stood behind me and stood beside me and supported everything that I did and everything that I am. So a huge thanks to all of them, every one of them!!

While in Alberta I was working as a journalist at two small town newspapers, since moving to Vancouver, I have started a new job at Indigo/Chapters at a mall near my new apartment. I’ve worked there maybe two weeks now. In that time I have already become part of a team that respects each other and encourages everyone to be the best that they can be. I’ve already been given responsibility and appreciated for the work that I do and my work-ethic and customer service. I am coming home tired physically, but mentally I’m happy. It’s a different kind of exhaustion, a kind of state of mind that I used to have when I was in school and working part-time in retail chains back home. I enjoy this kind of work and I know it’s something I’m good at and the nice thing is that other people see that too and value my experience and my attitude, and even more so my opinion. I’m appreciated and I know it. I’m not saying that I need praise and admiration for every little thing at every turn, but It’s so nice to know that someone takes notice for the work and effort you put forth and that they appreciate what you have to offer. It’s such a change from my work-related experiences over the past two years that I’m in awe and dumbfounded because it’s a feeling that is almost foreign to me now, but it’s growing on me again and it’s made me think.

I have always enjoyed working in retail and helping other people find what they need and what they want and helping them walk out with a smile on their face. I like helping others and making other people happy. It makes me happy to make them happy. Yes, I do know that that makes me the quintessential “people-pleaser” but I don’t there is anything wrong with that if I’m happy doing it. In all my years working, that has never been a problem, until Alberta, until I started down a path that I had chosen as my career in writing. It sucked the happy feeling out of me when all I did was try to make other people happy and got nowhere, at least not in the work environment with the management. I was walked over and kicked down, but I’m starting to feel happy again doing something that comes so naturally to me, making others happy and doing everything in my power to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. But now I’m not sure what that means for me and my future.

It’s all made me seriously think about what I want to do with my life and the answer is, I don’t know anymore. I suppose ideally I would love to keep working in the retail sector at the corporate level and being able to use my skills  and education for marketing, communications, writing, social media, and public relations. That would be the best case scenario, especially because of the pay. I mean don’t get me wrong, money isn’t everything, but it sure makes life a lot less stressful when you don’t have to worry about how to pay your bills. Even though I’m happier right now with what I’m doing, I’m really not entirely happy with the paycheck. Vancouver can be quite expensive, but it’s where I want to be right now and I’m loving the city, so i’m happy to try to figure out how to pay for it all, I just wish I was making more money and working corporately in the retail business would allow me that chance. This seems like the best path to take. The question is how long will it take for me to get to that point? Is it feasible to work at the store-front level for the next few years and still get what I want out of life – a social life with entertainment, love, marriage, kids? The answer is yes, of course, people do it all the time, but it’s a lot easier at the management level and then I have to ask myself how long until I can reach that point?

I guess the bottom line to all this is that I’m re-discovering myself and re-evaluating what I want to do with my life. I want to be able to have the kind of life I want, provide for a future family, and support myself while still being happy with what I am doing. I don’t want to feel broken anymore and I want to feel like myself again, like I’m starting to feel like while working at Indigo. I think at this point I just need to see where life takes me and go with what comes my way. Take it one day at a time and constantly keep asking myself the questions that I need to so that I don’t feel like I’m neglecting who I am and what I’ve always wanted to be… someone that does good and feels good while doing it, whatever that “IT” thing is.

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