Finding What Makes You Happy
As adults, we lose a lot of the creativity we had as children. I think this is mainly because of how we are raised and educated and frankly, we're tired from working so hard. When you're young, you're told to study hard, get a real job that will pay your bills and where you will be respected as a contributing adult. To consider being an artist, designer, poet or other creative profession seems like an extravagance because, as you're told, those jobs won't pay your bills.
I wish I knew then, what I know now. If I had taken the same drive and enthusiasm to do well in my corporate job and applied it to what I loved, i'm sure I could have made a decent living at it.
As an introverted child, I was in my mind a lot and loved to create all kinds of things... from Barbie and Ken romance dramas, songs, art, stories, re-arranging my bedroom, fixing up my parent's house to even drafting up business plans for myself when I was just out of high school. So what happened? How did I become a corporate stooge and still am one 20 years later? Well, I bought into the education for the good corporate job mentality. I will say that it has supported me comfortably but not extravagantly for the past 20 years, but eventually you wake up and remember that creative person that once existed. Once you've learned nearly all you can in your career and realize it is unfulfilling and repetitive you start to ask why you really chose this path...
While working over the past couple of decades, I continued my love of decorating and fixing up neglected homes. It has turned into a little side business of some fixer upper apartment rentals and resale of a few neglected homes that I've lived in and made pretty again. It gives me great satisfaction but at the same time can be exhausting when you have a full-time job and other family responsibilities. I've scaled back over the past five years as my career had been getting more demanding. Sadly, this scaling back has pretty much taken all the excitement and creativity out of my daily life. Realizing this after years of introspection, I decided to take a job that pays a little less but allows me some freedom of time and location. This has taken away a crazy, long daily commute and has given me time to create this blog and start landscaping and decorating for fun again. Who knows, I might be in the market for another fixer-upper project again soon! I can only hope that level of energy comes back to me.
If you allow it, you can get mentally unstuck in mid-life, when the career has fully kicked in, you've reached some goals so you can slow down a little to take a breath. You seem to stop looking at things from the building perspective and start looking at them from a happiness point of view. I started to question what brings me happiness and how I can allow more of that into my life. Going through this introspection, I started remembering what I loved when I was young and the things that have given me the most joy and excitement. I'm glad that I am going through this phase in life and am thankful that I didn't wait any longer to start doing things I love.
I hope you are able to make the time to do the things that you enjoy and bring you happiness. If you are in the same place in life as I am right now, you know how important that truly is, because life is too short to spend it living for other people's goals and dreams and not your own.
While I can't quit my day job, I'm letting go and letting God as they say. Who knows what's coming for me, but I'm determined to live the rest of my life on my own terms and have as much fun as possible.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me.
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