A Ramble About Finding Peace in My Career, Illness, & Failed Friendships
April 19, 2021
For quite some time (By some time, I mean quite a few years) I seriously wondered if my career and career goals are in the right direction. I didn’t consider second guessing my choices until my late teens and early twenties. During this period of time, my health problems, including allergies, began to affect me more than ever and people I once trusted became my worst nightmare and critics. It was a hard time for me, but I survived.
Even though I survived, I still struggled with what they said and how my health reduced the amount of jobs I can have. I had self doubt and struggled with the fact some of the jobs I wanted to do are no longer jobs I can do. These thoughts continued until recently. I talked to someone about how frustrated I am about the people I used to trust, how I sometimes run the risk of running into them while on errand runs, and, if they know I couldn’t do the jobs I wanted to do because of health problems, they would become very clinical and make as many comments they could about what they thought of me. That’s when my friend told me “Who cares what they think? They just say these things to make you feel bad because you’re not in student loan debt like they are and didn’t make the same mistakes they did.”
It is something I heard on and off for years, but for whatever reason, I needed to hear that again. And it really helped.
In order to avoid going into student loan debt, I stopped going to college full time and instead focused on getting a job. Over the years, I took classes, but I always made a point to take classes that I could pay without taking out a student loan. I also focused on trying to figure out what is wrong with me health wise and how to take care of myself without getting so sick again. This forced me to make some hard decisions, including not dating as much as I wanted to, in order to give myself time to rest. Even though I didn’t find the man of my dreams at my younger age, I also avoided making mistakes in who I should and should not be in a relationship with.
These are all things the people I have trouble with did not do, or if they did, they realized it much later in life. Because of this, I’m starting to see my health problems more a blessing in disguise than a horrible hardship that ruined my life.
As my friend and I talked about what happened to me and what my next steps in my life should be, the reason why I’m still second guessing my career and career goals became clear. I still live in the same small town I used to when I was in my late teens and early twenties. And so do many of the people that I’m so afraid of.
Living in a small town can be great, but for me, living in the small town I currently do is a hassle. This is why I wanted to move since I was very young. Growing up, I know there aren’t many people in the town who could, or want, to be friendly with me, but I didn’t know how they really felt about me until I got sick.
Even though these people are not people I want to associate with, knowing they didn’t move away bothers me. Living in the same town as them bothers me. And knowing I may run into them just walking to pick up groceries bothers me. Still, when my friend told me this, I felt better because someone saw it too.
I don’t think I’m better off than they are. After all, I had some serious health problems and still struggle with serious allergies that they don’t. Still, I’m happy with the choices I made thus far in my life, event though my life didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be. I learned over the years that if someone is critical and makes rude remarks that hurt your feelings about your life and what you do in it, it means they are unsatisfied with their life. There are many other reasons why they may act like this, but I think that’s the reason why these people treated me the way they did. And, after years of living near them or in the same town as them, it makes me sad. I believe everyone has something good in their lives that they can dwell on that brings happiness and confidence into their life. Even if that thing is very small and people may dismiss it as mundane and unimportant, it can make all the difference. It is so disappointing these people don’t want to be happy their lives and want others to feel bad about their lives as well.
Now, I don’t feel so bad about my career and my career goals. The way I approach my career and my goals for it may be unconventional, but my life hasn’t necessarily been very conventional. In order to make myself conform to a “normal” way of approaching my career, college, and other things in my life isn’t logical or practical for me. So, even though I need to do things differently, or more differently than people I knew think I should do things, its not bad. It’s good. And I’m glad I have some sort of a goal for myself when for years I didn’t know if I will ever have good health back.