Man oh man, I didn’t see this season of my life coming when I left my cushy—read: emotionally unhealthy—job in D.C. to go to grad school. I naively believed that life would kind of just smooth out and settle as I got older. I thought that after graduating I would live an exciting but stable life working for a massive corporate communications firm handling branding or corporate social responsibility or some other thing.
But then the craziest thing happened, I fell in love with food and storytelling.
I underestimated just how hard charting your own career path is. It’s lonely, financially/emotionally depleting and even if you work your ass off, there is no guarantee of success. I haven’t even mentioned how your own mind becomes your worst enemy and challenges you at every step. I never realized that I truly am my harshest critic.
I’m constantly wracked with the idea that I’m just not good enough. My ideas aren’t good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not cutting edge enough and on top of all that, I’m a shitty writer. My biggest fear as of late is that I’ll be underemployed for the rest of my life (insert me screaming internally).
And right smack in the middle of this meltdown is where my guilt kicks in, which as you can imagine is just great. Guilt likes to tell me that I’m not hustling enough. I’m not killing myself everyday working 40+ hours at my current job and then coming home to continue working another billion hours on networking, job applications, and this website. If I’m not working full steam ahead towards mental and physical exhaustion then clearly I don’t want to succeed.
Ugh, just thinking about all of this makes me sleepy.
Once I come back to earth from this tailspin—which is a lovely mix of anxiety, shame, self-pity, and fear—I’m able to see the real truth: I’m doing the best I can. I really am. Could I be doing more? Of course, we all could, but I’m doing what I am capable of right now.
In addition to serving as a creative outlet for me, this website is also deeply therapeutic. It’s so important to me that people who read what I write know that they aren’t alone in this world.
No one has the exact life they want, least of all me. All you see of my life is what I allow. All you see of anyone’s life is what they allow. I suppose all I really want to say is that wherever you are in life, especially when it seems like you’re falling apart, you’re right where you need to be. Judging your life against what you see happening on other people’s social media feeds, blogs, or even in “real” life is a recipe for DISASTER.
You never know what someone else is going through and I’d bet my last glass of whiskey that if you knew the truth you wouldn’t trade places with them for all the tea in China.
I’m telling you this because I need to hear it myself. We are, all of us, where we’re meant to be as uncomfortable as that might be for now.. Instead of swimming upstream, go with the flow. Try and become a student of your situation. What is there to learn? How can you become even more thoughtful, giving, and hopeful? It’s so hard, trust me, I know but I believe in you..I believe in us.
We’ve got this. Now let’s go out there and make our dreams come true.