Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, goal-setting, and preparing for my blog which, in turn, had me doing a lot of the same for my life.
In 2020 I put in a lot of work building a solid foundation for myself to have a clearer perspective and better self-understanding before I moved forward with my goals, my brand, my career, and just my life in general.
But the other day I got to thinking and the thinking got to me.
Am I becoming a housewife?
What if I never have a job that fulfills me?
When’s the last time I made a societal contribution that wasn’t just a small donation to an independent organization?
Are the mundane aspects of my life becoming the things I live for?
If you’re new here, let me catch you up to speed. After spending the majority of my time in college unsure of my calling, I stumbled into student journalism. I loved it. I hated it. I got yelled at all the time and I sometimes got the chance to yell myself. I wrote about garbage topics and my own opinions that didn’t matter and I spoke to hundreds of people from all paths of life and parts of the world about their stories, studies, and the things that mattered to them.
It was fulfilling. It was exhausting.
I, along with much of our editorial team, spent 15 hours per week in classes and roughly 40 hours per week at the paper. That, minus 8 hours of sleep every night, and I was left with 57 hours each week to shower, workout, do homework, edit pieces for the paper, drive back and forth to campus, work at my retail and host jobs, and to maybe look at my boyfriend once a day if I could sneak in the time.
So when I graduated, I knew I didn’t want to pursue news. At least not now.
Thanks to networking I was offered a great opportunity freelance writing about home insurance and I snatched that up, moved to California, and haven’t looked back since.
Doubt started settling in and I worried that, not only am I not pursuing journalism now, but without a consistent record of journalism experience outside of college, I may never pursue journalism again.
If I’m never a journalist, what happens to my humanitarian goals? Will I ever change the course of America’s political demise by sharing someone’s honest, gut-wrenching, emotional plight in this unequivocally racially divided country? Or alter the course of global climate change conversations through thorough investigative reporting and longform environmental journalism that takes me to the best and worst places on the planet seeking new perspectives from the world around us?
And the other day when I spent hours home alone cleaning the house and feeling genuinely accomplished afterwards, what was that? Who am I? Are my jokes about becoming a housewife (along with my stellar relationship that I would probably –– not dramatically –– give my life for) actually manifesting in front of my eyes? What’s next, cooking family dinner for the household? Passing over my finances to the husband I don’t even have? Turning 45 and realizing I have nothing to show for it but a happy family, healthy relationship, and seven dog children?
Wait actually, scratch that last one. That one doesn’t sound half bad.
Sure, I’m already happier, healthier, a better communicator, a more present partner, and more mentally stable than ever before, but what does that matter if my job doesn’t give me the opportunity to change the world?
In 2021 it is highly unlikely that one job will turn into a career and provide ample compensation, a healthy work-life balance, and opportunities to fulfill humanitarian initiatives.
I know this. That’s why I started this blog in the first place, because I can write whatever I want on my own platform.
Look at this!
Jacklyn Walters is the kindest, most beautiful, and genuinely good person I have ever met. She should take my place as Queen when and if I should decide to retire.Beyoncé
All jokes and blatant lies aside, I saw an opportunity to stop searching for fulfilment through an employer and start providing it for myself. If I can use this blog to share information, make people question their biases, and divulge my experiences –– the good, the bad; the self-doubt, the self-love –– then maybe (hopefully) I can simultaneously satisfy my desire to educate others and find a job that actually pays a living wage.
Regardless of what I do for a living or whether I run this blog or spend the rest of my life seeking a better self-understanding, I am exactly where I need to be right now.
I spent time stressing about my potentially fruitless future because I felt stagnant in the present. But the time I’m taking to find myself, to heal, and to pursue the person I want to become is intentional and meaningful in itself.
I decided that I need to have a better understanding of how I work (and the parts of me that don’t) before I make any more drastic decisions (like moving across the country or starting a new job).
As I continue rolling out my new content and IG series Prompted and Ponder This, I hope you decide to find yourself along with me. If you do –– or if you don’t, that’s not my business –– I hope you move forward with intention and an understanding that life is like one really long practice. We’re all learning as we go, and sometimes it’s best to tackle one problem at a time.
So if you get caught up in pursuing mindfulness or healthy eating or your job or your hobbies and find yourself losing touch with the things you put on the backburner, remember that you put those things on the backburner for a reason.
You decide where your focus goes and you deserve to pursue your goals without spreading yourself too thin.
Journeys don’t end simply because I’m taking time for myself. My personal, professional, and humanitarian aspirations are all still there. Taking time to find myself now only means I’ll be better equipped to fulfill my long-term goals as they come.
Today is good. Just keep working.Excerpt from my Feb. 15 journal entry
With love (and my first Ponder This post coming Wednesday),