Say no to excuses

Among the many things I’ve come to realize this week, one resounded louder than the others.

Excuses.

We all make them, though the range of impact ranges from miniscule to gargantuan. While I certainly can’t speak for most people, but I’ve come to realize the majority of excuses I make are in some ways only semi-conscious. It certainly feels as if, I’m so used to letting myself get away with things easily that it is not even a conscious thought process anymore. It is only when I come to the end of a work week with my well deserved downtime do I realize how much excuses I’ve made all week and those excuses prevented free-time (when my life isn’t dictated by the company’s clock) lost to do the things I enjoy.

I’m guilty for making excuses that in no way contribute to my overall and long-term well-being. (ie: not taking the time to keep up with my fitness regime, or actually cooking a proper meal and just grabbing what’s available in the house aka toasttoasttoast) I tell myself things such as: “you worked hard all day, you worked through your break and slaved for an extra hour – you deserve to rest and treat yourself.” to make me feel better about skipping the gym and eating atrociously (so is it any wonder why feel under the weather during the weekend? I think not.)

Excuses are what we tell ourselves to feel better without actually actively trying to solve the underlying cause that makes us ill-at-ease.

So the goal for today, I’m going to actively analyze my decision making, is it an excuse or is it an actual reason – and come up with a plan to tailor my life for the better.

Advertisements

Go for it.

I realized very recently that life has a funny way of working out in the end and stressing + planning excessively are sometimes very unnecessary. I’m happy to report that while I’m still employed by the same company, I am at least 50% happier than I was last month while at the same time I will also be significantly poorer.

Yes, it has recently come to my attention that a part-time post was open and I’ll even get the perks of working alone and relatively at my own pace. This is definitely good news, had I known this months beforehand then I wouldn’t have been so hopeless in feeling that life is a total and complete ‘trade-off’ game – either or, pick and choose.

I feel blessed in knowing that I now have the free-time to pursue what matters to me in the long run and still retain my autonomy – though I do have to scale down my budget, but for now, it is lesson learned: stress less and live.

This too shall pass: unengaging work

To recap, my short-term plan for myself includes keeping my mind-numbingly dull job for now. The keyword here is for now, it dictates something temporary. The thought of it being temporary rather than something of a semi-permanent makes the thought of dealing with work and the reality of my situation less painful. Yes, I know, while our goal is to avoid unpleasantness altogether, one must also take reality into account. In my case, my decision to stay is based on my current situation, however, with a time-stamped exit date: only until the end of the month (if everything goes right).

Nevertheless, the thought of never having to work there again is freeing in ‘x’ numbers of days is freeing. Even though I’m still employed at company ‘x’, I felt the metaphorical weight disappear off my shoulders. Knowing that you aren’t going to be there for much longer also gives you insight to what is important and what is essentially white noise.

  1. A job with a paycheck is great, but if you deem it meaningless, you are wasting your time -> life. (Personally, I’d rather not again, ever.)
  2. Anyone is replaceable, don’t think that your workplace will fall apart if you decided to resign (and don’t let anyone guilt trip you into not resigning because then you’d be a ‘quitter’ – but hey, sometimes that’s not bad. How are you supposed to start anew and repurpose your life if you allow work to eat up 8-10 hours of your day?).
  3. Life is short, (do what makes you truly happy)
  4. Money is never a replacement for happiness, it is a price tag spewed out by society over how much they value your time doing what you do. It doesn’t matter where you are on the poor and rich spectrum, having money or not having money, does not define you as a person. (The same goes for a job or a career). You are worth more than whatever it is they are paying you anyways, so don’t sell yourself short.
  5. Chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to do so, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. As far as I am concerned, they are not you, and most of the time these doubters don’t even know you aside from what they can perceive of you. So don’t put too much emphasis on their advice and opinion. Do what you think is right.

Simple Solution: do what makes you happy, no really.

Rather than squandering precious time on things that does not matter in the long run. Focus on pushing for the experiences one would truly want in life. Forget social expectations and responsibilities, stop and strip them away for five minutes and then you’d see how clear thinking becomes. I’d surmised this much in my quest for happiness. How did I come about this conclusion?

Unsolicited opinion of a coworker that bordered on harassment and learning a similar occurrence had happened to a friend who lives across the continent in a different city. On both counts, the comments made were by men to women and the nature of these comments were of a personal nature that were in no ways related to work – whether the men had intended their comments to elicit reaction (either positive or negative) is not known but upon reception, it is clear that these comments were upsetting to the women. You can see where I’m going with this but that’s another story altogether.

In my case this had resulted me in minimizing my interactions with said coworker, not because I’m afraid of what he might choose to comment about next, rather – I didn’t give a damn. He is entitled to his opinions of me, sure, but I also have the freedom to choose whether or not to even register what he’d said to me – then life goes on.

My friend on the other hand was however less fortunate, she was clearly upset over the incident even some time has passed and it was affecting her a lot more than I had initially suspected. So I told her of my experience and how I dealt with the situation and came to the conclusion perhaps she’d given too much power to how people viewed and thought of her – and by extension, the fact that perhaps we, as a society, suffer from a debilitating case of ‘self-consciousness’.

Think about it, when was the last time you did something you truly desired that was outside the norm? Do you often find yourself going along with groupthink in a meeting, or perhaps agreeing with something because it was easier to conform with ‘conventional wisdom’ than to risk looking foolish by contributing your own thoughts? And what becomes of your private thoughts? What happens when you swallow them back, do you dispose of them completely or do live with them uncomfortably in silence? Have you ever wondered why?

Then more in depth, how much of your life is actually to your freewill. Did you go got college by your own aspiration to master a subject or was it simply societal expectations that one should receive college credentials to better contribute to society and hence generate income? Career wise, did you take a job simply because of the compensation alone? How do you feel after another mind numbing day at the office – satisfied about your accomplishments or dreading ever entering the workplace again?

I have to admit, after pondering over the questions listed above, it became clear why I felt the way I felt. And relating to my previous post ( the thing that differentiates me from my older coworker is not age, but the fact that I am deliberately trying to change, fix the problem before it’s too late – as I told him.) Finding the courage even in repeated failures and to live as if you had nothing to lose. Because you don’t – other than the air in your lungs. Permanence is an illusion, as is comfort – what is eternal is your personal growth – your triumph through trials and tribulations counts more than any material possession you could acquire. It is not the result at the end that makes a strong character, but the journey. And it is with this in mind, I presented this short term plan to myself.

  1. Keep the job.
  2. Continue learning.
  3. Travel.

But wait, didn’t you just say ‘do what makes you happy? why would you stay at a job that made you miserable?’ – to be continued.

The silver lining in grey clouds: motivational Sunday

Last Friday, I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t the only one that hated what I do at my workplace. Of course, Friday alone was reason enough to despise my job, as I was made to work through not only my coffee breaks but also lunch break without stop. Alas, I said nothing, after all, I’m not the only one – my superiors too were scrambling at the sudden amount of extra work that seemingly fell from the sky due to poor planning – who am I to complain if managers barely had times for breaks, right?

At the end of the day – after nine hours of continuous work I discovered something not all that shocking.

Mindless chitchat with one of my coworkers had me thinking – why don’t we do anything else with our lives if we hated it this much? I had told him my sentiments, that ‘Sometimes this job makes me feel like this is all I’m good for’ (which I know is simply not true, but after the work marathon my psyche was anything but sound) – my coworker, a man nearing his half century, fell silent for a moment then nodded in agreement. He then told me that he’d considered this job of an ‘in-between’ variety and that he ‘plans’ on doing something else before retirement knocks on his door.

The problem is, he doesn’t know what to do with his life – he says. He says he’d love to do something that interest him, and yet he doesn’t know what that specific thing is, hence this mindless plugging at our current workplace.

Immediately, a few quotes popped up in my head – one from a blog post I’d come across sometimes ago on the subject of neurasthenia (found: source ) the quote: ‘Afraid we can’t do everything, we do nothing.’ rang in my head and then, I thought, perhaps, he, like I had ruminated over the problem until he became paralyzed by the simple fact that life is simply too grand, his potentials were endless (yes, even nearing fifty, I personally see potentials as something that is infinite as long as we’re alive and desire), he could do anything he’d liked if he truly really wanted to – but paradoxically, that feeling of freedom is paralyzing. As for most of our lives, we’re led to believe a structured life involving working until we’re old and gray is rewarding.

Change cannot be immediate: we lack the tools to bring forth immediate change. Among those tools, I concluded courage was the most vital piece of the puzzle: standing alone when everyone else is sitting, be the one to go against the grain as opposed to along with the tide. Courage is something that is diluted daily as we try to appease ourselves with what we have built on shaky foundations. By playing lackluster roles that in essence mean very little to us, we are simply put, waiting for death as time ticks away.

Yet, we all have that something that keeps us there – for my coworker, it is the comfort in knowing his salary is consistent and that as long as he came to work he would be paid. Truer in his case than mine, as the paychecks meant more to him than I. While I could go without it for a few months as long as I swallow my pride and ask my parents for help, a man nearing his fiftieth year has no one to depend on but himself. For me, the reason is less essential, superficial even – as proven by my closet full of premium denim collection that a twenty something year old with my current income really shouldn’t be buying, yet somehow I managed, not because I couldn’t live without them. Rather, they served as a visual reminder that without my job I wouldn’t be enjoying this luxury.

And of course, let’s not forget, Rome was not built in a day and true success is forged by blood and sweat – which bring me to the next point. ‘The trouble is, you think you have time’.

Age aside, what differs me from my coworker? Not a whole lot I don’t think. As we both recognize there’s a major problem yet we haven’t any answers to the solution hence we brew in misery on the daily, indulging in our respective vices (for me, that means acquiring designer fashion pieces to sooth my frustration with life) just to get through the days – and sadly I can see myself in his position should I continue to do what is ‘expected’ and what is ‘safe’. Because here’s another scary thought, while I was doing my spring cleaning around the house yesterday I found my school records, I was astonished but also saddened by my stellar grades back in the day – why? Well first, I’d believed it when society sold me the idea stellar grades paved a bright future and bright futures in my books is a life that I enjoy – a stark contrast to my present reality – I realized I had went along with everything for far too long, my inner voice muffled by white noise of expectations and responsibilities. For far too long, it’d been this way and I’d forgotten how to be happy. Second, it countered my self defeating statement on Friday, ‘this is all I’m good for’ – no, I am worth more than I realize – not in the monetary sense as I am not a commodity, I am a person and my value is not some number following a currency sign. And then I reached the conclusion: life should be measured in experiences – the good, the bad, the awkward.

Precisely at that point, the metaphorical light-bulb went off in my head and a plan is conceived.

To be continued.

To Quit or not to Quit: Part II, it’s a process.

Let’s rewind back to the previous evening, where I was all gung-ho about making the decision, the jump towards freedom, the grab for the figurative remote control that dictates whichever channel I’ll be tuning into for the next couple of months. I had every reason to believe I hate my job (and I still do, except for the monetary incentives that glues me there like a flytrap). Needless to say, this morning I was all pumped up about dropping the Q-bomb to my boss. I was characteristically non-nonchalant as I entered my workplace, but also anxious about whether or not I should just tell them and leave (but that’d be a waste of commuting time) or sneak it in during lunch and here is where things began to go amiss.

Coworkers and supervisors were quick to express their delight in seeing me at work, bright and early too – and work was assigned almost instantly. So far, not good.

As I busied myself with mind-numbing work (like usual) and yawned through my morning (like usual). I began to reconsider my decision. Does quitting your job really have to be that drastic? I had, before envisioned somewhat of a Godzilla taking over Tokyo scene, where I would breeze into work (or stomp if I was Godzilla and trample everything in sight bwuahaha…) then fire off my discontentment in ‘&@*&!@##’ like there’s no tomorrow then flip my hair, stomp on my heels and leave, in style no less.

However, reality proved to be crueler than cruel when it came to the little script (‘how to quit your job like a boss’) I’d dreamt up in my head. In reality, I felt myself being herded along, like some statistically insignificant sheep atop of some remote mountain in New Zealand going ‘baaaaaaaah, baaaaaaaah, grass’ – irrelevant. Irrelevant is exactly how I felt. And at that moment my brain shut down again. I can’t for the life of me figure out how I had made it through 8 hours of that again with the comfort in knowing, 2 more days until the weekend and ten days until the next payday. Apparently, that’s how I trick myself into going to work these days – think about the payday – think about what you can do with the $$ – the freedom you are trading now equals to the freedom you will receive at a later date, when you have enough $$ in your account to help you make that kind of decision. Because isn’t that what money is all about anyways? A converter that turns pain/displeasure multiplied by time into something you cherish (better yet, unforgettable experiences that makes hardship and hard work all worth it?)

But does it really have to be this way – is the question I ask myself.

And realistically speaking – yes, it does – at least for a little while longer. I tell myself this because while I have a budget worked out in my head, there is no telling if I could mentally sustain this job for the next ‘x’ number of months, not only because it is mind-numbingly boring, but today at work – there were whispers of potentially moving the office to another municipality – and quite frankly, I’m not sure if I’ll be okay with that. I’m not sure if my coworkers will be okay with that, but there’s so much going on within in the workplace that just screams – get with the program, or else you are out ( is it any wonder, I’m so anxious about jumping ship?). So, in conclusion – I’m just going to try to enjoy it while it last and if one day, I’m really, really fed up – which I casually predict to be the end of this month, then so be it – I’ve got better things to look forward to, and bigger fishes to fry.

To Quit or Not to Quit: that is the question

I had hoped I would never have to make this post, especially not as the first post of this blog. This blog wasn’t intended for such mundane task. I had originally intended for this blog to be somewhat of a creative outlet to my completely mundane life in a mundane town. If I could just get writing again, perhaps I could show how colorful my life could be. Alas, three months after registration I had all but forgotten about it.

The truth is, I’m a college educated 20 something year old stuck in a dead end job that not only sucks the life but all creative energy out of me, sounds familiar? Who isn’t struggling these days? Most would just tell me to shut it as I still have a job – an income. But that might be a thing of the past, very soon.

The truth is, we’re all looking for answers – hence, this blog is the result of endless hours of googling ‘what do I want to do with my life’ – ‘why do I hate my job?’ – ‘what am I really good at’ – ‘where do I see myself in twenty years’ – you know the shit your high school planning course had you embark on. But here I am, years later, I still haven’t got a single clue on what I would ‘love’ to do.

But I do know this for sure, what I don’t want.

– Routine, boring repetitive tasks that cease to engage me mentally (dare I say I’d almost fell asleep at work on not one but a few occasions)

– Work culture I don’t mesh with, yeah, so I find it difficult to further engage in meaningful conversations with my coworkers – systematic niceties as demanded by society irk if not disgust me (I’m an oddball, sue me)

– No innovation, low job security, oh and you get bossed around all day to the likings of your superiors.

Suffice to say, all reasons above are why I’m seriously considering jumping ship, but I think I still owe it to myself and the pursuits which my employment fuels to list all the pros and cons – and if losing income is really something I could realistically afford at this moment in time.

Pros:

– FREE TIME (time I could dedicate and devote to self-improvements, pursuing hobbies I actually care about, which I think is important because focusing on the self is invaluable.)

-PEACE OF MIND (not have to stress, worry, and dread early every mornings just to go-to work)

-HAPPINESS (at the moment, I truly believe I’d be happier without having to slave another day at work, my mind and mental health will thank me.)

Cons:

-NEGATIVE CASH FLOW (yeah,  being realistic here, while being able to chill for a few months sound really nice but would I be able to enjoy it while worrying about not having an income?)

-BRUISED PRIDE (I’m independent to boot, but if I quit my job I’d have to swallow my pride and potentially ask my parents for a lot of help before I get back on track, meaning, being a conventionally productive member of society again.)

-SHOPPING (okay, one of my vices, I’m a girl and I like to shop and look nice as much as the next girl and sometimes its not even about instant gratification, I’d also like to travel in my spare time and funds will be non-existent if I quit my job…this is definitely going to be an issue)

So, after listing all that I guess the question I should be asking myself is, will I be okay with myself having no income for the next ‘x’ number of months to come? Decisions, decisions…