It’s upon us once again… “holiday season.” That wonderful time when we’re all constantly reminded to be thankful for our many blessings, and begin to reflect on a year that’s almost at its close. Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, the most righteously gracious holiday of them all, where we sit around and think nothing of the native peoples who showed us hospitality and helped us survive in our harsh, new world, and instead spend the day shoveling food into our mouths, napping, and possibly watching some football. Ahh yes, the holidays.
As sarcastic and bitter as I may sound, I really really do love the holidays. Being a known masochist, I actually enjoy seeing my extended family and I truly have an astronomical amount of things to be grateful for.
Even though the past year has been full of mishaps and mistakes, and I’ve held seven (yes, seven) different jobs in last 12 months, and I’m still not quite sure what’s going to happen next… I am thankful for the year I had. From what I hear, your mid-to-late twenties aren’t supposed to be a cakewalk. Many of my friends are going through tumultuous times as well, and I can’t help but notice the parallels. Most of our lives are planned for us; we have school and family, then more school, then college, then maybe even some more school or something like internships or AmeriCorps. Our schedules are given to us, our game plan is outlined, and we can cruise along overcoming obstacles as they present themselves on our relatively neat timeline. Then, seemingly all of a sudden, the cruise is over, the training wheels are off, and adulthood slams down around you like prison bars in a cartoon. And it’s up to you to choose what you want to do. There’s not a course catalog, or a coach, or your parents, or anything dictating your decision except your own conscience.
The magnitude of that realization hit me about midway through the shit-show that has been 2018. I was about to quit a job I really enjoyed to take a different job that I was dubious about but figured would be good pay and good experience. Now that I think about it, I was right. It was good pay, and it was really good experience. Three months later, I knew that it was not right for me, on many levels, but I don’t regret it (blah blah, no regrets, blah). But I felt guilty for leaving another job. With no one around to scold you for your actions, it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable.
After a decision, there’s no one to blame but yourself if there happens to be an unwelcome outcome. Thats life, thats adulthood, and honestly, that’s good for us. No longer having a scapegoat leads to growth. Instead of dwelling on your mishaps and mistakes though, glean what you can from the experience, and use it in the future. So you hated your job? Pinpoint what about it you didn’t enjoy and use that to find your next position. We all have doubts after we make a decision, its a normal reaction; especially in regards to life-altering decisions. I sometimes do this super fun thing where I replay all my decisions in my head until I feel like I might explode. But the growth comes when we stop fixating on our past actions and instead begin to use them as part of our repertoire. The days of feeling sorry for ourselves are over, kiddies. It’s time to be THANKFUL for our mistakes and keep our lives moving forward.