A lesson in changing our vantage point.
“failure isn’t necessarily bad
and success isn’t necessarily good”
I had finally landed the job. After getting my master’s and searching for— and scraping to get interviews for—the perfect job, I had it. A job that was finally in my field, finally used my skill set, and paid much more appropriately than the admin job I had been holding. I was ecstatic. I was so thrilled to have nailed the interview (or at least fooled them enough into believing my valor) that I was soaring higher than a helium balloon in the sky after slipping from a child’s little chubby fingers. “The hours on end of job searching,” I had thought, “was over.” I could finally come home at night and rest. I didn’t have to keep filling out those incessant boxes, answering the same questions over and over again.
All of this was, and still is, true. I am still here and enjoy what I am doing. I get to work with people and community and it fits very nicely with my degree. However, there is still some little…something missing. Some little hole in my heart that isn’t being filled. I had dreamed that after finding a great job I would be the most content person in the world. I didn’t expect that I would still feel as if I was chasing some elusive, invisible slip. But here I am, pondering where I went wrong.
I have figured out that it isn’t necessarily somewhere I went wrong, but more that my view of success and my life after achieving it wasn’t accurate. I didn’t take into account what I had already known: that my field of study wasn’t my life’s passion and therefore would never leave my cup completely full. I hadn’t chased down those childhood dreams, but settled into another course, and expected the same outcome.
What makes more sense is to be able to define our reality, define “success” and “failure,” in new lights. When planning and aiming for your next steps, make sure that you approach it with full-fledged optimism but also grounded realism. For me, it would go like this: Yes the job fit, was interesting, and suits me well. No, it doesn’t fulfill my creative and free-spirited side. Thus, I would also need to find other outlets to fulfill this unanswered desire for my soul. I would need to add in art and writing and blogging, and not expect that just one thing would hit all the marks. “Success” would be a healthy balance of my day job to use my degree and pay the bills, and also my soul job of creative endeavors. I’m not a failure because I am still not 100% happy or fulfilled, I would only be a failure if I didn’t strive to meet these other needs and let myself sit empty on the shelf. Not to say that there isn’t a job out there for all of us that ticks all the boxes on our “must have for happiness” list, and God bless you sister if you have found it! For most of us, however, we need this reality check in order to resort our priorities and imaginings into proper order.
We can let our reality define us as successes or failures. Or, we can instead choose to define our reality. To keep adapting it until we meet our quota of personal success. It’s all in the viewpoint.