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Taking the Red Pill – Part II September 18, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Following Your Dreams, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Read The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part I here!

Design your own life, huh? Design your own life. Often times, when I’m looking for DLIH inspiration or reposts, I scour the internet for things that I think will be helpful or encouraging to twenty-something’s out there. When I stumbled upon Gilbert Ross’s article last month, I was so drawn in by the words on my screen. I felt like the universe had pushed me, head first, into that webpage. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

When I left my fulltime job six months ago, I had a plan. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you do anything about it. Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Everyone can sit down and write out a plan, all it is, is pen to paper. Sure, it’s a step, but if you take no action on that plan, then what was the point? Does it just make a pretty picture? The value is seeing your plan through, not just talking about how successful you want to be. For the last six months my friends and family had been telling me “do something about your plan. Just try!” In the back of my mind I knew I needed to, I knew they were right but I still didn’t do anything about it. The truth is, I was, and still am, absolutely terrified. I think the hardest part wasn’t taking the first step, it was admitting why I wasn’t doing anything about it. Telling people you’re scared is hard.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.41.03 PM

I won’t lie and tell you that after I got the ball rolling things were easy, they actually got harder. There is an element of embarrassment that comes with starting over in your late twenties. Putting yourself out there for jobs you are overqualified for or to be an intern is difficult, it makes you very vulnerable. Think about when you get rejected for your dream job, it sucks, but at least you tried; now think about when you get rejected for a job you are 100% perfect for, it’s annoying. Now, envision you get rejected for an internship when you’ve been in the workforce for ten years and have loads of experience…what is that, if not embarrassing?

It’s also hard to follow your dream when you’re a grown-up because you still need to earn money, somewhat. I’m lucky that I’m not flipping burgers or ringing items up at Target, I have a part-time jobs that’s in line with my career path but, once again, I’m being bossed around by managers younger than me, or often asked if “I’m in school” or “if this is my summer job”. No, I’m an adult. In fact, I’m so adult that the majority of my friends are either, married, have kids, or a mortgage, or all three! I don’t remember the last time I was out past 11pm and my favorite thing to do is watch movies with my cat. Ask me again if I’m “old enough to drink”, I dare you.

I’m not saying all these things because I want to stifle anyone’s ambitions. I’m saying them because I am confident there are other people out there who are starting over in their twenties and they are going through exactly this. When you’re tired, or confused, or don’t know which step to take next, remember that if not now, then when? One of my friends said something encouraging to me recently; I was telling her, over lunch, how hard this was, what bad timing it was with my wedding and all, and she just sat their with this huge smile on her face as I poured my heart out all over my salad. Then she said to me, “I think this is the perfect time.” It wasn’t much, but she brought a different outlook to the situation. There are people out there who reinvent themselves at 50. It might feel like we’re in a pressure cooker, like we have to make smart choices right now, right this second, because we want to have a nice life in three-five years, but take a step back and look around – people with three kids change careers, people who are forty-five go back to school, if it means having a happier life or following your dream you should do it, you will figure out how to conquer the obstacles later, and you will conquer them.

If starting over when you’re a little older has one advantage it’s that you have been through the ringer once before, you know how to handle life and you’re less flustered when things hit you. The last time you did this you were probably in college or simply younger and you were naive, you thought you’d get a dream job and have a penthouse apartment by the time you were thirty. Now, you know what life is, and how it works and you can handle it, even if you think you can’t. You can.

Just remember, if other people can do it, then you can. You can.

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