Updated: May 1, 2020
My employment at a marketing agency as a social media coordinator may not be common knowledge, but my efforts in building a brand and business of my own may very well be. With my blog and YouTube on the side, I find it hard to manage my 9-6 job and also work for my personal brand. I don't earn enough to cover my monthly expenses and every day just seems like a battle to win. As I try to manage driving for Lyft on my off times, I can't help but wonder if this constant mission to survive and pay monthly dues is what life is really about.
I started reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not and boy was I overwhelmed by the amount of information I lacked. I learned that I have no financial literacy and I've been making the worst mistakes as a 23-year-old. It's frustrating to even find a second source of income with something as simple as waitressing, but I can't even get into a coffee shop because I have "no experience." My bachelors degree, four years of retail and marketing experience seems to not be enough to prove I can serve people food and coffee. Although adversity continues getting into my way, I know pushing through these obstacles is what I'm meant to be doing right now. Let's face it, I took the hard route after college. Does it have its rewards? Of course, but as a 23-year-old yearning for self-discovery and adventure, this just isn't the life I want.
I wake up every day with the intention to go to work because I have to pay bills. That's not the way to live and I've realized that's exactly how I've been trained to live. I recently read an article on the Entrepreneur website about Matthew Sweeny, the co-founder, and CEO of Flirtey (the first company to conduct an FAA-approved drone delivery on U.S. soil ), called This Pioneering Entrepreneur Shares Why You Should Study Philosophy Rather Than Business and one of the questions he was asked was "What's the worst piece of advice you ever got?" He responded, "I was told to choose a degree that would be marketable. But I decided not to. I decided to study philosophy instead of commerce because I believed that it would train my mind to be an entrepreneur instead of train myself to be an employee." When I read this my heart sank. I knew at that moment I have been fooled, we all have, our entire lives.
Think about it. From a young age, we are taught to get good grades for the opportunity to get good jobs and continue the cycle. I don't know about you, but whenever I had a crazy idea my parents or peers were quick to shut it down as if I was born to just be educated enough to be confined to work for someone else. I felt robbed of my own abilities. Matthew Sweeny is completely right. The top majors in the country are business and technology related and often philosophy is never encouraged. Why? Because society is afraid of too many leaders. What would this world be like if we all fulfilled our wildest dreams without the fear of judgment or rejection?
We'd probably be much happier and successful.
Although I love my work environment and enjoy being with my coworkers, I do wish I had more time to nurture my business ideas. It's hard to beat yourself up every day for taking a "tough" route after college. I jumped right into being an adult and moved to a different state away from family and friends and that takes a big toll on you. Sometimes I wish I just chose to travel the world and not give myself so much responsibility, but you live and you learn.
What I have come to learn now after listening to numerous TED talks and reading endless amounts of articles and self-help books is that focusing on my problems won't fix them. I'm a big believer in the law of attraction, but it's easier said than done. I try to wake up every morning with an intention for my day. "Today is going to be a good day", I tell myself. "You are strong and it's not too late to steer your path", I continue. But sometimes those words go through one ear and out the other. When I do get negative thoughts I often think of my younger self. Would she be proud of me? "Yes", I answer. So why beat yourself up about it? I think it's because of the notion constantly flowing through our heads, "Because I can do better". Although the feeling of wanting more can be motivating, it can also be destructive because you often forget about all of your accomplishments. Sometimes realizing what you have is enough, is the only way to snap out of the negativity.
All I can say now is that I believe my older self will be so proud of me now. Not only have I built a life for myself but I've overcome one of the most difficult obstacles. Self-Denial. I have been in denial with myself for so long that I'm finally at a stage in my life where I've said: "enough is enough". I'm now embracing my body, sexuality, name, hair, speech and even my mistakes. I've often shut down my sexual needs or curiosities because I'm so scared of my own judgment. Can you believe it?! It's like trapping yourself in a box and telling yourself you can't be sexy or expressive. As I continue to discover myself every day, I'm learning to finally let go of my own judgments and dance naked, whip my hair back and forth and twerk it out when my favorite song comes on. I hope you let go of your judgments too. Besides, would you let someone else talk to you the way you talk to yourself? Hell no!