Get ready ya’ll and pull up a chair…this is a DOOZY!!
Ok, so I promised this series a month or so ago and thanks to a rained out baseball game tonight, I finally feel like I can give the proper time and attention to write this first installment. As you recall, the start of this series is on “How to find out who YOU are”.
Here’s the caveat – legal mumble jumble part – sorry!
Let me begin by saying that in no way, shape, or form am I anything except an ‘average Jill’. I have no degree in psychiatry, sociology, or social services. The degrees I have are in business and I’m a recent graduate at 40 years old. So, no…before you ask. I am not educationally qualified to give advice or determine what is right or wrong in your life. What I am is a very observant and logical woman (armed with a blog!). I may not have the best “book sense” in the world, or even close, but the internal and natural talent I’ve been given is reading people and situations in order to find the best path and how to turn the situation around. I don’t always rely on my talent, especially in an environment where there are others who openly analyze and share opinions. Most of the time I disagree with them anyway, so no point in trying to figure out who is right. Instead, I choose to use my talent here, in this blog, amongst friends. Because after all, this is a place where opinions count.
Also, I’d like to remind you to have an open mind and hear me out. I aim to help you. What I say, guess, speculate, or contemplate will be wrong for some people, but if you come into this thinking that is automatically you, you may as well move on. What I do promise you is to try and give the best ideas and advice I can as an average woman who has made so very many mistakes that it is only in my gratification of a great life that I hope to help you avoid them. No pressure.
And by God, spread the word because I honestly believe America has lost focus on the average Joe’s and Jill’s. People do need to hear our perspective. Politicians claim to be leaders for the public opinion, but more times than not they are playing the money game and touting the few lines that they believe will sway that particular portion of the vote. And unfortunately, it tends to work. I’m one American who is fed up with the game and wish I could elect someone in my neighborhood or from the office that has the average citizen logic we need in a President and representing us in Congress. And by the way, I have no beef with our current President. While he’s in office, he’s our Commander-in-Chief and as an Army brat, I was taught to respect the person who holds that position. He has my support and my respect, just as every President before him has during my lifetime. But as a voter I will determine in November if I’m going to vote for him or his opponent. As I’ve said before on other topics…that’s for another day and another blog!
Future installments will not hold the caveats listed above, but as a reminder I will probably reference this post. Now…let’s get to it.
The LIFE Series…Finding a better YOU! Installment #1 – How to find out who YOU are…
Here are the topics we are going to cover in this series. I will attempt one a week, but no pinky swears on this one. I find my brain functions better in the early morning hours, but unfortunately, I don’t have many of those available to bond with the blank sheet of paper. So, like everything else in my life, I will do the best I can.
- How to find out who YOU are
- How to rid your life of NEGATIVITY
- How to sift through the FRIENDS that are true…from the ones who are not
- How to get that CAREER you’ve been dreaming about
- How to get that EDUCATION you always wanted
- How to have and enjoy your FAMILY
- How to figure out LIFE (teenagers, too many decisions, too little time?)
- How to re-make your HOME into your favorite place to be
- How to work on your FINANCIAL situation
- How to get a better YOU
Installment #1 … “How to find out who YOU are”…
Well, I’ll be honest. I came up with this very first topic because of teenagers today. I probably need both hands and at least one foot to count the number of teenagers I’ve heard in the last few years stress about “trying to find themselves”. I’ve got two words for you teenagers – STOP IT! (And yes, I said that in my most authoritative Mommy voice.) It is nonsense and quite frankly, I view it as a cop out.
I’ve heard this line being used to break up with people, skip college, avoid work, and last but not least, avoid family. Listen…I don’t know any other way to say this but, I am STILL trying to find out the extent of who I am. I promise you that you will not wake up one morning and go “Oh…well, hey…looky there…I’m a Jewish Rabbi”…some of you may, and that’s more than okay, but my point is the real you will not jump out of a closet and attack you. The real you will constantly evolve throughout the course of your entire lifetime. I promise.
Finding yourself is a very challenging task. Some people may come into the world with a predefined sense of self. Good for them (seriously). I’ve known people who knew they wanted to become doctors at the age of five, or lawyers when they were twelve. That’s awesome, but that’s what they do, not who they are. They will continue to develop their personality and traits throughout their lifetimes, as well, they just happened to have figured out one portion very early on. Not me. I still am not sure what I want to be and am hoping for fifty or more years on earth. That is a lot of time to decide, so I’m really not in a rush. I also believe the way of the world is different now. It’s not like it was for my parents and grandparents. Back when my grandparents were fresh out of school that was it. You were supposed to go get a career in your field of study and keep that employment until retirement. Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to stay with one company a lifetime. I am currently in a career that I really love…will I stay in that one? Maybe. Maybe not. Why do I have to decide that now? The answer is I don’t and neither do you.
The key to “finding” yourself is to analyze yourself. Put away the phones, iPods, iPads, and get away from the televisions. Go for a walk, a hike, sit in your room, or your backyard. Go wherever you can to get peace and quiet and make sure you get a good amount of quality time all by yourself. A half an hour would be great, fifteen minutes will do. Take as many days as you can.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want?
- What do I like?
- What’s standing in my way?
- How can I overcome?
These questions are more difficult to answer than it will seem. Defining what it is you want out of life can be answered in many different ways. So many ways that you should start with smaller goals and then end it with the most important:
- What do I want career wise?
- What do I want family wise?
- What will make me the happiest?
- What do I want out of life?
The one bad thing about technology is that people no longer have time to just think. I’m not sure teenagers know how to be alone with their thoughts, but it has to happen. If you go on following whatever path is laid in front of you, it is absolutely WRONG and chances are you’ll end up in a career, family, and life situation that you’ll find out much too late is not what YOU want.
But you have to know what the “it” is before you can determine, and therefore create, the path you want to take. And listen to me carefully on this point…YOU CAN BE WRONG. That’s right. Everyone is wrong in some respect every single day of their lives. Whether it is a big wrong or a little one is what makes the difference between those living and those loving life.
And we don’t start out trying to be wrong. We discover it as we go and therefore, continue to tweak until death do us part. When you analyze your wants, needs, and thoughts and get the best answers to the questions above, that is what they are…the best possible answers at that time in your life. Can they change? ABSOLUTELY! And probably should. Here’s the thing…and I tell my college kids this all the time…quit pressuring yourself to think you have to decide it all right freakin’ now! Yes, there are pressures from parents (because they love you), teachers (because they guide you), and peers (because they don’t want to fail you) to decide about school, boyfriends/girlfriends, best friends, sports, academics, colleges, majors, careers, scholarships. There’s no question in my mind that every generation has it a little harder than the generation before, but this time in your life doesn’t have to define you. You will define everything yourself…just give it a lot of thought and time.
And when you figure it out, go give it a try. If it doesn’t pan out, that’s okay. Look at it like it’s just one more thing to strike off the list. You thought you wanted to be a doctor and found out you can’t stand the sight of blood? Oh well, turn the interest into something bigger…you thought you wanted to be a labor and delivery doctor, turns out you really wanted to open your very own daycare? Dug a little deeper and found out your love is for children, not newborns? Use it. Use everything you learn and add it all up. You’ll figure out what it is you want. I promise.
I can talk about this all day long. Once I had to give a three minute motivation speech to fellow students in a week long class. Nine minutes later I was apologizing for cutting off the question and answer session, but was pretty sure I had failed the assignment and had to go. I didn’t actually fail, but I didn’t really care if I had. My fellow classmates and I had a ball during that nine minutes and three people told me afterwards something I had said triggered an interest they’d been contemplating for YEARS and there were now going to give it a shot. From a nine minute speech?? You just never know how you can affect people. My point here is to listen to those around you. Someone may say something or introduce you to someone who can alter your path in a way that makes you happiest. People usually choose a career they are predisposed to…laborers create laborers, teachers create teachers, etc. Not always, but it is probably more common than you think. It’s called a comfort zone. Find yours!
Now, the hardest part of this post is for the adults trying to find their way in life. The best advice I can give you is the same I give the teenagers. Be alone with your thoughts. What is it you want? Define what will make you believe to be happiness and then figure out why you don’t have that. Believe me…that’s the hardest part for you all. Do not think about what would make everyone around you happy, this is about you. I remember being in a job interview, I believe I was barely 20 years old and the twins were somewhere around six months old. And I was given “that” question…where do you want to be in five years? I really do hate that question. All I could think at the time was that I wanted to feed my two tiny babies. Who can worry about five years from now when I don’t know how I’ll make it through the next five days??
But without knowing where I wanted to be in five years, I was letting conditions and problems set my path. Yes, sometimes we do have to take what we can to make it, but in the meantime we should be planning the next phase of our lives. You don’t have to know exactly the career you want…if you don’t know yet, try finding the jobs that will be in areas that you think you might be interested in. You may think you are locked into a set path or career for the money or whatever the reasons, but you’re not. Try to see and think past the hardships. If you can afford to, volunteer a couple hours a week in an area you think you may enjoy. Love books? Try the local library. Love animals? The local vet clinic may be a great place for a volunteer. If you can’t afford to volunteer a few hours, try searching the internet (again library?) for information or free classes. Everything is possible once you realize your passion for it.
We can talk more about this topic someday if you all would like…we can even have a Q&A session if you want, but in the meantime feel free to comment, leave a question, or let us all know how you were successful in finding yourself or helping someone else succeed! I’d love to read about it!
In the meantime, I’ll get started on the next installment “How to rid your life of NEGATIVITY”, and happy bloggin’ to you all.
Shocking. That’s all I could think when I heard Whitney Houston died today at the young age of 48. We all seem to have the same reaction…what in the world happened? Yes, Whitney had gone through some troubled times a few years ago, before divorcing Bobby Brown, but wasn’t she recovering well? Didn’t she successfully complete rehab? Wasn’t her career comeback planned and on the road to success? And although at the top of the discussions tonight, these are all questions that honestly, really don’t matter.
What matters, and what I’d like to request of everyone, is to remember that Whitney is leaving a daughter behind. I believe Bobbi Kristina will be 19 years old in just a few weeks and has already been the topic of drug and alcohol rumors. I’m praying that’s not true and I’m praying for this young woman to have the strength to get through what must be the most devestating loss of her life.
Not only am I’m remembering Bobbi, but I’m choosing to remember Whitney for her sensational, absolutely beautiful, and amazing talent. I remember hearing Whitney for the first time and wondering how in the world could anyone sound like that? And not only was her voice angelic, but she was gorgeous! Anyone remember the movie “Bodyguard”?? Wow.
I’m sad for all of us. Whitney, Bobbi, all their family and friends…but I’m sad for us, too. No matter what would have happened, whether Whitney would have ever reached the level she previously held, we’ve lost a truly magnificent talent today.
RIP Whitney…We will “always love you”…