In the brief time I’ve inhabited this big blue planet, I’ve learned one simple truth:
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Sometimes that can feel impossible to endorse. I’ve learned to laugh at myself, a lot. Instead of retreating from changes and chances, I propose the universe with “Is that all you got?” when the sky starts falling around my feet. (I keep an umbrella close by these days.)
I ask, what am I supposed to be learning right now?
Is it patience? Is it gratitude?
I’d say it’s a fusion, with a splash of fate.
Each day is brimming with the ebb and flow situational circumstances and how I choose to react. Some of my most rewarding lessons have been the ones that challenged my expectations.
For example, I was really hung up on becoming a bartender for a while. I’ve been in the service industry for years and am very close to finishing school. I thought bartending would make me happier. I loved the science behind making a great cocktail. I learned to flip the flaring bottles and free pour. I learned go-to shots and came up with my own concoctions. On the contrary, it wasn’t what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I got really good at it. I was fast, diligent and it was fun. But I hated the back breaking work. I was always covered in bruises and nursing sore shoulders and wrists. I hated cutting my hands open every night on small shards of glass and scrubbing the floors. I hated getting off at 2 or 3 or 4 am. I hated filling and pouring endless buckets of ice. I hated dealing with demanding drunks. I’d wait all day to go to work and felt like I never had any free time. I felt the life leaving my body; my soul was being drained. I wasn’t focusing on school or my goals. There I was with a bunch of money, burning a hole in my pocket, with no time to spend it and no energy to enjoy it.
I felt sidelined from my own life.
I decided to try a breakfast serving job. I thought, why am I working so hard and so late, when I could completely change my approach? I recently moved to a new part of town and walked into a few restauaunts to drop off resumes. I didn’t even know if the breakfast joint was hiring, but I stopped in to show my face. A few weeks later, I had my first shift. Not only did this give me nights off, but it completely changed my daily schedule. I was forced into becoming a morning person. I’d worked nights for 7 years of my life; scared didn’t even begin to cover it.
To my own surprise, I don’t hate it; I like it. My body clock is now regulated; my sleep at night is deeper and longer. This simple change has helped me combat old habits of drinking regularly and has helped me prioritize my well being. My general outlook on life is more optimistic. I’m not overextending myself or sleep deprived. Of course there are days where getting out of bed feels like pulling a bucket of rocks out of a well; but it still trumps the alternative. The fast pace of working in a morning setting suits me. Once I’m up, I’m ready to be my best self. None of this is to say one job is better than the other; one simply makes me a happier human.
So what’s my point?
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I never would’ve experienced this new found contentment if I had never stepped away from working late nights. Leaving my comfort zone of working with the same people and in the same setting, altered my perception of how to work smarter. At first I wasn’t great at this change. Then I decided, I can either fail at this or I can totally embrace it. I thought, if I embrace waking up early and learning new things then I won’t fail at this.
I’m my best self in the fast pace, I make more money and I have more time for myself outside of work. I try to embrace changes in every aspect of my life now. Each chance I take, allows something else to happen in my life. When everything was always easy and comfortable, I became unappreciative and stagnant.
Life tests us to push us. Our character is revealed through the changes that occupy our lives. When we react positively, our vibrant energy grows like wildflowers. When we react negatively, our stagnant energy spreads like weeds. Sometimes I’m very disinclined to react positively; it’s not always my first or most natural response. Sometimes I react negatively. But when I hold onto bad situations it knots up an anger in my throat and a heavy sense of powerlessness in my heart. Those times remind me to alter my perception and try to learn something. Because the truth is that even in the most defeating circumstances, we are never totally powerless;
We are exactly where we are supposed to be.