“Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough.” -Anonymous
“Recognize that the world can be a shade of ugly so shallow that ugliness seems to be the only rational response, but dare to be beautiful anyway.” -Jeff Buckley
Sometimes in life, we do things to get by. This post will be about self-reflection and how I feel about the way things are. Some things don’t register in your mind until you take a lot of time to really know yourself and what you want in this life. So last weekend was the last time I went to my job of 3 years and 7 months. I worked in retail and while I will be talking about why I wanted to do this, I won’t disclose what store I worked for in respect to the company and for others. I was in this job since I was 18, in fact, it was my second job ever. I liked the work at first, I didn’t think it was bad at all until I realized patterns of repetition and how I started realizing what my values were. I just didn’t feel like I was progressing myself from all the times I worked there even while I was just concentrating in my studies; I wanted to make money on the side as a newer college student. I especially wanted to have money to do my travels and to enjoy the leisure of life and to provide for what I needed. However, I finally confronted myself. I was questioning more and more into my future not too long ago.
Retail might not be a bad job for others at all and it might work out for them and it wasn’t entirely bad to me but there were things that made me feel like I didn’t have a choice. I was afraid to leave my job because I had this idea in my head, we have to work in able to get by so I limited myself to this job. I was in a plateau and I just didn’t know where I would go and I also thought it was easy, so why not stick around? Sometimes easy can turn to boring eventually and I got bored from standing behind the jewelry counter or moving around to fix people’s messes, when I knew in my heart that I could be doing something productive and something that actually feeds my soul. I thought since I’m going to college, what was I really doing to make use of my degree or improving myself as a learner?
One of the biggest reasons why I left too was because I experienced such rude experiences from customer service, which comes with any retail related job and being in close contact with anyone. I’m a very kind person who cares about the transactions and interactions because that’s one of the most important things when making sales and in general but I felt like it was making me feel incompetent and I was gaining anxiety that I didn’t need, even when I tried so hard to ignore these situations. Sometimes, there were really kind customers that I were able to meet and hear their interesting stories and I loved that part of the job sometimes. In shorter terms, I felt tired acting fake to meet the demands of the little but serious needs of others; it takes energy to do that. I guess what I got out of that experience the most was that I was able to meet all different kinds of people and had a feel for what it’s like working with a handful of diversities. It certainly helped me to be a better communicator and listener than I already was.
Another reason of leaving is that I explained here before that I was trying to go after a minimal lifestyle. Working in retail doesn’t help with that. When I first worked in this job at the beginning at 18, I was so excited to spend my paychecks on buying materials that gave me a temporary sense of happiness. I wish I had saved most of it since I started but unfortunately, the practice of giving out on that false happiness was harder than I thought. Now, my mind is clearer than ever and I believe we all don’t have to feed into this consumerist society.
I’m not trying to discourage any one from getting a retail job and trying it out for themselves but I do want to warn you to think about if staying there longer than you need to is absolutely necessary. Don’t believe in limiting yourself, especially when we are young, we don’t know what to do and we still don’t get a grasp of the real world. There are hundreds of things you can work for; most of my friends I know have worked numerous jobs within 3 years, which is great because they got to explore what works for them and what didn’t. I worked an internship months ago and worked jobs related to my old school and other small jobs in between but I saw myself constantly returning to retail at the end of those experiences. It was a learning experience and most people will go through that at one point like I have… but now I really wanted to focus on moving on and pursuing things that actually meant there was a future I can be positive about. So the question is now, since this was my only job, what I was going to do next?
Since my luck of finding another internship hasn’t been going successful or finding a better job for myself, which I understand, because the job market can be hard at times, I knew something was there for me somehow. You can tell that I’m very attached to my internet presence from here to my social media but the crazy part is I’ve been attached since I was young as 5 years old. I was a huge virtual gamer, almost doing it from morning to night role playing, and from there, I started teaching myself how to do other various internet activities that involved experimenting with making graphics, making videos, and learning coding and web design. I didn’t realize that those things can make you become a digital nomad and here I am. Having this blog was just a step forward I needed to make and to make me be in realizations with myself. I knew I had the skills but I didn’t know that you could work with those skills. I felt like for years since getting out of high school, I wanted to live a normal life and be present with real life, without always being on the internet for hours a day but now I realized that there can be a balance between both. So what I am doing now to pursue something I enjoy more and that pushes me to use my creative mind more is that I am freelancing in marketing and web design/development. I also feel like that this can be an introduction for me related to what I am studying in college (Strategic Communications and Public Relations, minoring in Digital Communication and Information Media) and I hope that this will also inspire me to be better in networking.
So please, whether you’re young or old, don’t ever give up finding a way to doing something that makes you happy or in peace with yourself. If you believe there aren’t opportunities there for you, you can create your own opportunities. Whether if this work is temporary or something I can end up doing longer than I expected, I know that it will give me some needed security. It’s a good feeling when you know what you want to do and have a game plan on how to get to it. If you ever feel like you’ll be going on “your path to the unknown”, I wish you all the luck and I hope you treat this life as good as life can sometimes treat you.