A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being successful and my own personal meaning about it. In summary I thought:
Success is doing something you enjoy, being happy and able to make it.
Whether you are working and doing something completely different then your major in college…
Whether you are taking care of your child and enjoying it…
Whether you are taking risks and making personal changes…
Whether you are doing something you swore you would never do…
I hinted last week that I didn’t need material items right now to make me feel happy or successful. I do crave the support of friends and family-both of which I have. I can honestly say I have the absolute best friends in the entire world. It is a great feeling to say that both my family and friends would do anything for me and I would do anything for them.
I haven’t always had this mindset though. In college and even after, I had the mindset to always bite off more than I could chew. I wanted to be the best at multiple things. I would rather be a jack of all trades versus specialize in one or two different ideas.
I’ve been asked a lot about the comparison trap and how I stay content with being myself. I’m not the world’s best blogger, I’m not the fastest runner, I’m still actively seeking a job and yet I feel happy and content with my life-despite it not being everything I had hoped for post college.
I think about how I desperately needed two solid months off of running after the marathon. I watch as countless runners and bloggers can do shake out runs the day after or even the week after. I was barely able to move for two weeks after let alone get into serious running. I needed far more time to both physically and mentally recover from the marathon.
In college you are given an image that you feel you should strive to be. Post college you should be applying for jobs and be hired within a couple of months for a job full time with benefits. As far as your social life, you keep good friendships with your college friends. Your college sweetheart and you get married a few months after graduation. You make good friends with your new found coworkers as well as people with similar interests outside of work.
Then within a couple of years you have saved enough to put a down payment on a house. Now you’re set? Right? You have a perfect job, perfect spouse, house and perhaps a couple of pets. (Lord knows I’m not a pet person).
So here you are at the ripe age of 25 living the dream. Or at least that was the impression that my college gave me.
I’m only 23 so I guess I have a few years to go. I can guarantee you that probably none of that will be my life at 25. I hope to have a job, I know I won’t be putting a down payment on a house and I know I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll have pets.
I do know one thing-that I’ll be content with myself. I’ll be happy if I am working, enjoying my life and enjoying the process that is life. I think the more I think about this topic, the more I realize that there is no single measurement for happiness. My life is nothing as I thought post college. My life is nothing as I thought it would be six months ago…and you know what?
I’m okay with that. I’m enjoying each stride.
Finally, don’t forget to vote friends! I’m starting to catch up! 🙂
Dude, I know. Everyone seems to have life nailed down when I’m still working on all the major things at age 28. Got the husband, but everything else is still a work in progress. Yet, I think I’m happier with where I am than most of the people I know who have all the things you’re supposed to want. Definitely on my own schedule over here but I’m happy with my life every day so there’s not much more you can ask for.
Hollie I’m glad that you realize that life is not cookie cutter. You are so young and so much can change. I was like you at one point. Its hard to compare your life to others but it does get better as you age. I got married very very young. We have been married for 18 years! I went to college after marriage. Thought I would have kids by the time I was 30. Built our dream home. Lost a baby and now we are childfree. I am finishing up my master’s degree this May. Woot! It is so hard to not compare your life to others especially in your twenties. You are a very smart and focused young lady and you should be proud of yourself! I’m proud of you and I just met you. I was injured recently and you know how sucky it is to not run when injured. You watch all your friends post about running. You know the story. After pouting for a few weeks, I realize there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m looking at it as a time of spending time with family and doing other things that I wouldn’t usually do if I were able to run right now. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. An occasional Lulu purchase is Ok though. 😉
Was just wondering if I gave too much info in my above comment. Its still awaiting moderation. I will try to keep it short next time. New to this blog.
Oh no of course not Hilary! I’ve just been on the road all day! I’ll fix it now 🙂
Wow! I cannot even imagine. After college I had no idea what I wanted to do and spent a year working up north! Since August I’ve been essentially running around with my head cut off! I’m glad to have settled down in NJ though!
Congrats on 18 years! That is great 🙂
I am in the same boat!!! I am searching for jobs and never did I think that I would be looking in a completely different field than what I got my undergrad and graduate degree in…but I am lookng for happiness in the work place…even if I have to switch fields and continue to pay for my student loans from my “old field”…accepting that I may have made a mistake in choosing a major and moving forward.
It makes me feel a bit better. I honestly think that the process of the major is also so important. I changed majors my senior year of college but I will never regret the courses I took beforehand because I learned so much about myself during that time.
Let me just say, I’m going to be 25 this year and if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there is no timeline for that stuff. If you think about where you “should be” versus where you are, you are only going to feel disappointed. I can’t predict what will happen to me over the next year, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am still SO young and don’t need to have it all figured out by 25. I have a feeling everything will work itself out, as long as I am honest with myself about what I want!
As long as you’re happy, you already are living the dream! I love my job and right now things are great. Living the dream it is 🙂
Thanks for the great info! In addition to what you mention here, another definition of success I read is living by you values. Even if you don’t hit all of your goals, you are still successful if you consistently live by what you believe in and stand for 🙂
I agree with that completely! Living by your values and morals is so important!
I thought I had life nailed down but here I am at 32 restarting my life. For the most part, I’m ok with that. Just roll with the punches, girl 🙂
Thank you for that advice!
I love this. Katie from Peace, Love and Oats wrote a similar post today also, and it makes me feel better knowing that others can relate. Life never goes as we expect it to,and that’s okay. We have to try to make the best of it, and it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing!
I so understand what you are talking about – and then I found myself at 30, in college again, no job, poor as dirt, and happy! We have to make our own paths and do what makes us happy – not what anyone else (even our former selves) says should!
Out of curiosity, what type of job are you looking for? I used to be a professional career services person, can I help (look at your résumé, send it to any contacts?)
I’ll send you an email tonight Laura, you are awesome!
Of course! Anything I can do!
I think college neglects to really prepare people for the ‘real’ world. Lots of book smart stuff, but not real life stuff – how to balance your bank account, how to not take out massive school loans so the government owns you upon graduation, how to get affordable health care, etc, etc. Nor do I think anyone truly has life ‘nailed’ down. It’s a crap shoot no matter which way you go. Just keep chugging I suppose…
I 100% agree! I wish I had known that beforehand LOL. I don’t regret any of my life choices though and I think that is so important.
It is pretty nuts how much your change in the first 5 years out of college. I am now 4 years out and REALLY excited for a job that I start next week. I am no longer entry level – I am mid! CRAZY. I think you will surprised how much changes for you in the next 2 – 3 years. You have a good head on your shoulders and I think you are going to do just fine. My only piece of advice is you MUST be your biggest advocate in the workplace. In the end you are the only one looking out for your career. Make the big moves and take the risks now before you have a family you need to be responsible for.
I agree! After college has been the most whirlwind of an experience I’ve ever had.
I had everything planned out to a T up until two months ago. I would be married by 26, enjoy marriage for 2 years then start a family, be done by 32. Well it’s safe to say that none of that will happen–and I’m okay with it.
life is so much more enjoyable letting it happen on it’s own.
ps. i wish we could vote more than once a day–you’d be killing it even more then!
You are awesome. You inspire me so much.
I just wanted to tell you that a lot of bloggers “talk a lot, but say very little” – you are not one of them. You can tell that you put a lot of thought into your posts and want to make a point with your readers, not just “blog for the sake of it”. Thank you for that 🙂
Love this so much. As someone who gave up “living the dream”… My great apartment, cushy job, big city living to move back to my hometown I embrace everything you’re saying. I’m almost 30 and always thought I’d be married/kids/great job, but my version of success and what I want has changed so much that my life right here right now is exactly what I wanr
I never thought I’d be working in the career I’m in or living in this city, but I’m glad I am. In fact, I didn’t want to do tech writing AT ALL in college. My dream was to write for a newspaper. I’m so much happier and better off financially with this, and sometimes things just work out like they should. Keep the faith and do what you can. Good things come together for those who work for it, but it takes time. It relates to running too, sometimes there are bad days and bad races, but after training hard, success DOES come 🙂
and this is the best way to be. 🙂 honestly, something I struggle with daily but this is a great reminder to just be.
You have learned very young what it takes most people years to learn, and I would bet some never do, which makes me sad for them. It took me till last year to reach a similar place, and I know there are some areas where I still need to make peace and let things go, but I also know I’ll get there.
I truly hope you are able to make that peace!
Whether you realise it or not, this post puts you in very vulnerable yet admirable light- and it’s something to be proud of. While being a jack of all trades may be seen as appealing, and the end of the day, you don’t want to be worn out before you hit the big 2-5. Go with the flow- the contrast between university and the outside world while can be so similar- is so so different.
I think it took me a long time to realize that my happiness was not measured by the perfect house, perfect clothes/hair etc. Once I realized that, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. So glad you are beating to your own drum and are happy 🙂
Giiirrrll, this part “My life is nothing as I thought it would be six months ago…and you know what? I’m okay with that. I’m enjoying each stride.” I say this to myself almost every day. Except for the 6 months part, it’s more like 3 or 4 years. Right now, where I’m at in life is SO not where I intended to be. However, it is EXACTLY where I never knew I wanted to be. I may have thought I was taking the wrong road on the way here, but I ended up in the perfect spot.
I’m one of the rare people who knew exactly which major I wanted to pursue in college–and never changed my mind. After graduation, though, my “path” became less clear. I tried doing a job that I was “supposed to do” with my major and absolutely hated it. That was a scary realization. But now, I know there’s no right or wrong path; I’m simply making my own–and you are too.
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