motivational monday: eureka!

Monday, March 05, 2012

The other night/morning, around 4am, whilst in the middle of a brain numbing marathon of TV, it hit me. I can fix everyone else's problems, talk it through with them, will help them out no matter how long it takes, & am an idealistic cheerleader while doing it. Suddenly the 1 sentence that had been upsetting me finally made sense. That's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to help other people (corny but true!).

All of the stuff I was doing for advertising was not satisfying me because it didn't matter, most of all, to me. I would sit there, everyday, picking apart what I didn't like about it, but overall, I think it was because I didn't unconditionally love it. To me, being passionate about something means that you can be put into a room with the crappiest entry level job doing god knows what, sit there with a smile & go "I love this" & truly mean it (at least when you're first starting out). Being passionate is imagining yourself, truly and honestly, being 50 and still being happy. The fantastic idealism I had seen in my good friends and boyfriend while engulfed in their classes or internships finally made sense-- especially to why I was lacking it. Despite the fact that I adored my internship-- the great people, the fun environment, the city life, everything-- the work just wasn't what fulfilling to me (& not only because I was an intern).

But helping others does that for me. Being there to understand why and helping to make it better is, and has always been, a part of who I am, despite how, sometimes, I hate being so good at it. People come to me for it. A lot. And, ya know what, I truly love it. I yearn to understand what makes people tick, why they think certain ways, why they've gone off the deep end-- in whatever fashion. I wanted to be there for someone, to help put them back together Humpty Dumpty style. To help them be able to have a great life that they deserve. To help someone going through depression or schizophrenia or paranoia or dementia and be a part of the work toward a normal life (that clearly isn't psychology as a whole, but you get my drift!). & I didn't care if it was with kids, the elderly, my Aunt Sally twice removed.

& like a ton of bricks, there it was: my light bulb moment. The moment that literally took me 4 years to get to but has been staring me in the face the whole time. Suddenly my rushing to get everything done & feeling overwhelmed stopped. The calm literally set in the second I said it out loud (I really, cornily, did). And I didn't care if it would take me 3 years or 7 years, I actually felt that it's right and worth it & no matter what, at the end of the day, I would be fulfilled doing it. And that's the idealism I've been lacking, isn't it? Right there, coming out of my mouth at 4am. The anxiety dissipating from the tips of my fingers.
I won't lie, I fought against fighting asleep--was this euphoric feeling going to last? Did the war going on in my brain finally end?

The next morning I awoke feeling nervous but so excited-- should I tell anyone? Can I do this? Would it even be possible at this point? I was 4 classes away from a Bachelor's in Psychology (I initially started out with the intention of becoming a Psych major)-- would I have to stay another semester? Would I be allowed into the program otherwise? My head was spinning but at the same time that sense of calm didn't shake. That feeling of "THAT'S IT!" didn't waver. The fog, somehow, someway, cleared & I saw the path. It wasn't a dead end, it was a map on the wall, I just couldn't see it because I was so darn close! But, was I too late?-- now that was something else entirely.

So I went to go see the head of the Psychology department at my college to talk with him about everything-- where do I go from here? Is it doable with my degree, etc. & do you know what he told me? That, as far as my major went, all of them in the department, at one time, wanted to be writers and grand other things. That it's doable. That I can jump right into the Graduate program in the Fall. & that I may even be able to get a scholarship in the process because of my high GPA. That he will recommend be because my Psychology minor is prerequisite enough for the program. & even gave me a play-by-play of the battle plan. & told me that I should go toward a Ph, D. program because I could do it. Can you believe that? An ego boost and a helping hand all in one morning! Someone who actually believed I can do it. Who told me I could do it, in more than one way.

I've never in a million years felt so happy. If I weren't wearing high shoes & it weren't raining I would have jumped up & down until I couldn't anymore. I, til this second, want to cry my eyes out like a baby. Nothing can beat a eureka moment. That feeling that you are back on track-- and one that feels right. I, literally, spent the rest of the 12 hour day at school on top of the world (even though I was overtired & on the beginning of a huge cold). &, I won't lie, I still am!

If I've learned anything from this roller coaster ride it's that you should never ever, ever settle. Try everything & if you don't go back to what you love, go toward what you do. And if you think you love it & find out you don't, even if you are like me, 3 months away from graduation, go after that happiness.- that dream you can see yourself living at 50 & still loving. And truly know that money is worth less than happiness. I don't care if you are a lawyer on 5th Avenue dating a supermodel & making millions-- if you are miserable the entire time, if you are not entirely passionate about what you are doing, it will be worth nothing! You will feel old and gray on the inside years before your time. Your amazing, talented life will be wasted on something that would have benefited someone else! So far I've been on 5th in a law office & a stone's throw away from Madison Avenue in an ad agency-- the big leagues! & it in no way made me any happier.

For me, I think that somewhere along the way my instincts got blurred and skewed when I looked at what made other people happy. If you ever meet someone who is happy in their job it isn't just because of the job itself, it is because they are genuinely interested and curious in it entirely-- the subject matter, the daily tasks, the "what's next." & if you are sitting at your desk & only looking forward to the second the clock turns 6pm, you aren't in the right profession & are wasting your talent. The second you don't question yourself is the moment where you know it's right. The second that you realize that it can take years-- decades even, to accomplish something & say "I don't give a damn" - you know you're on the path to something right for you.

It may take longer than you'd expected but you will have your moment... even if it is out of nowhere at 4 o' clock in the morning :)

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