advice, writing

Being Content in the Journey

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning with the mindset of instantaneous accomplishment.  I will go through the majority of my day, thinking only of the eventual ending point in my career; the ultimate plateau and climax of my success in which I will be the most productive, while also having to work the least amount of hours a day, and make the most money that I ever have.

However, typically by the mid afternoon to early evenings on days like these, I hit a wall.  I realize that this eventual “perfect” life and job time in my life is still very far off an that the reality is me, an undergrad student, working a minimum wage job, and just starting this whole blog thing.  Then, even beyond my current situation, there’s the whole process.  I still have around two and a half to three years left of my undergrad, then comes comes the frantic and seemingly endless job search until I finally end up at a point where I can I’m working in my field.  With this step, I will most likely land my first writing job and begin at an entry level position that may or may not pay great, and most definitely will satisfy my long-term goals of leadership, control, creativity, and decision making in my job.  Nope, it probably won’t be until my second, third, or even fourth job title or position that I will achieve some of these goals, and it may take longer than that.

Once I have realized and thought about all of that, the overwhelming and rather un-settling uncertainty of my future runs through my head and gut, leaving me with not much confidence to match my previous enthusiasm.

So here’s my goal: get to the point where the enthusiasm overruns the doubts and to become content with the journey I am on.  I realize that I am a long way from my eventual goals.  I realize that writing is not the most stable career coming out of college, and I realize that I am going to face rejection, have to work very hard to move up, and continually improve on my skills to be a competitive employee.  At this point, I am letting all of that, and the fact that I still have three years before graduating get the better of me on occasion.  I want to be content with the journey towards my eventual goal, and know that all of it will help me improve and achieve what I want in the end.

I also want to acknowledge that these types of reality checks are healthy.  In order to be successful in a writing career you cannot search for instant gratification, and you cannot ever stop attempting to improve your skills.  In order to excel you must improve, and in order to be happy you must be realistic.  The fact that I am doubting my career is okay, and not a bad thing.

I also tend to think of the time I will spend in college as a waste.  I am so anxious to have a degree, to get a job, and to start fully functioning in my field that I forget to remember that I am in college for a reason.  Is graduating early a money saver?  Yes.  Are all of the classes along the way just required checkpoints that can be forgotten once transcripts are posted?  No.  I need to keep in mind that my college education is preparing my for my later career, and that it is not wasted time.

So, that is my goal right now.  I need to be content with the journey I am on, realizing that I will eventually get where I want to be.  I need to remember that the plan I have is worth it, and not a waste of time.

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10 thoughts on “Being Content in the Journey”

  1. What you really may find, is that the journey truly begins once the jobs are all finished. You will always be preparing. You will always be in a state of “not yet.” Every step, every position, every experience is leading you to the next. There is no waste, especially if you recognize contentment and have gratitude. And you’ll always find that you were where you were supposed to be, even though you didn’t see it at the time. The journey doesn’t end, and it certainly doesn’t end in the material world or with one job, no mater how special that may seem. You’ll want to take the internal journey – that is where the magic is 🙂

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  2. Emily, these words connect so much with my current situation too. I’m also getting through undergrad while working a minimum wage job just to get by, while hoping feverishly for the dream job in my field at some point in the future. It’s really, really tough, as you so eloquently wrote. I wish I had some words of wisdom, or something to make it easier for you, but from being in the same place, all I can say is hang in there. Keep going, keep pushing, keep working hard. I believe in you, and there are many good things to come 😊

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  3. Yeah, I’m no longer sure that full-time writing job and related success is ever going to come. But I still write, because I like writing. I shifted my focus to the enjoyment of it, and living in the little successes that come. Today I started a new short story based on an idea that has been buzzing in my head for a few days. It’s turning out to be a fun little story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that. I’m glad that you still write for your own enjoyment and that you can focus on the small successes. It’s inspiring to hear stuff like that. Good luck with your new story!

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