Finding joy and purpose in your life

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One major thing that’s been on my mind a lot lately has been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’ve been unemployed since I quit my job in April, and have been extremely lazy and bored and miserable since then. I got hired at a music school (which opens Monday!) but even though I was hired, there wasn’t anything to do but wait until we open and I get students registered… I’ve just been watching tv, walking my dog, and sitting on facebook. I had all these things I wanted to do, books I wanted to read, recipes to try, practice my violin, do yoga… and the past few months I’ve been unemployed with nothing to do, and can’t motivate myself to get up and actually do them. It’s so frustrating, like what is wrong with me why won’t I just start being more productive? It’s not that I don’t want to… but I always find an excuse not to do it, like I’ll get up after this episode or do it in a few minutes. I have this book that my dad got me forever ago, called What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles.(not endorsed, yada yada, just think it’s great and sharing the info). When I was substitute teaching a couple years ago, I did a lot of the exercises in the book, but skipped some because they needed a partner. I didn’t have any sort of revelation afterwards though. I’m determined to go back, read the book all the way through, and do the exercises again (hopefully I can get my fiancé on board and do them with me!) It really helps you see what you like and don’t like in jobs, what you’re good at, and what you might want to do with your life. I highly recommend it to anyone that is stuck in a rut like I am, and see if it can’t help you.

 

One reason I’m so determined to do the exercises and get my life back on track is because of a tragedy that recently happened. On Friday, I was on facebook and saw something on my newsfeed that just crushed me. My friend CJ’s status was written by someone else, talking about how much they missed him and would let people know when the memorial was going to be. I scrolled through and saw everyone’s comments and the link to this post about how he died in a traffic accident on Monday. http://clearwater.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/paramedic-who-died-in-clearwater-crash-was-ireland-nugent-first-responder?a_dgi=aolshare_facebook

Maybe it was hormones, or stress from everything this week, but the tears just started rolling and I couldn’t stop. We weren’t super close or anything, and hadn’t talked in quite a while. But CJ was one of those people that just made the world a better place by just being in it. He was always smiling, and you can see that joy in his picture. Everything was beautiful to him, life was worth living, and he worked extremely hard. I can remember the day we hung out at the beach, and it felt like I’d known him forever, and we could just talk about anything without it being awkward. We had such a fun and amazing day, something I had really needed after everything I’d been going through at that time. He was always laughing and smiling, and brought joy to everyone around him. I had no idea that he was one of the first responders to the Ireland girl incident, but the fact that he had to witness something that horrific, deal with things like that on a regular basis and still remain calm and help, and then live everyday with such a positive outlook just amazes me. I want that. I want to be able to be happy in the midst of pain and struggles. I want to live my life so that I impact as many people as CJ did- hundreds of comments and likes on each post, an outpouring of support from so many ppl for his family in their time of loss. I wanted to teach in order to reach kids at their most susceptible age, when their trying to figure out who they are, and the decisions they make impact the direction their life will go. I want to help, and to make a difference. I felt like it was all about paperwork, and grades, and raising other ppl’s kids. I feel like I’m 25 years old, I graduated college 3 years ago, and what have I done since then? What do I have to show? A ton of student debt, part time hourly jobs, and no career or benefits, not even my own place right now. I feel like I’ve slidden so far back that I don’t know how I’ll get back on my own 2 feet. I feel like every day I’m struggling, and things get worse instead of better. I don’t know how to be positive anymore, I’m struggling with trying to forgive, let go of the hurt, and stop trying to control everything. But man is it hard…

 

My fiancé and I were watching The Big Bang Theory the other night (one of our favorite shows), and Penny was having a conversation with Leonard that really hit home with me. (see youtube link below). Previously, Leonard had been really excited about watching Buffy with Penny, and she was just eh about it, even after watching. She talks to Bernadette about it, who gets excited talking about her job. Penny is sad because she sees how passionate they all are about their jobs and other things in life, and she doesn’t have that. I feel the same way, that other ppl care so much about things and get excited, and I’m just like “oh, yeah, that’s cool. That would be good if we got these jobs.” But I’m so afraid they won’t happen, that I don’t get excited because I don’t want to be let down and disappointed. I have/had all these plans for my life- be married by 25, kids by 27, the house with the picket fence and the yard and the dogs, the careers with salary and benefits, cooking dinner every night for my husband, sitting at the table as a family. And I’m 25, unemployed/about to work part time, still in debt, eating fast food on the bed in his parents house watching tv. And it’s awful. But it’s really actually great, and I should be more thankful for what I do have. I have an amazing fiancé who loves me more than I’ve ever felt loved by anyone in my life. He would do anything to take care of me. I have 3 annoyingly loving cats and my dog Wily, who is my baby. His mom and I are finally getting a long again after a horrendous few months. I have a job starting soon that is getting me back into teaching, and allowing me to be around kids, and play my violin again. We have a new car, that we got together on our own. Things are actually good. And I should be more excited about my life, knowing that it can only get better from here, and I have amazing friends that are there for me no matter what, reminding me of that.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSdF7brhSd4

 

So to sum things up: 1. Read the parachute book, and do the exercises with DJ. 2. Be more excited and grateful and positive about my PRESENT life, not just the future. 3. Stop being sad and ruminating over the past. Feel free to share your stories of how you found excitement and joy, or if you’ve tried the book and what you learned. Or if you just have questions or comments. =)

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2 thoughts on “Finding joy and purpose in your life

  1. Crystal D says:

    I totally understand what you’re talking about as far as not getting excited about things that should give you some encouragement. I’ve 100% been there. I find that it’s still very true in certain aspects of my life and not so much in others. But keep your head up, you know what you have, you just have to allow yourself to get excited about what you do have. Don’t guard yourself so hard (I know, easier said than done…) Congrats and good luck with your new job. Really sorry about your friend. And I’ll def be looking into that book. ❤

  2. Lucy says:

    Thanks Crystal! I’ve been trying this week to be more patient when things don’t work out, and more grateful for what I have. It’s like re-training my brain after 25 years lol it’s gonna take a while I’m sure. I feel like if ppl know, then I’ll have some accountability to do these things. We could do the book if you want, I made copies of the worksheets so I wouldn’t write in the book and can reuse them, so i made 3 packets. I’ll keep you posted about the job- I’m a bit nervous lol

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