Last week, my aunt turned 70, and was celebrating big this weekend. Almost everybody came - my parents and grandmother, my brother and his wife, my cousin (her eldest daughter) and her husband from Suriname, her younger sister living in the city we celebrated in with her family, my youngest cousin and his girlfriend from Berlin, and friends she kept or made along the way... The only one missing was my youngest cousin, but there's a story behind her not coming, which I only know bits and pieces of...
I felt kinda torn about being there. It was a long and expensive drive, and there are issues between me and my closest family that I'm not entirely ready to deal with. But surprisingly, neither my parents nor my grandmother, not even my brother brought anything up. It was my sister-in-law who said something to me.
That night, I thought I wasn't mad at her for saying what she did, but looking back I know that's not true.
We were talking a while, about different things, and I mentioned that I was looking for a job again because Lidl let me go. And she immediately asked why and told me she was worried about me. A few months ago, I got a huge amount of money from a pension fund my parents had made for me and dissolved so I could study in Switzerland. That money was gone before I came here, and my family keeps on telling me how bad that is. My sister-in-law even told me that they're two people and don't spend that much money in that time, especially considering I was living at home.
Yes, it's bad that I went through a couple of thousand euros in less than half a year. Most of it went to getting my car and license, insurance. And to my trip to the Netherlands. And I did spend too much money on trying to be an independent sales person. It didn't work out, and I've learned from it. I didn't get a return on my investment in it, but I took something out of it.
So I was sitting there, listening to her tell me why she's worried about me. And after telling her why I was let go, she went on to tell me that I should be able to keep a job at Lidl and asked me how I expected to keep a management position if I can't keep a job like that. I did go defensive over that. I just don't see the comparison here. I only worked at Lidl because they gave me a shot, and because I didn't have any other income. I didn't have any fun doing it, and every day I worked there I was counting the minutes until I could take a break or could go home. More than that, it has absolutely nothing to do with what I studied before or what I'm studying now.
But according to her, no job is gonna be fun all the time. When she said that, I didn't think much about it. But later I thought "wait a minute, what the monkies? I'm supposed to keep a job that has nothing to do with what I learned or what I wanna do, that's never fun for me? And if I can't keep a job that I don't enjoy, even though it's pretty simple, I won't be able to keep a job in the field I studied?"
Forget about that statement making no sense and being entirely illogical. Isn't that one of the first things we learn in Elfpath? I don't want to get comfortable in a job just because I have it and it pays. I want to do something I enjoy, where I can get up in the morning and be excited about what's ahead. Sure, maybe I'm not far along in my process yet to have fun with my job all the time, I may have bad days. But still, I will do something that I know now will be fun most of the time. And even more than that, I'm a shaper. On my bad days, I will just it more fun, so they will be good days.
A few years ago, I probably would have thought the same thing. But I'm so grateful I could let go of that mentality. Why should I want to do something that's no fun, even if it pays? There is something out there for me that will be exciting and fun and just epically awesome to do, and it will be that 99% of the time without me having to make it fun. And by the time I found it, I will be able to make it 100% fun all the time.
Maybe I even found it already :D
I was also talking to my cousin's girlfriend. She's a music performer and just an amazing person. Years ago, she told me she was working for a cruise ship company in the call center. And they had this deal where, when you worked there for a whole year, you got a cruise for free. But only two weeks before she hit the 1-year mark, she got the chance to go on tour with her music. Now she had the choice to make to either stay and get that cruise or quit and go do what she loves and wanted to do all her life, and see where that path would take her. She chose her dream to do music, and now she is a fully independent artist with her own label.
And I told her how amazing that is, and that I hope to find something like that myself. I mentioned that I want to start my own business, and that I could do it with Marketing and PR, but that I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do only that for the next 50-60 years. She said something similar to what you guys have often told me: you can always change it later. You're not stuck if you chose something today, and you learn in 5 or 10 years that you actually want to do something else. Nobody but yourself is making you do what you're doing. If it's not what you want anymore, just do something else.
She does have some experience with that too. When she doesn't want to be on stage with her music anymore, she wants to open up a fashion store. She even did a test run of one in London, opened it for only a month, and it was a success. She knows exactly what it's going to look like and what it's going to be. And she will do it eventually.
And in a way, i have something similar. I know I want a home office, and I know exactly what it's going to look like. That short conversation got me to telling her something I hadn't even thought about in years. When I was studying in Germany, shortly after my high school graduation, I always kept saying that if I didn't get anywhere with studying social sciences, I was gonna be an interior designer. I had done that for a few friends, and I was good at it, and it was fun.
As Teddy suggested, I will find out what I can do with it. But it's definitely a possible career option for me. A shaper interior designer - sounds awesome to me :D