How Not Getting What You Want Can Be A Blessing

It’s not often I talk about how hard work and determination doesn’t always pay off. Confused? Bear with me. Although I make a daily conscious effort to stay motivated and driven, this attitude alone doesn’t solely guarantee you success. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning so far in my 20’s and I’ve recently began to appreciate just how not getting what you want, can at times, be a huge blessing.

Let me take you for a trip down memory lane, back to when I first graduated from University. After my long summer off relaxing and enjoying what was left of my “student lifestyle”, I decided that I was as ready as I would ever be, to try this thing called adulting. I mapped out a few career paths that potentially interested me and with my Psychology degree in hand, I made sure that I was proactive and applied for at least one job a day, if not more. Over the next couple of months, I was lucky enough to get a ton of interviews, and at one point I had 3 or 4 in the pipeline; I was on a roll! I thought it wouldn’t be long before job offers were thrown at me… and in a way I guess it wasn’t. After a month of job hunting I was offered a role in merchandising for a big fashion retailer that I loved. However, I really wasn’t prepared for not feeling excited at this news. As soon as I left the interview, I received a call and was made the job offer but my gut was telling me that the job wasn’t for me. I was torn because I didn’t want to reject it straight away as I knew it was hard enough to get interviews, let alone be offered a job this soon after graduating. A week soon passed and I had not yet heard back from the other interviews I attended. It came to the point where I had to give them an answer. I decided to listen to my instinct and not accept a job that my heart wasn’t fully set on and I would gamble on the possibility of being offered one of the others. Unfortunately the odds weren’t in my favour and I didn’t get any of the other jobs. I was back at square one.

“You are exactly where you need to be”

Feeling frustrated, stressed and anxious that I had made the wrong decision, I was angry and doubted myself. However I powered on through and (surprisingly) rejected more jobs. I battled an internal struggle with myself, as I knew my worth and didn’t want to accept internships or jobs in London, on a wage that would barely cover my travel purely for the sake of experience. Instead I worked temp jobs to keep me going and to build up as much “experience” as I could. Finally some 7 months later it all paid off. I was offered a job that suited my skill-set, interested me so much more and also paid a decent wage! Fast forward to the present day, I am now working for a leading fashion retailer where I funnily enough actually recruit for merchandisers. I am so relieved that the stars didn’t align for me back then the way I hoped, as the thought of doing such a number-centric role day in and day out, really isn’t my dream job. Truthfully in hindsight I was just desperate to be hired anywhere and I now know that I definitely wouldn’t have been happy in that role, despite how much I wanted it at the time.

I am now currently in my early-mid 20’s and the idea that, “You are exactly where you need to be” has helped to keep my quarter life crisis at bay. Living in an age where comparison to others is so prevalent as it seems like everyone has their life together on social media, it is so important to remember that the majority of us are in the same boat. To be quite honest with you, seven weeks into 2019, the majority of my plans for the year have mostly gone to pot. I’ve found myself in a mix of uncertain, anxious, frustrated and at times even scared feelings. This somewhat mirrors how I felt back when I turned down those early job offers, as my plans hadn’t fallen into place the way I hoped they would in my head. Yet, it’s times like these I try to remind myself how not getting what you want, really can be a blessing. I’m learning that we are not tested to show our weaknesses or what we haven’t achieved, but to show our strengths and what is possible instead – a lesson I will try to remember throughout the remainder of 2019.

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Graduating, Working and Discovering New Passions

I recently read a blog post on The Everygirl which really resonated with me and has echoed what I have been experiencing since graduating University nearly 2 years ago. If you haven’t heard of the Everygirl or read any of their content, it’s a blog dedicated to the career driven women, the creative, ambitious and above all it is for every woman. I love reading their blog; in fact it is one of my go-to favourites as not only is it informative with the latest beauty trends, but it also places an emphasis on wellness and living. These categories I have found myself drawn to throughout my blog and something I could talk and read about all day! Recently on the Everygirl they discussed how to find your passion as an adult. This piece really spoke to me, so much so that I found myself blinking repeatedly to check that I was reading the words of another women’s thoughts, as their experience had been so similar to mine! It had me reflecting on my own career dreams at various stages in my life and provided guidance on how to rediscover your passions as an adult.

As I grow throughout my 20’s I see so many people are “finding” themselves; whether it is beginning to settle down, moving out or jetting off on new adventures. Whatever it may be, passions are being reignited and journeys are beginning. However it can feel like that whilst all of these journeys are going on, we need some help in figuring out what our own adventure is exactly. At least that’s a thought that’s been playing on my mind somewhat over the last 6 months. Therefore when I saw this post I knew I wanted to engage with this blog post regarding my own experiences. Who knows maybe more of you feel the same way!

Let’s begin at age 5, where as a young child I dreamed of a career in Hollywood; my name in bright lights whilst also being known for rocking my tomboy roots and kicking around a football. I was a big tomboy but I loved playing dressing up as well as writing my own plays with my best friend and charging our families a pound each for entry (we knew what our talent was worth and were entrepreneurs from a young age clearly). As I got older my love for drama continued. I was social, imaginative and loved to entertain. My love for talking transcended into appreciating good conversation particularly with listening to others intently. Throughout my teens I was told that I am somewhat of a good problem solver, I am patient and non-judgemental. I teased with the idea of either becoming a Psychiatrist with the creative aspect of perhaps becoming a TV presenter or director still attracting me. As opposite as these paths were, I didn’t want to choose between my love of listening and talking! Nonetheless as I reached University I decided to study Psychology. This would allow me to combine my strengths and interests together, however the room for some creativity was limited to critical thinking and discussion of theories.

Nonetheless at each stage in my education, I was provided with a safety net of structure, security and unlimited options to get involved in each of my passions. Whether it was athletics, drama, music, debate club, choir, you name it. The opportunities continued at University, tending to which ever interest you may have; from varsity to RAG, writing for The Tab, or playing Quidditch– yes really! there were multitudes of societies that you could join. This is a challenge when you are in a new environment and are exploring out of your comfort zone. It requires a pinch of courage to join something new but joining these activities, groups, socials were at the tap of my fingers. Personally I didn’t stick to any societies during my time at Uni so I can’t comment on how these worked out, but overall I was mostly content. I was in a new city, studying a new subject and making new friends- it was enough for me to be getting on with. I continued my love for running and made the most of my free time!

The slightly more scary aspect was when I left education and returned home to join the big wide world of work. With a degree in hand and moving back home after 3 years away, I found myself not being that same 18 year old girl that I was when I left for University. Whilst looking for a job I didn’t focus on old my career dreams as opposed to concentrating on realistic or sensible options. Therefore I set myself a goal of getting a a career in HR. However in the midst of trying to get into the HR sector itself (difficult if you have no experience- that degree wasn’t as helpful as I hoped all of a sudden), I fell into the trap of working my hours and neglecting the hobbies and passions I once had. As exciting as it is to be making your own money and starting your career, you can’t help but compare yourself to what your old school friends have achieved on social media, or where you “should” be at this stage. I no longer made the time to take part in the things I once enjoyed. This then lead me to the questions, what are my new career dreams and passions? What is the life I want for myself? Perhaps now you may understand another piece to the puzzle where all of this blogging was born!

In the original blog post, the author Hailey Miller asks this set of insightful questions, to help you rediscover your passions as an adult, which I too have answered below.

When do I forget to look at my phone?

Blogging, day trips exploring new cities, when I catch up with friends, Pilates

What were the things I loved to do as a kid?

Without being too repetitive… writing stories, playing dress up, acting, sports, exploring, reading, making outfits for my barbie dolls, trying out new hairstyles

What feels like active meditation?

Reading blog posts, writing my own posts (it’s so cathartic!), Pilates, enjoying the sunshine in peace and quiet

What lights me up?

Meeting new people, reuniting with old friends, watching interviews, exploring new places, writing, self-care; where I take time to pamper myself, it gives me time to re-energise

What would I do if money didn’t matter ?

Interview your every day people (remember humans of New York?) and write a story about their lives, create my own skincare line, travel, take a photography course, have my own talk show!

It seems from my answers above I seem to be drawn to creating new ideas and concepts. My old passions of creating entertaining content excites me and I find myself light up on what I’m talking about. I want to discuss, share and swap stories with people. Trying new things with the people I love. I also have a passion for being with people but am content to be on my own.

So what steps have I been taking to actually do something about attaining my passions? Well to start off with, I have been making active choices to limit the amount of TV time I indulge in. It’s so easy to spend time in front of the TV and let the time pass by. Instead I watch and listen to YouTube videos that I actually want to watch. I watch interviews and vlogs of the people who inspire me and people I can learn from. Whether it’s seeing bloggers try a new product, visiting a new city or watching an actor be interviewed on Ellen- YouTube you have it all. Plus I love a good high street haul!

To tap into my creative side more, I bought my domain name here on WordPress- yes a commitment was made. I have invested in a couple of cameras that isn’t just my phone, as good as my IPhone 6S has been, I’m taking things a level up.

To reenergise and relax, I’m spending more time outside especially as the weather is getting nicer. I’m planning more trips so that I can travel more and taking short day trips where I am outside; whether it is to the park, the garden or into London, I’m making the most of it. This Summer I also have some exciting plans coming up!

So as a result, here I am sharing it with you on my blog. I have focussed a lot more on blogging in 2018. I am taking a chance on myself and investing on here. As to what happens next, let’s see how this evolves! With regards to trying new things, I have set my intentions in some of my posts on places I want to see, activities I want to try, and tending to my love for beauty products in trying and reviewing skincare items I’ve been loving.

I have noticed that my feelings of anxiety have been replaced by enthusiasm as I have been more productive in doing things to give myself a chance at the dream career – whatever that will evolve to be! My self-belief mirrors that of my young 5 year old self. Wherever I am going, I will do it with the creativity, light and a lot more passion.