Creating Your Own Happiness

Hey folks! This might end up being less depressing than it starts out but who knows!

Okay. So, I got a job working at Family Restaurant (not the actual name) in September. I started out as a host and I just moved up to server. In fact, tonight is my first shift as a real server. Last Monday I started a new job as a tutor in an elementary school nearby. I have two jobs, now, like a real adult trying to pay off student loans!

Anyway, I looked forward to both jobs for different reasons. Family Restaurant was conveniently located so my sister or her cohabitant could easily drive me to and pick me up from work (have I mentioned I spent all of my “car” money on going to Nicaragua? No? Well, I did). I have never been a server before and they had a sign in their window and cohabitant told me it would be easy to get there. I needed a job and I was interested in seeing what it was like to work in a restaurant so I went in and got hired. I looked forward to the tutoring job because it was a volunteer-ish position (we all know how much I love volunteering for education!) and because I would get to work with kids again!

It turns out I’m not that good at being a server. I know I’m still in training, so I’m going to give myself four weeks to see if I’m cut out for it, but wow, I’m really bad. And it turns out that the great working with kids job I’ve landed is really just a “do everything the teachers don’t want to do” job so I haven’t even gotten the chance to teach yet. I’ve been leveling reading and checking letter fluency. I know I am helping their education and probably making a difference but I’m not teaching, and it was totally a teaching job I got hired for. What I’m basically trying to say is that neither of these things have turned out to be what I expected. Which is okay. But as of now, they also have turned into things that don’t make me happy.

I was talking to my mom yesterday about how I don’t feel happy with where I am. I feel like my fire is being extinguished a little bit, and that’s sort of a depressing thought. I feel stuck and sedentary and not like I’m doing what I really want. Logically, I know that we can’t always get what we want. But can’t we at least all find happiness in the majority of our daily life? This is where I think my mom and I have differing opinions. I think.

Imagine you are in a great place in life. You enjoy your job (for the most part), you are living comfortably, and you are happy in general. Now imagine a friend of yours is extremely unhappy. It could be their relationship, their family, their job, or just about anything. What do you tell your friend? “It will all work out, just stay positive!” or something like that, right?

Now imagine that you and your friend switch places and you hear that advice.

“Just stay positive.”

It’s hard. It’s hard to stay positive when you’re unhappy with work, or your lack of “extra” items such as a car or a phone. Or just anything. Do you really want to hear that when you feel so down? My mom told me that we make our own happiness. Everything can be spun in a positive light. I can make myself enjoy my job(s) even though they aren’t anything that I expected and actually don’t like them. I can make myself find the silver lining in all that I don’t initially enjoy. I find myself wondering if that is really true. Can I truly enjoy doing something that just isn’t personally fulfilling or that I don’t feel is a good fit? Can I make it fit or will that just end up hurting me like Cinderella’s stepsisters trying to fit into the slipper in the original story?

I guess right now I just have to wait and see. I have promised myself that I will stay with each job for four weeks and see if I get better or if things change. If, after this month, I feel the same as I do now, I’ll stop being miserable. I will create my own happiness by either figuring out how to force myself to like things I don’t actually like or I will change my circumstances. Either way, I keep telling myself I can do anything for a month. Right?

Any advice is accepted and appreciated.

Until next time!

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2 comments

  1. Every job or relationship teaches us something about ourselves. Right now you are just learning something new about yourself. Try and figure out what that is. If you do end up hating both jobs after 4 weeks, the experiences will still have been good for you because you will have learned something; even if it is that you hate doing what you are doing! I think you are just being too hard on yourself. Remember, 4 weeks will go by fast, and you are young and can keep trying new things until you find something that does click. I have a feeling that you will find what makes you happy. It’s just that sometimes we have to pay our dues first. You are great and your life will be too! Just give it time.

  2. I had a job that I disliked for awhile. I felt I could do anything for a year (it ended up being several). I never felt like I fit in, I wasn’t happy in the location, and I felt cut off from what I wanted to do in my career. It turned out that I needed to be there to get some experiences that would later serve me incredibly well in life. But I finally had to cut and run, grow a pair of she-cajones, and acknowledge that this was no longer right for me. I’ve been in places that were totally right for me (and I could tell…in my happiness, my serenity, my acceptance of the not so great – cough, DC traffic – in exchange for the really awesome parts of my life), and places where I just felt disjointed. Don’t be afraid to listen to yourself, and don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and try something new. You’ve got a great support network, use it!!

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