Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Thankful Thursday

I've been doing some thinking. Lately (with the exception of the week I was away), it may not seem like it, but I have been having some serious poor me time.

The truth is, I've been spending way too much time looking around at what everyone else seems to have, and not enough time looking at all the blessings that I have.

Some thoughts that have been running through my mind lately...

-- I hate my job. I don't feel like spending my night there.
-- I want to be a nurse, but it's going to take too long. I don't want to go through all the school. How did everyone else do it?
-- How come everything seems perfect for her?
-- She got a new car. Why can't I have a new car? (In my defense, this person did so after begging Facebook friends for money to help fund a critical surgery for her dog.)
-- He is asking for a raise when he does half the amount of work I do, and is already paid double what I receive every week.
-- She walks out on her job, and her parents pick up after her. Then when things get too tough, she just waltzes back in and gets it back. If that were me, I'd be up a creek.
-- I want to be able to enjoy my twenties instead of spending them working towards everything. I feel like I have to wait until I'm 27 or 28 to really start living.

... stuff like that. It's embarrassing, I know. I didn't even want to admit to this childish mentality that I've lately been plagued with. And while I wholeheartedly enjoyed Florida, and don't feel the least bit ungrateful... I think I'm acting that way. Not on purpose, of course. But more as a coping mechanism. I'm currently in a state of constant subliminal panic regarding my future. To be honest, the fact that I wasted 3.5 years of post-high school time is really getting to me. And I think it will haunt me for the rest of my life. The knowledge that at this point in my life, had I gotten down to business, and not been so scared right after graduating high school, I would be finding a real job, as a nurse, with a much higher pay, and a much more rewarding job just haunts me. The regret and kicking of my own ass pretty much consumes my thoughts. When I'm at school I think about it. When I'm at work, I think about instead of having a "real" job, the CB will be supporting me throughout the remaining college years. And when I turned 23 last week, the thought of not really being able to start my life until I turn 27 and finally graduate. And then I'll want to save money for a while before having kids. I'm just sick of putting life off.

I know it's being put off for a good reason. But I just wish that I had made a better choice right out of high school.

Oh hindsight, if only my vision were as crystal clear as you.

I'm trying to turn my mentality around. Trying to want to be at work, and want to put in the hours it takes to become a good nurse. I mean, everyone else had to do it, right? Why am I any different? Why should I get to cut in line? I think I just need to stop looking at everyone else who is already established, and stop comparing myself to other people, because, whether I can see it or not, all of our situations are completely different.

Instead of those thoughts up there, what should be going through my head are thoughts like...

-- At least I have a job. Plenty of people are desperately searching and struggling to make ends meet. I should be grateful that, even if it's not the best job in the world, I have an income, and I am lucky to be able to say that in this economy.
-- I should be thankful for the opportunity to be in school. Some people don't have the time or the money or the childcare or the transportation... there are a million things keeping people from being in school right now-- no matter how much they want to be there. I should focus more on how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and not waste it whining about it. Everyone has to put in the work. I just don't see it, and so it looks like it was effortless. When really I have no idea what it was like to walk in their shoes during this part of their lives.
-- Things seem perfect. It doesn't mean they are. I'm being honest with myself. Is she? I have my health, my family, a roof over my head, more clothes than I need, a working car, a computer, cellphone... luxuries that not everyone can have. Why am I wasting so much energy looking at what I don't have? Even if she seems to have it all, it doesn't mean happiness follows.
-- My car works fine. I don't need a new car. I don't even want to have to deal with the car-buying process right now. I shouldn't be looking at her, because she is a lesser representation of a human being. Begging for money to save her dog while having a full-time job with benefits, and yet throwing out a down payment on a new car. Why be jealous of her? My dog is healthy. My car works. I am luckier than I think.

-- He might get a raise for doing nothing. He has a super high opinion of himself that isn't necessarily shared by everyone else-- even the people giving him the raise, if they do. He admittedly milks the clock because his employers are none the wiser. I earn my money honestly. I don't milk the clock. I've had my job for 3.5 years, and he has been there for 9 months. My resume is significantly shorter, but quality trumps quantity. He may be able to get the jobs, but he never stays or keeps them. I have a good work ethic, whether I can recognize it all the time or not. Whether anyone else recognizes it or not. The people who matter most to me do recognize it. Who cares if he gets a raise? I got his best friend. ;) And that makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.

-- Really? I'm jealous of her situation? She has no GED, and as a result probably has a life sentence to the CB. Don't be envious of her carelessness. The CB for you is a stepping stone. A temporary situation to make a few bucks on the side while working towards something permanent. The CB is her living. I'm lucky to have had supportive parents and a stable upbringing that allowed me to complete high school. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to pursue something better.
-- I'm living every day. Just because I can't take extravagant vacations or buy new cars doesn't mean I'm not living. My view of what "living" is, is skewed and that has to change. Maybe I should stop watching so much Keeping up with the Kardashians (even though I love it), or at least realize that that is not the norm. I am not abnormal for not being able to afford that kind of thing in my early twenties. I'm 23. I'll be (ideally) a nurse by the time I'm 27. Making money at 28. 28 is not dead.

All these people that I'm eying and envying now, may be miserable in their personal life. Everything looks easy from the outside. Not to mention, they may be living well now, but I'll get there eventually. I walk around with the mentality that I want something for nothing. And yet I judge others who openly air that opinion. I'm being hypocritical. Not to mention, I'm sure those future paychecks will be a whole lot sweeter when accompanied by the knowledge that I worked my ass off to get them, and truly earned them.

Phew! That was a long one. Did you stay with me? If so, appreciated. It was a lot of whining. And whining is annoying, I know. I'm sorry!

But hopefully the latter mentality will prevail... keep your fingers crossed! It's just a rut, I know. Once school starts and I'm busy again, and once CB picks up and I'm making money again, I won't be so pessimistic. I just feel odd concealing this on the blog. I'm supposed to be honest here. I can't just share the good and skip the bad. And hey, maybe I'll find other people who feel (or have felt) the same way. I'm sure we all fight this battle at one time or another.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

What are you thankful for today?