Unashamedly taking a step back

Life can get overwhelming…quickly. Whether you’re working too much or not enough, have bills swallowing you or a fully-furnished apartment equipped with cable and internet, it’s easy to get caught up and suddenly realize you’re in way over your head and need time to breathe.

Life in 2017 America is full of pressure: pressure to be successful, pressure to be pretty, pressure to be fit, pressure to be perfect. Adults in this country are expected to work 40+ hours a week, fully support themselves, workout daily, travel often and show off their material goods. All for what – affirmation that we’re following society’s ridiculous standards? Receiving recognition for all our accomplishments? Forget the countless nights of no sleep, early mornings, stressful days at work and god forbid more than one cheat meal per week.

Life is something you have; living, breathing creatures walk this planet, and if you are one of them, congratulations – you have a life. All right, before I tailspin off into an existential crisis, I’ll get to my point.

Life is for LIVING. That’s right, living, as simple as that. We all deserve to choose our own way to do so. The past couple of years, I’ve been working in the digital media and marketing industry. Since graduating from KU in 2015, I’ve left Kansas, moved back to Arkansas, moved to Dallas, moved back again to Arkansas and just moved back yet again to Dallas about a month ago. I’ve had two well-paying jobs for a 24-year-old with two different companies. Made some good friends through work, met a couple great mentors and learned a lot about myself.

The most important lesson I’ve learned recently, is what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to wake up each day dreading where I’m supposed to be, doing something that I’m not 100 percent passionate about and counting down the hours ’til I can go home and snuggle my dog in peace. I am a free spirit who needs to be able to explore, talk with people, hear their stories, share them with the world and walk around with a smile on my face.

When I moved back to Dallas, I didn’t have a new job lined up. I was suddenly unemployed and uncertain about what my next move would be. I unashamedly was taking a step back. Thankfully I have super supportive parents and an amazing boyfriend who helped me get on my feet. Going on about four weeks of funemployment, I’m happy to say I’ve secured a job as a barista at Starbucks and will be starting next week!

Some of you are probably sitting there judging me as I’m thrilled to share that I’m once again a barista (shoutout to my Sweetbay baes) and not currently “using my degree” for what it’s intended. But who fucking cares? I couldn’t tell you the last time I was this calm. My life has simplified and my over-analytical self has started to gradually ease into comfort. I can finally be on my feet every day at work, socializing with people and making them their favorite coffees and treats. I have time to focus on my writing and pursue freelance work on my own time, my own schedule.

Most importantly, my anxiety levels have decreased tremendously. Aside from the occasional freakouts (cue my weekly existential crisis), I wake up relaxed and go to sleep happy. Am I completely anxiety and depression free? No. Am I making plenty of money? Also no. But do I generally feel better each day and excited for what’s ahead? ABSOLUTELY.

Once I allowed myself to reconsider what it means to be a living, breathing adult in 2017, it’s like a whole new realm opened for me to explore. For now, I’ll be a barista and a writer. I may end up with enough Freelance work to make it my full-time career. I may end up pursuing a masters degree. Or, I may even end up back in the corporate world with the typical 9-to-5, who knows.

But what I do know, is we are all entitled to creating our own reality and pursuing our dreams, whatever they may be. Cheers to what’s in store!

6 thoughts on “Unashamedly taking a step back”

  1. Hannah, this was so inspiring. I also graduated from KU in 2015, so chances are I walked down the hill not too far from you!

    It’s a relief to know I’m not the only one disillusioned by the standards of success our society has set for us. I’m about to take a leap and follow my own path as well, which will probably result in a few raised eyebrows, but it’s finally time for me to do what’s best for me. Thanks for the nudge!

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    1. So great to hear! Proud of you for following your own path; it’s not easy when it isn’t the “normal way” people think we should take. Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot, especially from a fellow Jayhawk! Rock Chalk!

      Like

  2. So very proud of you my darling Hannah. Growing up sucks, but you my sweet have reached a level of profound Maturity. I salute you and pray for your continued prosperity!
    Damn girl…the people who love you are lucky to have you in their lives.
    I love you immensely!

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  3. Going to bed happy is such an important, yet overlooked, aspect of life. I can’t tell you the number of nights I’ve spent feeling my anxiety overcoming me again, and then waking up with fear and dread – totally unprepared to face the day.

    Haven’t fixed that completely, but now I spend my nights calming myself over relaxing tea and winding down mentally for bed. 🙂

    I’m so happy for your move and glad that you’re getting settled back into Dallas! Also enjoying reading your writing on here!

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    1. Jonathan!! Your words mean so much to me. ❤ Thank you for sharing. I completely agree.. going to bed relaxed can be so hard when you live with anxiety, and that makes the next morning so much harder. Happy to hear that winding down at night with tea helps! I need to get back into that habit.

      Miss you!

      Liked by 1 person

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