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This has been my last 10 months:

Moved to Melbourne permanently, found and set up an apartment, worked 4 different jobs, endured guilt-driven emotional warfare from Mom, travelled overseas to Buffalo for Christmas, got engaged, celebrated, helped Matt renovate his investment property, painstakingly prepared documents for a partnership visa…

It’s no wonder I’ve lost track of myself in recent weeks.

A lot of it comes on the cusp of that final separation from parental praise- by that I mean, my Mom completely disapproves of me living in Australia so for the first time in my life I’ve stood my ground and barely emerged alive from the battle.

I read this quote today, which helped:

“A joyful life isn’t about others; it’s about the brightness that is associated with being alive. Your path to it is through anything that replaces thinking with pure flight, pure joy.”

I can no longer rely on “others” to validate my life choices and it’s time to readjust my focus on what makes me happy.

And now, being forced to changed jobs again it’s like someone is in my face demanding to know who I am and where I see myself in five years. Without anyone else controlling the validation, praise or judgement there are almost too many options.

Yes I come from a culture where what you do is who you are, but I don’t personally buy into that theory- so why is it so daunting to pick a career? Or even a direction?

So it must be fear of success- or is it fear of failure? Unfortunately completing one undergraduate class in abnormal psyche means I’m no expert on psychoanalysis. (A little knowledge about lots of subjects.)

“Can’t someone just tell me what I’m supposed to do?” But of course not, that would take all the fun out of it.

I wrote an email discussing the topic of work/ life purpose to Sara. She nailed it when she wrote back:

“For a really long time I wanted someone to tell me what to do. I thought if someone could just tell me what direction to head in I could go and do it and do it well. But I know that would never make me happy nor would it you. I think part of the problem when you are smart and talented and good many things the idea of choosing one and heading in that direction is scary what if you fail what if you succeed? They are equally scary.”

Sara should start an advice column. And Oprah should have her own religion.

And today I read another brilliant article discussing how sometimes, when your path ahead looks fuzzy- all you need to do is adjust your lenses. Simple and true.

After work, I bought some paint. When I got home I downloaded some new music. Matt and I went to the gym and out to dinner and talked about wedding venues. It’s a successful start.

Author: dawnrieniets

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2 thoughts on “Am I On The Right Path?

  1. What you approve of at the age of 30 is what matters.

    Posted on February 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm
  2. That totally hits home. I struggle with that often because I don't LOVE what I do, but I do it well and certainly don't dread it. But I'm not saving the world. If I started a career loving what I do (cooking), I'm afraid I'd start to not love it anymore because it becomes something I had to do.

    I think Dawn is defined by a great many things. Interestingly when I think of “Dawn” I associate the term “writer”. Even if a publishing company isn't paying your rent, I still think it's the common talent that's always been with you. So be happy. Be healthy. Write. Paint. And then get someone to pay you to do something that allows you to do all the other things you love and don't let that define you. Many people never have success in seeking happiness because they think it can be derived from a career. You take risks that go beyond that. Thanks for sharing that with us 🙂

    Posted on February 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm