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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fate Forcing Change: The Upside of Being Broke and Jobless

Taking advantage of my new lifestyle and relaxing.

The focus of this blog has always been to learn how to balance the things you enjoy (and those you may not) and live a happy life. I tend to focus a lot on food because for me, that is what makes me happy, and I believe that it is at the center of many other people's lives. However, I was in a personal slump due to my work situation, making it hard to be motivated or inspired by much. I have been waitressing for about 5 years, due to not having an exact professional goal and unforeseen circumstances. Waitressing is not all bad. I made good money in a short period of time, I met a lot of great people and I learned a lot about food and business. However, at the end of the day, it simply did not make me happy anymore. I tried to be positive and I tried to look for other jobs, but I worked 6 days a week, some doubles and all nights, making it hard to get anything accomplished or see anyone.

I started to get irritable and depressed. I never saw my friends or family. I could never make plans and I tried to stay away from buying tickets for events since getting off of work was simply a miracle. Waitressing is a hard job and a respectable profession, but I became almost embarrassed to tell people what I did. When I was in Florida, people would ask what I do and it killed me to answer. My boyfriend caught on and like the gentleman he is, started jumping in to talk about his job at the IRS, which is way more interesting anyway. Bottom line, I knew I needed to make a change. But change is scary. So I stalled. I thought about going back to school, but the amount of student loan debt I carry around with me already is stifling. I applied to different kinds of jobs in different places but nothing seemed to work out. Then fate decided for me that my waitressing career had reached a close. Thanks fate!

Returning from my vacation, where I had spent too much money on amazing food and drinks and massages and more, I found that one of the places I worked at was bought out and the other was severely damaged by a flood, which caused it to close almost 2 months ago. I had to find a job. Quick. I knew that this was my chance to stop waitressing, so I took it.

I went on an interview for an organic bread company in New York City. I loved the company and the product. The interview felt more like a friendly conversation than anything else. I wanted the job. I got a second interview! Things looked good. Until I stopped and really thought about what my life would become. It would mean being up at 4:30 a.m. to be on a train at 6 a.m. to make it to work by 8 a.m., only to work an eight hour day and then rush to make the train so I could be home by 6 p.m. and be in bed by 10 p.m. to only get about 6 hours of sleep. I have no intention or desire of moving to the city and all of the commuting and time gone would not make my social life any better. Not to mention the strain it would put on my relationship. I actually took the time to consider what would make me happy and before they could give me an answer about the job I wrote them and graciously declined the position.
Instead I am now a full-time employee at Trader Joe's. They are a company that I whole-heartedly support and have since I was a kid shopping with my mom. Everyone there is nice, I get to work with food all day and the schedule is flexible. Oh, not to mention the fact that I get health insurance. I have been working there for about three weeks now and I can honestly say that I am happy. I do not mind going to work and work does not have to be my life now. I was able to spend a great few days in the city with my best friends and see my brother and his wife this past weekend when they came to visit. Those things probably would not have happened in my previous work situation.

I am now.
What I have learned is that even if it is scary, change can make you a million times happier. Also, the options that seem great in the beginning might not actually make you happy in the long run. You need to continuously have an internal dialogue with yourself and your desires. I am happy to end one sub plot of my life and move onto the next.

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