If you read my last post, you’re probably aware that I walked away from a well-paying 10 year career in the medical field to become an artist. You’re also aware why I couldn’t stay working in that field while transitioning into the career I want to be in (Read How Leaving A Toxic Career Is Healing Me).
Over the years, I have been doing a lot of inner work and have discovered that I like making stuff with my hands. This revelation translated into exploring Fashion Design, Product Design (particularly designing apparel and products for pets), and Textile Design. This is a whole new territory for me – a new adventure! So…instead of getting myself into a job I would hate – again, I decided to apply for a high-end boutique that carries all sorts of designed products anywhere from stationary, apparel, jewelry, and home goods. The only thing is…I would be a sales associate. Yup! A medical professional who made decent “dinero $$$” to getting paid a little above minimum wage to sale goods to customers. But you have to start somewhere, right? I’m not sure if I’ll take the position as I have other offers so I’ll keep you in the loop.
For the past few weeks, I was beating myself up with negative self-talk saying things to myself such as, “What have you done with your life?!” and “Has your career life have really come to this?” or “I expected more from you at this age!” Yup, the emotional abuse continues, for various reasons – one of them being the lies my mom told me growing up that “If you don’t make good money, you’re a loser.” My mom is a Korean Immigrant and if you know anything about the immigrant life, a lot of their life decisions were based on survival and fear versus love. So the idea that her daughter wanted to be an artist (and is an artist…it’s taking me years to even admit and accept that I am one, now that’s progress!), is unrealistic and irresponsible. However, after many years of her witnessing how much I hated working in my former career and how I would gravitate towards the arts such as acting (I will talk about this later — I quit my first nursing job cold turkey my 4th year working night-shift, to jump into the Hollywood scene for a year knowing nothing and absolutely no-one in the field), and design…she started to change her perspective and she began to accept me as I am. This was an integral part of healing my relationship with my mom. You don’t need anyone’s approval for following your dreams/goals, but it sure does make a difference when you get the emotional support and acceptance of your parent(s).
I noticed that my deliberate decision to go through this process is actually helping me heal. I’m catching my negative self-talk and I’m aware of it now more than I was before, which means…I have an opportunity to improve on this and change this aspect about myself! The next step is to replace these negative thoughts with positive truthful ones. I recently implemented reading aloud positive affirmations in the morning to myself in the mirror – even if I don’t believe what I’m saying, I’ll say it. The act of committing to myself is really helping me one baby step at a time. I will say…words are powerful. Just putting these positive words out there changes the atmosphere and the energy within me. You know, that it’s proven that words are matter! Just as a piece of fruit is made up of many molecules and atoms, words are the same. There was a scientific study done, where a Japanese scientist got two jars of ice and everyday, to one of the jars he’d say, “I love you,” and to the other jar he’d say, “I hate you!” After a few months, he looked at the crystals under a microscope and the first jar had beautiful uniformed snowflake patterns and the second one was in disarray. There’s also countless of evidence of how you talk to your plants is related to their longevity and health — so I would assume that this universal phenomenon applies to our own bodies, minds, and souls. My grandmother who passed away a few months ago would talk to her plants when she was alive and say beautiful things to it and all of her plants stayed alive and flourished for so many years – just like her. I don’t think any of her plants died! Going off a tangent…but I miss her – a lot ❤ — I loved her spirituality and the way she connected to people and other living things. I loved her outlook on life. What a peaceful being she was…my goal is to be more like her daily. Here’s a woman that loved herself and knew something about self-care. She was a Pescatarian, power-walked an hour in the wee hours of the morning (Monday – Saturday, Sunday was her Sabbath Day), and she had her own unique relationship to God. She identified herself as a Christian, but didn’t really subscribe to all the traditional religious ways of the church. Her former religion was Buddhism. But this is an entirely different topic for a different blog post. Anyway, at the end of her life, she just called herself, “A Child of God.” I grew up Christian but left the church for various reasons…will follow up with this on a different blog post.
A new beginning is always difficult, because it requires you to let go of the past, forgive yourself, and have faith for the future – the future that you can’t see. If you are going through a big transition, know that you’re not alone – that your feelings of self-doubt, confusion, fear, and negativity are ALL normal but you don’t have to stay there. You can rise above and see the light, I promise you there is hope on the other side. I don’t promise you that it will be easy, but anything worth doing is worth fighting for.
Overall, I’m excited to possibly work at this goods store. They have 4 shops in total and because it’s a small business, a sales associate is expected to have other responsibilities such as filling online orders, decorating the store, inventory, and obviously – customer service. My challenge for the next few months will be learning to be okay with myself and letting go of my ego. There is no job that is beneath me. I’ve always had a hard time committing to any nursing job because I was not passionate about it. I have a strong personality and can be quite stubborn, but in life, as an adult – you have to learn how to do things that you don’t always like. Being a sales associate at a general goods store isn’t what I want forever and I know it won’t be the pinnacle of my professional career…this is just a day job that I feel is the right fit for me right now while I continue Design School (I’m starting the Certificate Program at a nearby Art & Design College! My first class is Color Theory & Design!) because I have some life lessons to learn. Others would see this job as menial – a job you do while grinding your teeth as a college student while getting through your studies. I’m 35. But who really cares what anyone thinks and in all honestly, I’m probably projecting. Everybody goes through an experience where they have to start over in one or many points in their lives. Another thing I’m learning is that a job isn’t your identity. The world and society has a way of using labels and titles for things – you are a nurse – you are a sales associate – or get this…you are a mom or you are single…or even worse, you are dumb…you are incompetent. You can even be labelled something positive but it can turn into something self-destructive because again…it’s a label in which humans tie their identity to…for example, you’re told that you are beautiful all the time and when you grow up you think your self-worth is based solely on your outer looks. Labels are stupid. It’s all very narrow…
I am a Child of God…and I paint, I like designing stuff, I like animals…especially my dog, Brady…and the list goes on…but at the core, I’m God’s Child, born into this crazy but beautiful world, living out this human experience. And instead of being untruthful to myself…I rather live with integrity and honor even if that may make my road a little tougher. But you know what…I realized living a lie is the toughest. Being in a career that is soul-sucking and doing work you’re not really invested in or passionate about is harder than being who you really are. Because over time, you’re soul will get tired and it will show. Same goes for relationships, friendships, and anything else we attach ourselves to. If it’s not done out of unconditonal love, acceptance, and true willingness/desire, it won’t hold weight and the ship will sink.
I’m finally ready to take this new adventure. I know there will be some days when I feel amazing and I know there will be days too when I’m struggling to believe in who I am. Despite the hard times ahead, I know I’ll come out the other side standing tall and strong. In the meantime, I want to live in the present moment and face all of the emotions, good and bad, that are arising within me and just be okay with them. Until next time, health, happiness, and peace to you!