Within the past few months, I have experienced and expressed a coming-and-going feeling of general dissatisfaction with my life. With my job, with where I live, with what I am doing with my life. I can honestly say that within the past month, those feelings of dissatisfaction have faded, leaving me with only positive feelings about where my life is headed and where I have been. I think there are some key reasons why this is so.
I have gone back and forth about my job at the home improvement store. I’ve loved it, hated it, been indifferent about it. I’ve ranted, raved, and complained. I’ve sabotaged where I could, dramatized whenever possible, and ruminated about getting fired constantly. This needless drama has disappeared within the past week or so, hinged on a few things, I believe.
I have had the nagging feeling that, by working at the home improvement store, I somehow wasn’t doing “enough.” I wasn’t using my degree, wasn’t being challenged, wasn’t doing anything important. I felt as if people I knew that came in and discovered I was working there instead of “living up to my potential” (in my eyes), were judging me. Now I feel as if this doesn’t matter. And as if they really aren’t judging me, for the most part, and those who are don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
What matters is that I am taking care of my mental health, and by working at the home improvement store, I am doing just that. I am working a job that is very rigidly structured. I’m expected there at a certain time, am expected to leave at a certain time, breaks are built in, and there is little wiggle-room. There is certainly not time for me to drive around town aimlessly, sit in an office and play on the computer, or go home and take a nap for three hours. Consequently, I’m actually working, which I really think builds up some self-respect and confidence in myself.
And I’m good at what I do, no questions asked. The job is simple and there is no gray area, where I am unsure if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. There are very clear right and wrong ways to handle almost any situation, clearly defined rules, and there is constant feedback, so errors may be corrected immediately.
Most importantly, the job is not stressful. In fact, it is fun and interesting, for the most part, as long as I am willing to accept it as such. Of course, it does not pay as well as what I was doing before, but, as QoB and many others say, money isn’t everything and sound mental health is. I have recently rectified the money problem by deciding to take on a roommate, and that is all in the works. I have also recently received a fifty cent raise, which never hurts. So really, there is no “problem” with my job. For right now, for this moment, it is a good thing for me, for my mental health, and I plan on enjoying it.
Another factor that has improved my satisfaction with life is a healthier relationship with my parents, QoB and DHut. I can be open, more honest, and not feel like they are judging me. I can ask for advice and not feel like I am dependent, or that I necessarily have to take that advice. And we talk about more now, not just issues of mental health, money, and my life in general. Of course, it has become less necessary to focus on these areas because I am doing much better, but I think it is a general change in the my thought-process and my ideas about my relationship to them that has turned this around. The problem was always in my head, not on paper, and I am thankful that I was able to get around, get through, get over it and appreciate them for who they are and what they can be to me.
And last but not least, there is Matt. I’m not really sure where to begin. This has been the healthiest, most normal relationship I have ever had. And he’s great. He’s thoughtful, kind, funny, genuine. He’s just Matt. Words can’t describe it. I can be myself around him, and he loves me for the way I truly am, not for something I am pretending to be, because there is no pretending. I feel like I’m a better person, truer to myself when I am around him. It’s an amazing feeling to have someone like that in your life. Again, words can’t describe, but you know if you’ve been there.
I think I have posted this video before, but it’s “oh-so-appropriate.”
Alanis Morissette, Everything