Believing That You’re Valid

I’m sitting here on my off-day from work wondering why, even though I’m self employed, I still feel the need to search the web for jobs. And that’s not even all of it…why is it, that even though I have a job, I feel the need to justify my days off to people or explain my hour:pay ratio or rationalize my salary or convince others that what I’m doing is a “real” job, and not a “part-time job” or a “side thing” or “something to hold onto until I get a job”. I guess if I don’t believe I have a “real” job then neither will they…

I grew up in a house with parents who both worked full-time jobs. I saw them leave home in the morning, and come home in the evening from Monday through to Friday. Rest, chores and church were weekend activities – weekends being Saturday and Sunday of course and then before you knew it, it was Monday again. Work was 8:00am to 4:30pm for five days a week, rest lasted the remaining two days, and pay came at the end of the month – everyone knows that. That’s what having a job looks like.

Now I’m in a position where I had a “real” job being shaken awake by alarms in the morning, feeling like crap, breaking for an hour for lunch, feeling like crap, then coming home in the evening – guess what – feeling like crap. So I left that and started my  own business where I’m not shaken awake my alarms, I have a steady clientele, a somewhat stable income, flexible hours, time off and for the first time in my life I don’t feel like my job is…work. Yet I’m still looking for jobs in the “traditional” market, I’m still explaining and reexplaining my working hours to people, I’m justifying why I left higher paying jobs…why am I doing this?

It’s not possible to convince people of something you don’t believe. If I know on paper I’m better off now than I was in any other work environment then why does it seem so invalid. Why am I still struggling to convince myself that this is my job, I am employed and what I’m doing is a legitimate way of life.

I only just realized all of this, and that’s why I’m writing it all down. We all walk around with baggage, and ideas of ourselves that we project onto others. I don’t see myself as good enough so I then convince myself that others don’t see me as good enough. I don’t think that I am successful, so I come to accept that others also believe that. I don’t feel like I deserve time off so I feel like others are judging me for well deserved rest. And the list goes on and on.

Start not only to believe more in yourself and your decisions, but also to give yourself credit where credit is due. See yourself, you efforts, your decisions as valid regardless of if it falls into the “norm” or not. I’m still trying to break out of my way of thinking about what a “real” job looks like, and accepting that my job is real. I’m not sure how long that’ll take, but admitting my flawed perceptions is the first step to moving forward…

“Go placidly amidst the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence…If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself…Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should……and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul…Strive to be happy”

[Excerpts from “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, a poem given to me  when I was still a child by my mother, a woman of few words but who gave the all the guidance I needed through this simple gesture]

(photo credit)





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