I’ve been thinking a lot about the hard work it takes to realize personal goals. I’m a quitter, you see.
A lot of my high school graduating class has successfully transitioned to “normal” adult life. They work at banks, in cubicles, or at medical offices. They wear suits or scrubs. They participate in the thrill of rush hour. They go on cruises sometimes. But I, at almost 25, just quit my job on a production floor to work part time at a coffee shop. I’m working jobs that most certainly don’t require a four year degree. And the thing about it is that, ultimately, I chose these paths, these technical jobs. Sure, I’ve interviewed for “real” jobs, but I’ve never gravitated toward them.
What I’m trying to figure out is if I’m afraid or enlightened. We think we know ourselves, but we’ve told so many coping stories, it all gets muddled in our heads. On the one hand, I know I’m terrified of getting stuck. The thought of spending decades in an office chair working toward something I’m not absolutely passionate about makes the veins on the side of my head pop out. But I also like to think I’m (rightly) ideologically opposed to buying into the myth that adult life has to look like that, as if wearing modest black pumps to work and conducting conference calls is the badge of responsibility or the marker of success.
But refusing that life means it’s up to me to make something happen. If I’m not willing to be propelled into stable adulthood by a corporate infrastructure, it rests on me to provide the push forward. And I’d like to pretend I’m strong enough to take care of myself; I scoff at those who take the easy way out – who settle – but I allow the fear of failure to eat away at me before I’ve really started anything.
I quit my job because it was unfulfilling, but, I swear, it’s not because I’m lazy. I have big plans for my vintage store. I’m excited to make it happen. I’m also terrified that the success or failure of Platinum and Rust is my burden to bear alone. I need to believe I can do it. I need to believe I have the skills, the tact, and the talent to succeed. I’m afraid that my peers (and parents) living in cushy, corporate stability scoff at me. I’m afraid that they don’t think I can do it. I’m afraid that their boxed-in dreams (or contentment, as it may be) masquerading as wisdom will get the best of them, and the best of me.
But it really doesn’t matter, does it? When I succeed, none of the doubt will matter at all.