Figuring out what you want to do with life is hard. Heck, some of us probably never figure it out and that’s totally fine. As long as we’re happy then that’s the main thing.
I remember 5-year-old Charlotte wanted to be a ballerina, then I wanted to become a doctor, then I wanted to be an astronaut, then I wanted to be a baker and the list went on.
Up until a couple of months ago, I was working a job that made me 100% miserable. I was in a call centre talking to rude people day in day out and I often came home in floods of tears and dreaded going to work every day. I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I needed a change as my mental health was being affected. I have a degree in Graphic Design but it’s a pretty high-pressure environment to work in which isn’t what I wanted. I’ve always loved Graphics since I was at school but it’s something I love to do in my spare time and I’ve never really seen myself working as a graphic designer for a large company.
For a couple of years, I’ve been trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life and it’s been hard. I found I really needed to strip everything back to basics and write down lists to help me get some sense of what I wanted. I started off by writing down a list of the 5 things that are most important to me currently.
5 most important things to me
- To live a stress-free life (which my job wasn’t allowing)
- To be happy
- To enjoy what I’m doing
- To be healthy
- To be loved and appreciated
I then took a step back and looked at the situation I was in. I hated my job which made me stressed which in turn made me unhappy and I certainly wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. My health was being affected due to all of this. The only thing I really felt was loved by my family and friends.
Next up I started thinking about my childhood. I was always a very happy child that was full of confidence and I thought I could conquer the world. Anything I set my mind to I could do. I had a positive attitude and was always so cheerful and bubbly.
5 things I enjoyed doing as a child
- Inventing things
- Making cards
- Baking and cooking
It was reflecting back on my childhood that was really the lightbulb moment to me. I was creative. I was always making things and coming up with new ideas. Everything was very hands on, I used to help my mum cook dinner and bake cakes with my grandad. The main thing though was card making. My dad and I would sit for hours and hours on end and make cards together and that’s honestly one of my fondest memories from my childhood. Creativity is obviously very linked in with my degree and this is what I’d been missing. Being creative.
- The first thing I needed was a stress-free job. This was the most important thing to me. I needed to get away from the job I was working. A job came up in the same company I was at but in a different department which was far less stressful. I applied and got the job. This meant taking a pay cut but money honestly doesn’t buy you happiness. You can read more about this here.
- I started making things again. I dug out all of my old card making supplies and also bought some new ones. I started making cards and being creative again. I even started watching crafty YouTube videos to help learn new skills and techniques which I’ve been practising.
- I got back into cooking and trying new recipes. I even write a meal plan every Sunday for the week ahead and I’ve been loving trying to cook new things.
- I began making more of an effort to see my friends and go out and do things. Removing my negative job helped with this as I had more energy in the evenings to actually go out and be social.
My mum once said to me:
“Some people live to work and other people work to live”
I work to live. I’m not the sort of person that needs a high flying job with multiple promotions and lots of pressure. I go to work to earn money so that I can pay to live… And I want to spend my life outside of work doing things that make me happy and bring me joy.
Now I’m not saying that I love my new job. It’s kind of boring, but it’s stress free and easy and it allows me to pay for what I need and it also means in my spare time I have energy to do things that I love like card making.
My long-term goal would definitely be to make a decent amount of money from my card making so that I could reduce my hours at work. But that’s my long-term goal and I have plenty of time to get there.
As I’m writing this (August 2018) I honestly feel so happy and content. I feel like I have purpose and I know what I want to do. I’m taking each day as it comes and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Sorry for how long this post was! Hope you enjoyed and found it somewhat helpful.