“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. “- Henry David Thoreau
(written on April 15th 2020)
Growing up, I dreamed about becoming a doctor. Most of the gifts my parents gave me were medical kits and hospital related toys. I enjoyed playing with them and it felt good knowing that I am going to take care of people and make them feel better. Being part of someone’s healing process felt like a soothing endeavour.
As I became older, that dream slowly faded away. That plan did not feel close to my heart anymore and it just did not feel like it would bring self-fulfillment. As the years passed, I either gave myself more reasons as to how and why it was unattainable or getting into medical school abroad seemed too hard, so I chose to just give up completely. It is kind of sad really, how I held on to that dream, like a little child holds on to her favorite toy for comfort, for so long only to let it go so easily and effortlessly like it did not mean anything to me at all.
Today when I think about that profession, a part of me still lights up a little as if there is some unfinished business and it is not the end. Now, having no end-goal to dream about, no sense of what job would make me happy and no motivation to figure out what I actually want to do is quite frustrating. I feel lost.
I graduated last year and thought that getting a job right after would be something totally easy and quick. The interview requests have been slow and low in number. No offer of jobs so far. Maintaining my motivation to keep working on my resume, improving my cover letter and applying to as many jobs as I can has not been a piece of cake. Every rejection feels like a heartbreak (melodramatic yes? But it actually feels like that in the moment when you get that email about how they had to go with another candidate but that you were great, but the competition is tough).
See, when this exact email reached my inbox, it made me want to cry. To be honest some of the times I actually let myself cry to feel better. It’s like ‘Let me cry and look ugly and feel all those shit feelings and then I’ll feel better’, you know?
Today though, I had a realization. I wish I could tell you where all the confidence and faith came from but maybe it was just like a blessing fell on my lap (well my brain but you get what I mean).
I thought: When I was a little kid, any dream seemed totally achievable and it felt like I was too brave and strong to let anything, or anybody tell me otherwise. The difference between my way of thinking now versus the thoughts of little me is that now my cloud of thoughts is polluted, and the worse thing is I let the pollution prevail and stay in my mind like it belongs there. I feel like thinking positively is a choice that you must do consciously because it is your cloud, like what the hell!!
I thought some more: There is only one person’s faith in me that matters and makes a difference and that is ME. See, I haven’t figured out entirely how I can clean up my cloud but I know the first step is to keep working hard, believing in myself, living in the moment, being grateful and the second step is to never let anything implant my cloud with the belief that I am not smart enough, not good enough, or should just give up on job hunting.
What do those steps look like? I want to keep applying to jobs even though I doubt myself along the way because I don’t want to regret not putting enough effort in the job-hunting process and also giving up was never an attractive plan anyway.
Basically, my cloud is mine and the decision about which thoughts can stay are mine too.
See, I know there will still be days where the motivation will be 0, frustration will be 7 and sense of feeling lost will be at a 10 but when those days come, I want to of course feel the pain first (because dismissing your seemingly negative feelings is rude), to cry a little but most important is to remember that I have faith in myself no matter what. I believe in myself and that is a valid and only reason I need to keep going.
And, I also believe that not going for the dream job you dreamed about when you were little is totally okay too. Follow what your heart says today and everything else will fall into place.