I’m Done… (A Love Story)
Brace yourself, my friend. This is about to get real personal.
Hands down, my family is the most important thing to me. Without them, I do not know where I would be or how I would behave, react or adapt in these uncertain modern times. As a young single mother, these individuals were my world. Now that my children are older, these invaluable human beings integrated into our already huge latin family.
The concept of family, however, is not only bound by blood. More on that, later…
During my time as a bookkeeper, which I still do to keep my head sharp, I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships between co-workers. I also learned that if you can’t play well with the other boys and girls in the office, your time behind that desk will be miserable. Many employees make every effort to play the favorite in their boss’s eyes. Apply family dynamics to this already volatile environment and you have a recipe for disaster.
Therefore, with the help of my family’s accountant, I quit my day job…
I’ve decided to attack my dreams full time. After 15 years of learning how to crunch numbers for the family, I reached my peak at the business. I find difficulty writing about my experiences here in ways that don’t sound personal. Unfortunately, since I work with my family, the line between personal and professional is blurred and faded into the background. What I will say is that I love them dearly and desperately. I wish there was a way I could’ve made them happy without compromising my own happiness.
I sincerely hope you have a fantastic support system. Without a support system in place, the entire organism will likely collapse, like a flan in a cupboard (thank you, Eddie Izzard). As an adult, you are well within your right to create a family within your circle of friends outside your blood relatives. For many of us, those people are more family than the ones we grew up with. I’m grateful to acknowledge my extended family and how thankful I am for their unbridled support. Even more so, I’m especially humbled that my blood-related family, with everyone’s quirks (including my own), we still find some way to muscle through the silliness.
This wouldn’t be a blog post without a list. However, this one, in particular, is for both you and me.
1. Establish a Solid Support System
A support system derives from how you broadcast your attitude and perspective into the world. If you generate positive vibes into the universe, you’ll receive the same in kind. If you produce the polar opposite, it’d be to your benefit to change that quickly.
In my case, I make every effort to see my friends perform. Sometimes I fail, due to family obligations with my children or my husband. When my girls were smaller, going out and playing were incredibly challenging. However, I ensured performing was a part of my little family’s norm.
If I’m not performing, I’m not myself. If I’m not myself, then I’m someone else, and that’s not a good thing. I urge everyone to be themselves. Otherwise, you will be a shell of the person you feel you should have been.
2. Establish Meaningful Relationships
By “meaningful,” I’m implying that you produce sincere connections with individuals who inspire you. Expressing your respect for someone’s work is probably the greatest compliment they can ever receive. So how do you do that?
Reach out to your friends, colleagues and loved ones and pick their brain. Ask individuals in your inner circle what they believe you produce amazingly. Get really deep with them: you need their feedback to acquire honesty, integrity, and direction.
Are you a great story-teller? Do you have a lot of knowledge in your chosen field of experience? Maybe you are fantastic at repairing machinery, but you enjoy making these items look like pieces of art? I’m reaching a bit, but it’s definitely an important step. Without asking for direction, you might not know where you’re headed.
There’s no shame in asking…
3. Document Your Adventures on Social Media.
If you’re anything like yours truly, your anxiety is through the roof when you place yourself out into the universe, uncertain of the outcome and the response. Personally, I have no time or patience in dealing with negative individuals who choose to cut others down. I suggest you follow the same philosophy and document your adventures without wondering how others feel about your struggles, experiences, and likes on Facebook and Instagram.
Your life matters. People want to know more about you because they want to see others experience the same feelings and emotions and struggles as them. Believe it or not, your story could potentially influence someone to go back to school, or start a new venture, or go back to the gym. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting your thoughts and illustrating your activities for your friends to observe from afar.
Trolls and bullies, unfortunately, are an inevitable part of life. My experience with these types of people has trained me to either ignore them or become incredibly confrontational. I must admit, I can be extremely intense – and I’m working on that – but my personal journies do not give anyone license to behave unprofessionally or demeaning toward myself, my family, my students or my fabulous readers.
Online and out in the real world, you matter. The world deserves to know who you are and what you stand for. The people need individuals like you and me to share our knowledge, so the world can be more gratifying for others who are still trying to find their way…
4. Put Yourself Out There.
One of my favorite moments’ teaching is getting to know my students on a deeper level. Establishing a connection with them, particularly during the first lesson is paramount in not only keeping the student but helping them improve upon themselves, as well. One lesson that comes to mind is when my high school student came out to me during our half hour together. Not only did I feel like I was an important part of this child’s life, but I also felt that my input meant something to their overall well-being. I learned something, too: regardless of how one identifies oneself, as long as your honest with yourself, you are way ahead of the game than anyone else.
Another story comes to mind where a university student requested my assistance in getting into college. I’ve been on several judging panels for prospective students. Honestly, I enjoy sitting at the judges table more than performing in front of my professors, instructors or peers. However, I understand the inner turmoil the student experiences when preparing for their audition. I’ve been on the opposite side of the table lots of times, so I understand how unbelievably nerve-wracking the student must feel.
That inspired me to jot down certain aspects of preparing for a college entrance audition.
Everyone relates to putting yourself out there into the universe in hopes of something positive and beneficial coming back. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Every experience comes with teachable moments and opportunities to explore.
It’s all about your perspective, my friend. If you see opportunities, then your day is full of them. If you see tragedies, then, unfortunately, your day is full of those, too… Dwell in the positive, and you will see good fortune coming.
5. Put Yourself in the Hands of a Higher Intelligence.
I call my higher intelligence, “God.” You might call it something different and that’s fine. My Catholic upbringing taught me that if I pray and show I am grateful for all the gifts the Good Lord bestowed upon me, positive moments, ideas and situations reverberated back to me from the universe. Jesus practiced the concept of Karma and, like every good Zen Buddhist, made every effort to do right by everyone, regardless of each individual’s chosen path…
Regardless of your stance on religion, organized or otherwise, we can agree on one thing: just about everything is beyond our control. Therefore, ensuring we place our lives in the hands of something greater may give us peace of mind. I talk more about keeping calm, cool and collected under pressure in a separate blog post.
6. Trust Yourself
I’ll never stop saying this to any one of my students, friends, family, and colleagues. Trusting your intuition, or, “gut,” as some people call it, reinforces your knowledge in your field of experience and cultivates your abilities to adapt to any surprising or unforeseen situation. You possess the capacity to think on your feet and jump out of harm’s way when necessary. Many of us are fear-stricken to do so for the simple fact that we are afraid of being made fun of (I’m guilty), or criticized (I’m also guilty), or told you’re not good enough (definitely experienced that).
You are in charge of your life. That means you possess the free will to allow certain people to come into it and keep certain people out of it. It’s as if you are the bouncer of your own club: if you believe a patron will cause trouble, you kick them to the curb because you don’t want any problems for the people partying in your personal venue.
It’s your house.
It’s your place.
It’s your life.
You got this.