There are a lot of things that I wish I knew, I hope I can still do, and I want to pursue. But at the end of the day, there are just too many to pick and I end up accomplishing nothing. Still, with the hope in my heart and the desire to finally put into work whatever ideas are screaming out of my mind, I take little steps. In those little steps, I learn, and later I see the beauty of a colorful set of life-worthy experiences that help in building the person I am now. Frankly speaking, I do like the way I am now (though there is a number I still want to improve).
Planning is good but it should not limit you
I am a person who likes to plan most of the tasks that I want to do for the day. However, as I grew older, I saw it as a reflection of how I wished to take control of my life. It was exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, I still plan a day or even a week in advance and plot specific tasks/events in my planner, but I learned to let go. I gradually found a way to be more flexible as I appreciated how surprises could bring more to my day. Though with how I easily get distracted, having a to-do list is still very much helpful in reminding me of what I need to prioritize. 😉
In this case, it is not entirely bad to plan before going on an adventure of a lifetime or even at work. Even simple day-to-day tasks can be done better by having them in your particular expectations for the day, but just don’t let your list take control of your life.
Also, don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t work out as you planned them. Even with an endless Plan B, C up to Z, there are still some events that you couldn’t anticipate. These are the ones that you have to accept bravely and make them as your learning step. Take charge of them as they come. Welcome them as your opportunity to improving a similar event/task in the future.
Seeing the Beauty of Work
After realizing that planning everything isn’t a good start for me, I tried working on adjustments in my work as well. There seems to be an endless list of tasks when it comes to working. Every day, in my profession, brings surprises which I barely remember putting on my list or even possible expectations for the day. Being a teacher surely has a lot of its ups and downs just like any other professions. However, the unexpected ones come in the form of numerous types of people that I need to interact with on a day-to-day basis.
Emotions are my biggest enemy most of the time. I am a person who is passionate about the tasks that I am focused on. I also am easily moved by stories or even simple gestures, though I could easily read people (or so I think). I still do my best to genuinely hear a person; but at work, this particular act is challenging. There are a lot of things to consider when you talk with your colleagues, your superiors, your students, and even the students’ parents at times. This year brought me to an emotional rollercoaster day in and day out. The good part on this one, though, I have matured emotionally and psychologically because of the years that I have been working already. From being an ESL teacher who got burned-out because of a toxic work environment to a web content writer who lost the interaction she needed, I was a bit prepared on this. A bit only because as I mentioned earlier, you really can’t prepare or predict everything. So for you as well, take it slow. I needed more than three years to fully mature and learn how to deal with my emotions. I understood that I need to take charge of my emotions but I shouldn’t be afraid to express them.
For me, this year was a refreshing start and I gradually saw the reasons behind my struggles and fallbacks from years ago. I am happy with my profession now and I am seeing the purpose of my work. It was a colorful experience on its own already.
Travel and relax; don’t compare
After all the tiring moments from work, there sure will be a time when you would wish to just jump on a train and escape everything. You may have daydreamed at the early hours in the morning of buying that plane ticket and traveling to a faraway land so you could refresh, relax, and restart. But, later you realize, you are a few minutes late for the first huddle of the team.
There is nothing bad about feeling exhausted with work or with anything that you are doing for the day or the week or even for a long time already. I learned this the hard way. From my first job, I let myself get burned-out for the first 19 months in the workforce (with no benefits, by the way). I felt bad about leaving because I thought that I would be putting my students then, in a bad state. I didn’t fully understand that I should also think of myself as the way I present myself, my students will see it and they might grow up thinking that it is the “right” or even the “good” way of living.
I only learned after years of working that there should be a balance. I must find time for myself; away from work and away from the draining environment. This is where traveling comes in.
I am not saying that traveling should be in every working person’s plan, but this is what works for me. It was a step I wanted to take because I wanted to grow as a person. I, honestly, am not that social even though I took up a communication arts degree. I am comfortable on my own, in my kind of solitude.
Stepping into an unknown situation at an unfamiliar place is scary. A lot of unexpected things can happen which are not part of my plan. These are some of the thoughts that come to my mind when I wish to experience something new. I am not an outdoorsy person. I am not that comfortable in crowds. But, the best thing that I get from traveling is having that company of good friends. It is not always just about the beautiful sceneries, though they greatly help in relaxing, there is that magic in sharing stories and moments with people you travel with. There’s just so much color and beauty in a person’s life story. Sometimes you can relate, other times you learn and get surprised, or even not know how to react at all. Still, it is a good memory to keep.
Also, another habit that you might develop at this age of social media frenzy is that of comparing your “travel goals” with those other people around (even strangers). I experienced this and felt drained because of thinking about it. It took me some time to let go of that and just be happy with how I am doing in my life. I have my own pace, my own chapters to complete. No need to compare it with those of others as we all have different lives. 🙂
In life, after all, there are just different ways of seeing each event that comes to play. There are colors for days that reflect our emotions, colors that express our wishes, and even colors that we try to associate no matter how different it is from reality. At the end of the day, it’s our choice to put colors on those experiences. Sometimes, however, there are surprises that simply splash the hues to brighten up your day. Let’s take it one step at a time then.