Life Lessons, Mindset, Self Growth, Self Reflection

Why I Am Successful

I haven’t thought about it much. I’ve just been doing and doing and doing. Now I’m starting to slow down and reflect – especially since it’s the holidays. This is part ‘why I am successful’ and part ‘my authentic self’. Both go hand in hand. To be one, I have to be the other.

Change is hard. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s utterly necessary to be successful. I used to be anxious. I used to be depressed. I used to have a lack of fulfillment in my life that I would often fill with alcohol and fake friends – people I didn’t even really like, but called them friends anyway just to have something. I changed all of that. I went from accepting the fact that depression was always going to be a part of my life to waving goodbye to it through a rearview mirror. I went from feeling anxious all the time – especially around other people – to just having stress here and there about major things. I went from fake friends and relationships to authentic ones. I went from unfulfillment to complete fulfillment.

Each change I made was uncomfortable. Each one was hard, and some were downright painful. But they were worth it. I went from a miserable career to one that brings me joy. I went from one terrible partner after another to the best partner anyone could ask for. I went from unhealthy relationships to healthy ones. I went from putting on a major facade all the time to being my authentic self.

I remember my therapist telling me that I was one of her favorite clients because after each session I would go and act on the things we talked about and I would come back with new barriers to tackle. I learned, I grew, I worked on myself, and I made painful realizations and worked hard to correct them. I read books, I had deep conversations with friends and coworkers, I did a lot of self-reflection, and I met with my therapist regularly.

Realizing I was co-dependent was painful. Facing the fact that my parents fucked up was even more so. I got angry, I laid blame, but ultimately I decided it was my responsibility to fix it because I’m the one that it affects. By the way, co-dependency is not what you think it is, and most people are a little bit co-dependent. As funny as it sounds, I highly recommend the book “Co-dependency for Dummies.” It really helped me learn what it is, what kind I was, and how to SET BOUNDARIES (something I never learned from my parents – but I’m not salty about it, I swear). Making decisions based on what I wanted and not what I thought others wanted was also part of it. Along with not taking on other people’s problems as my own. All of this was a major step towards me becoming more authentic. I stopped acting in a way that I thought would please those around me and just did what I wanted. I stopped feeling stressed and responsible when someone talked to me about their problems. I stopped saying things I thought others wanted to hear and said what was in my heart. I was becoming more and more my authentic self. I lost fake friends and gained real ones. And I met the love of my life.

Changing careers was scary. Telling my parents I was switching from engineering to teaching was uncomfortable. Telling my boss was even worse. I almost threw up I was so nervous. Changing jobs was part of becoming my authentic self. I didn’t like standing at a desk, reading specs, calling clients and vendors, and checking CAD drawings. I wanted to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I wanted to build a better community. I wasn’t doing either as an engineer. I have very high patience when it comes to helping others. I have very high patience when someone is learning something new. And I can explain things in different ways. I am caring and passionate and it just made sense for me to use my skills to be a teacher. So, I made the switch, and I have never looked back.

Moving is also uncomfortable and difficult, but new places always come with new opportunities. When I moved to Texas to be closer to my love, I got way better training and preparation for becoming a teacher than I could have dreamed of getting in Florida. It was like the pieces just fell into place.

My next thing to try is also scary and likely to be uncomfortable, if not downright painful the first few times I try it, but I am going to push through and do it anyway because I want to continue to be happy and successful. I am going to try a PBL (project based learning) in my chemistry class after the break. It is going to be very different than any other way I have taught before and has a lot of components. I took a training over the summer and have resources that I’m currently culling through, but ultimately I will not be successful at it if I don’t give it a try and actually DO it. I’ve put it off for an entire semester and that’s long enough. I’ve got to keep pushing myself into new, uncomfortable things because that is how I grow and learn and succeed.

What do you do to be successful? What is the most uncomfortable, yet ultimately rewarding situation you have pushed yourself through? Did you grow? What will you do next?

Please share your thoughts, stories, musings, or reflections. I love to read them.

Self Growth, Self Reflection

Everyone Has A Cause

Everyone has a cause they care about and pursue. Everyone has a reason for at least some of their actions, purchases, and social media posts. If you don’t, I imagine you have a hard time getting out of bed. But even then, I know there’s something you care about, even if you’re not actively promoting it.

I care about helping others. If a clothing store tells me that their reason for being is to help others, and they do that in the way they obtain materials and provide training, jobs, and education to their local community members, I will buy their clothes even if they are typically out of my price range. Or pink. Or not exactly my style. I’ll buy them for someone else if it means I get to help a cause I believe in.

Likewise, if you care about animals, and a shoe store says that their company was started so the profits could be used to help local animal shelters, you’ll want to buy those shoes. We like to promote our causes by supporting companies that also believe in our causes.

It’s even better when you can get into a career that furthers your cause. My cause is helping others. I tried to do that with engineering. I wanted to innovate and use new designs and technology to make products that would really benefit the community. But that didn’t seem like it was going to happen. When I switched to teaching, it was like sliding a puzzle piece into place. I got to help others in a way that I did not imagine I wanted to. There were lots of reasons I didn’t want to be a teacher and only one reason that I did. My one reason for wanting to be a teacher was to further my cause.

What’s your cause? How do you pursue it?

Career

Learning to Swim by Falling in the Ocean

Woops. I recently left the engineering field to pursue a career in teaching and I had my first substituting job the other day. Wow was it awful. It was for a 6th grade class at a school known for disciplinary issues, but I didn’t know to check for that. I just took an available job. That was a mistake. I could tell I might have made a mistake when the instructions from the teacher included three different things to do in case of a problem student and ended with “good luck :)”. “Good luck” is so not a good sign. I did have problems. I could barely get homeroom under control enough to call role, and I lost my entire class at lunch. Yes, lost them. They all eventually ended up back in the classroom, but still. Luckily, a co-teacher came in and started writing lunch detentions left and right and was able to somewhat control the classroom. I was at a complete loss at how to handle something like that. The students ran around and hollered like 4 year olds and did not listen to me at all. It was….a little shocking. And it certainly made me question going down this route. But at least it can only go uphill from here, I hope.

Uncategorized

What to do with My Life??

I would think at 23, with a college degree and a job, I would have a good idea on what I want to do with the rest of my life. NOPE. All I know for sure is that I don’t like my current job and that I do not want to be a doctor or a veterinarian. Or a nurse.

My current job involves me sitting at a desk 90% of the time and on a computer 80% of the time. I have my Engineer Intern certification and I’m working under a Professional Engineer, which means I’m getting hours towards getting my Professional Engineering degree, but not with what I’m interested in. I work in a small Civil Engineering and Surveying firm, so we do all kinds of different projects and don’t specialize in anything. I am in charge of all the environmental permitting, which I don’t mind too much, and I’m the head of a few projects. I just finished putting together my first book of specifications for one of my projects, which was kind of interesting, but mostly boring.

Point is, I want to be outside more. And I want to be doing something interesting. I thought I wanted to pursue water and waste water treatment because I find it absolutely fascinating and I want to design them one day. My current plan is to find a job a water or waste water treatment plant to get a feel for how everything works, rather than just reading about it in a text book and working problems for imaginary situations (which I’ve done plenty of). Then maybe get a Master’s and a job at a firm that specializes in treatment plants or find a related job that doesn’t need a Master’s degree.

However, in addition to the voluntary GED tutoring, I recently started doing some paid private tutoring. I have enjoyed this more than I expected. I thought it would be a fun way to get some extra cash, but I never expected to enjoy it so much. I found that I love making lessons as well as working directly with my individual students.

I also recently discovered this thing called Earthships which is right up my ally of almost all my loves combined: renewable energy, recycling/reusing, home-grown food, reduced water use, AND helping people. Those five things sum up most of my passions. Maybe all of them. I love helping people, hence my volunteer work. I love renewable energy and if I had an interest in electricity, might have gone into that field. I try to reduce, reuse, & recycle as much as possible. I think home-grown food is great because it increases the plants in the area, reduces the amount of fuel used to transport food, and often tastes better. Being passionate about water and waste water treatment, I’m also passionate about reducing the amount of water used. Plus, since these things are built in many different places, it’s a great opportunity to travel, which I also love doing. Honestly, if I wasn’t with the person I think I want to spend the rest of my life with, I’d probably jump right into that. I think continuing with my engineering and water/waste water treatment experience and knowledge will help if and when I do pursue Earthships. The only real problem I see with that is trying to tutor and having a husband who has a steady job that doesn’t travel. Maybe it’s not the best idea, but it seems so perfect for me.

The point is, I’m quite lost with how to pursue and shape my future.

I’ve also looked into working for the USDA Forestry Service because that would include getting to work outside a lot and possible travel.

For now, I’m planning on moving to FL in June and looking for a job in my field or something similar. I put in an application for a waste water treatment plant, but I’m not extremely hopeful. I might even look into some tutoring or substitute teaching jobs. I feel like it would be easier if I knew what my ultimate goal was that I was aiming for. I guess for now, I’ll act as though I still plan on designing water and waste water treatment plants, but there are so many other fun opportunities out there like Earthship or teaching GED classes full time.

I’d love to hear [read] any advice, thoughts, observations, ideas, personal stories, etc, that you’d like to share. How/when did you decide on your career path? Have you struggled with deciding what you want to do in life? Do you have any advice on the matter?