There’s always been this haunting pressure that you need to have everything in your life figured out or established by a certain age. Well, my name is Julia, I am 26 years old and I don’t have it all figured out. Not even close. Sometimes it scares me, but I am also learning that it is okay. It scares me because 1. I am a Taurus and I am a bit of a control freak and 2. I have always been a planner. I had my whole college career mapped out before I even started. I planned out what courses I wanted to take, what on campus clubs I would join, where I would study abroad, etc. I was more than ready for the four years that were ahead of me.
I always jotted down goals and thoughts and I was notorious for list making. And yes, you can list out the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals but you cannot plan out your life. You can’t pinpoint at what age you’ll get married and have kids or what city you will be living in five years from now. Life is full of unexpected turns. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the next second let alone the next week. Life happens. Good things happen and bad things happen. Most of the time, whatever does happen, is out of our control.
Three months ago, the company I was working for shut down and I lost my job. It sucked. It really, really sucked and for a number of reasons. First and foremost, obviously, no one ever wants to be without a job or an income. While unemployment checks are great, they are not your annual salary. You really can’t survive on them. Second, finding a job right after college graduation was not easy at all for me, so finally landing a job in my career field was a blessing. Last, I really liked my job. I liked the people I met and the people I worked with. I liked what I learned and all of the experience I gained. And all of it was taken away from me in a day. I won’t get into any detail but I will say it was not a pleasant departure.
Losing your job and finding out your company is closing in the same day is not fun at all. I wouldn’t say I didn’t foresee the closure happening but even if you see it coming, you’re never prepared for how it feels. It didn’t feel real until I started seeing the store closure signs and the terrible articles written about the company online. Deep down, I knew things were probably not going to get better but I still stuck around. Why did I stay, you ask? Two words: loyalty and fear.
I was with the company for almost two and a half years. I was loyal to them. It was my first job in my career field out of college and sure, I was comfortable in my role but I also didn’t want to walk away from something I believed in. In addition, I feared having to begin the job search because the competition, especially in New York, is brutal. It’s all about who you know, not what you know. To me, leaving a job is like a break-up. You were committed to it for a period of time and then you have to adjust to being without it. You don’t want to have to start over and put yourself out there because it is a bit intimidating. The dating scene, like the job economy, is always changing.
I struggled with acne breakouts most of this year, but within a week of me losing my job, my skin cleared up instantly. I didn’t realize how much stress I was under until I no longer had to deal with any of it. While losing my job sucked, it was also a blessing in disguise. Sometimes we don’t have the strength to leave a relationship that is toxic or a job that we are unhappy with, so God has to do the work for us. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that God always has a plan. We need to be removed from one situation to be put in front of new opportunities. Adulting is hard and It is okay to have setbacks in life because they will lead us down the path that we need to be on.
The last time I was unemployed, (I’ll save that story for another post, but it was a similar situation as this one), I took much needed personal time for myself and I learned to self-love. I was able to reevaluate the path I was on and unhappy with and what I needed to do to change it. I also learned a lot about myself and gained a more positive mindset. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster these past few months but I hope this time around I bounce back even stronger and learn to be more kinder to myself as well.
I have been consistently applying for jobs within Merchandising and Buying as my last role at my the company was an Associate Buyer. However, I have also been contemplating a career switch and going back to school to get my Master’s Degree in another field. The great thing about life is that you can do anything you want to do. You don’t need to beat yourself up or compare yourself to others. We are all on different paths and you have to trust the process. You don’t need to stay at a job where you feel you won’t grow. You don’t need to be married by a certain age. You don’t need to have a set plan. You don’t need to have it all figured out.