How a Facebook Post Helped Me Find My Own Happiness
By Emery W.
“If you are unhappy, change something. Quit your job. Move. Leave your miserable relationship. Sto`12p making excuses. You are in control.”
I don’t know who ultimately put these words together, but they are a double-edged sword for the most part. I remember when I first saw this going around as a post on Facebook, I laughed. “If only it was this easy,” I said to myself before continuing to scroll down my News Feed.
I had been working at the preschool for about a year, I was making just enough to pay all of my bills, and while I wished I made more, I was safe. Since I don’t have my own car, I had co-workers who always made sure I got to work on time every day, and trying to find another job could ruin my chances of that. Then it dawned on me, I can’t rely on other people to get me to and from for the rest of my life. Despite my boss giving me a .25 cent raise, it wasn’t enough to save up for a car, and make sure I had enough to save for a new apartment in the Winter. Add in emergency expenses, gas money to my rides, food, and the occasional new pair of work pants, I wasn’t able to keep up.
When it got to the point where I couldn’t go a week without having an anxiety attack, and I was snapping at my boyfriend every other day, I knew there was a problem. He and I had a deep heart-to-heart, and figured out that I never did anything that made me happy; karaoke, writing, seeing my friends, none of it. The passion that I once had for these things was no longer there. I never wanted to see my friends because when we went out, they always had to pay for me. After a while, I just stopped going out because I didn’t want to seem like a bum. Granted, most of my friends still live at home (lucky), and understand that I have higher priorities than getting drunk every weekend. Not that I wanted to, but I wanted the option. One day, I got home from work, and decided to make a change. I was going to force myself to write something. No matter how bad, I was going to take a thought, write it down, and finish it.
I put on my headphones, pressed play on the Hamilton soundtrack, and got to work on a novel. I finished the first chapter, hated it, but kept it, and vowed to keep going. Soon, I was writing every day, and started smiling again. A few weeks went by, and I saw a post about a start-up online magazine wanting submissions. From that moment on, a fire was lit under my ass, and I knew what I needed to do; follow a dream, and do what I love.
“I was going to force myself to write something.”
I watched from the sideline for two years as my boyfriend, continued to follow his heart, and turn his passion into an income, and always felt that my job was to support him, and make enough money to keep a roof over our heads. Not anymore. I had taken the first step in taking control of my life. Of course, I still needed a day job since writing for a start-up doesn’t make any money (yet), and at the end of the day, we were both doing what we loved, and still struggling.
After a rough day at work that sent me into a full-blown panic attack during my lunch break, I went out on a whim, and applied for a new job that I was sure would offer me more money. Sure enough, two days later I got the call for an interview, nailed said interview the next day, and they were offering me a title, more money than I originally asked for, and benefits. What? Was this real life? I couldn’t believe it. I went home and cried because for once, things were starting to look up. Now only would I be making enough to finally save up for a car, and pay moving costs come December, but I’d be moving up in an industry that I’d given 12 years of my life to.
Finally, I feel like I’m in control of my life again. I’m writing things that I’m proud of daily, my relationship is better because I’m in a better mental state, and I still have supportive friends behind me who are willing to help me get to and from work for a few months so that I can save up for my own means of transportation.
“I went home and cried because for once, things were starting to look up. “
I was always so scared of changing my life because I was so positive that I could be good enough to be in a better position than where life had thrown me. I’m still in the process of getting to where I want to be, and I’m starting to get comfortable with the fact that these kinds of moves take time, but to get on the right track, I had to take a huge step first.
I go back to that post ever so often, and now, I don’t laugh when I read it. I smile because as basic as it reads, it’s true. If you want to get over a speed bump, you have to change things to get there. In reality, us working-class people don’t get things handed to us. It takes work, and the mentality to take the steering wheel of your life, and drive yourself forward.