Before I start this post, I want to give a little background of myself. As I start to post more about my life, I want my readers to be able to connect with me and relate as much as possible. I am a twenty-three year old full time college student that lives in the suburbs of Chicago. I went to a public high school, and in my graduating class there was about 1,000 plus kids I graduated with. Growing up I did not have the best family situation, and no I was never handed anything I wanted in life- I worked hard for it. One week after turning sixteen I started my very first job as a sales associate in retail. After seven long years in the retail world, I finally gave up. My first job was at Pacific Sunwear, I worked there for four years. I decided to leave that job because I was approached by a store manager to come check out their company and work for them. The best decision was leaving that job and becoming a manager at American Eagle. I left Pacific Sunwear as a keyholder and started American Eagle as a keyholder. Within three years of being at American Eagle I was promoted to a store manager. Now keep in mind I am still in college all of this time as a full time student.
School vs. Job..
There were times that I just wanted to quit, quit it all. I could not find a balance for myself when I was working forty hours a week with only one weekend off a month, and being able to keep up with school and managing good grades. For some reason I had this intent that I would bust my ass off at my job because I was getting paid for it, and school was whatever because for some reason I did not feel a reward at the end of the day putting hours of studying and class time in. So my job started to take over and school slowly started to slip out of my control. Dropping classes, failing classes, going on academic probation.. I couldn’t manage both.
My own sanity vs sacrifice…
Many people don’t understand how hard retail is, especially managing it. It was getting to the point where I was losing my mind, losing a social life, and most importantly losing my perception on life. Time was slipping away from me and there was no way of controlling it. All of my friends started to graduate college, and I was here still in community college with a full time job. What I started to realize was since i’ve been sixteen I was working a JOB-not a career. Now don’t get me wrong, this experience will get me so far after college, and I am so thankful for the endless opportunities, but it’s far more than that. It was time for me to make a difference because everything in life that I wanted to do and figure out in my twenties slowly seemed to be impossible to reach.
Life is too short and i’ve never been so damn happy…
I am a firm believer in living every day like it’s your last. I started to realize that life is more than clocking in for eight hours, clocking out, and then the next day doing it all over again. There’s a difference of getting to that place where you are clocking in to do what you love, and then to clock in to get paid hourly. I realized I was clocking in to just get paid. Putting in my two weeks was the hardest thing I ever had to do because the company was awesome and so good to me, but it just wasn’t enough. I quit my full time job in the beginning of July and I finally understand what it’s like not work late nights, being able to actually enjoy your weekends, and doing things that you have had on your “to do” list since six months ago.
Being so young I realized you shouldn’t have to work to live. Yes, of course I need an income, but not as important as getting through school. Not as important as accomplishing the littlest things like cleaning out your closet, washing your car, going to the gym in the middle of the day. I have gained sanity back because I have been able to do things for me. I wanted to figure out what I exactly need and want in life before life slips away from my hands, before I have a chance to grab it. I shouldn’t have to just get by in school because i’m working full time. I shouldn’t have to miss out on going out with my friends and those memories because i’m a store manager at twenty three years old. Not even being a manager, just anyone my age working forty plus hours a week. This is the time in life where everyone should figure out themselves before you can make others happy. Make sure you are happy with yourself before taking any next chapter in your life. Make sure you have a job that you are in love with. Make sure you still have time for YOURSELF. Because if you don’t, then what is the main thing you’re living for? Live for life, live for love, life for happiness. Don’t live for money, don’t live to please others, and don’t live thinking you will have tomorrow to change it. Change it now, because if you don’t that is going to turn into days, weeks, months, and maybe even years for you to realize and regret that you should’ve changed it when you first realized a problem. For me, I should’ve changed it three years ago.