God Bless the Broken Road – Or Something Like That

My life has been a mess this year. I’ve spent all year cringing whenever someone asks what I do or what I want to do. I moved across the country, spent almost all year living with my brother, and had a job that I was super unhappy at. I’ve had to ask a lot of people for help, and I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life.

If I look back on the last eleven months, I recognize the unhappiness that I was stuck in and the failure that I constantly felt. This year hasn’t been a super fun one if I’m being totally honest. There’s a lot of things that I wish I would’ve done differently and a lot of mistakes that I wish I could’ve avoided all-together. But that’s not how life works.

When I was growing up, I always imagined myself working in an office someday. I romanticized cubicals and office-kitchenettes filled with morning donuts and the smell of coffee. I thought working in an office would be fun because you could go to business lunches, and send mail, and do “paperwork.” This year I realized that I do not thank people who work in offices enough. I hated my cubical, I hated the paperwork, I hated the office atmosphere. I always thought that I would love it, but I didn’t. And even when I didn’t love it, I was afraid to leave.

I was afraid that I would be seen as a failure if I went and worked at a coffee shop, even though I would be much happier making lattes, rather than shredding documents. I waited around to see if someday, I might start to like the office-life more, but I never did.

In August, I was back home for a wedding. I was home for a full 10 days, and it was the most refreshing trip that I’ve ever taken. When my mom drove me back to the airport on the 10th day, I didn’t want to board the plane. I wanted to stay in Iowa and be with my friends and work in the warehouse. I didn’t want to go back to Washington where I hardly knew anyone and hated my job.

I told my mom about constantly feeling like a failure and hating my job more than I’d ever hated a job before (and that’s saying a lot because I used to work at McDonalds). When I got back to Washington, I quit my job. I decided that I was going to go back to nannying full-time. Sure, I wouldn’t be using my degree, but I could make plenty of money and still do something that made me happy.

I spent a lot of the last eleven months more unhappy than I’ve ever been, but that’s okay because it forced me to grow more than I ever have: for the first time, I realized how important it is for me to be close to my family; I decided, after hundreds of debates, what I want to go back to school for; and I finally started to give writing a chance. The last eleven months have felt really long, and really hard, but I’m finally starting to be thankful for them.

Today, I finally moved out of my brother’s house and into the city.

And tomorrow, I start my new nanny job with a family I adore.

To other’s, this past year might look like an incredible mess of mistakes. But to me, it’s been an eleven-month journey to what lies ahead.


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