Do what I love, or do what I should—the battle continues.
Here I am again. So many times I come back to this place and deal with the same issues over and over again. I can’t seem to get it right. I can’t seem to get myself on the right path.
I’ve started to venture down the right path before. Feels like ages ago. I had started to teach yoga, I was working in a wellness center, I started a blog, and I felt great. I was happy to get out there and share yoga with my students, while also starting to write and share very personal stories about myself with the strangers of the internet. I felt like I was heading in the right direction and possibly towards feeling happy with my days… and then bam! I started to panic about student loans. I started to panic about not utilizing my degree and what others thought about me.
I started to let myself be led towards that other version of me—the one that listens to the shoulds in my mind instead of the wants in my heart.
You see, a little over seven years ago I was a gal on a career path. I had my business degree, I was working in finance, and I was about to apply to schools to attend for my MBA. And then I was in a car accident. This car accident literally changed my life. I started to question what I was doing and why I was doing it. Inherently I already knew that something was wrong before the accident, my daily life just didn’t feel right. But I kept doing it anyway… because intense job stress is normal right? I had no idea because I was only doing what a business graduate ‘should’ do—sit in my office, work work work, and hopefully climb the ladder. How exciting. For some people it is, but inside I knew it wasn’t for me. Unfortunately, it took a car accident that ruined the car and my long term relationship for me to realize this.
The injury and pain I suffered as a result of the accident took me into a whole new world. A world of holistic healing and support. A world I became fascinated with. So, I started to follow it, completed yoga teacher training, and knew that this was the field I wanted to work in. I wanted to work alongside those who were helping people just like me. I wanted to help people that were suffering too. But, as you may realize, teaching yoga and writing is not extremely lucrative for most and that’s where the money scares come in. And that’s where I get lead back into my old life. The old life that is unhealthy for me and makes me feel like I am living a lie.
Now, I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who battles with these dilemmas in this world. So, how do we reconcile ourselves to lead a happy life? How do we find the balance so that we can feel like we accomplished something and have a smile on our faces at the end of the day?
I’m still trying to figure it out.
Even now, as a recently unemployed gal, I find myself being led towards that old life. I’m scouring the job sites for positions that don’t suit me or that I know I will feel unhappy in. Jobs that sound prestigious, jobs that I ‘should’ be doing.
Why do I do this? Is it the money? Is it to make others happy? Most likely yes to both questions. Of course, money and paying my bills on time makes me happy… but I’m not solely motivated by the almighty dollar. I want to help people, I want to share, and I want to inspire. I want to start something—like teaching yoga—and stick to it without panicking and running away. I want to live in this world being myself.
If you’re out there reading this and thinking it sounds familiar, trust me, I know how hard it is to figure this out. We want to make others happy, we want others to be proud of us, but we forget about ourselves in the meantime. What’s the cost of making others happy while we are hurting inside? It’s pretty damn high I would say. In the end, we have to do what makes us smile and we have to be proud of ourselves too.
It’s extremely hard work, but when I meet others who are doing just this, I know it will all be worth it in the end.
Crystal Ellis is an early 30s yoga gal with a passion for community and continuous learning. She can always be found with her head in a book, in a silly yoga pose, or sharing her musings over on her blog or Twitter. With a fiery personality she constantly strives to motivate others to see their greatness, while always making sure to laugh at herself. Follow along on her journey at YogiCrystal or on Twitter.
Like elephant health & wellness on Facebook.
Ed., T. Lemieux/Kate Bartolotta