After months of working in a position I did not enjoy, I decided to quit.
The last chapter of my life was plagued by the feeling of needing to stay in a place I did not want to be in, in order to validate my own existence.
I studied public health during undergrad so that I could have a broad perspective of the field I wanted to eventually go into—medicine. Public health not only gave me a really good idea of what it would be like to work in the medical field, but also gave me good insight into why I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy medicine, in the allopathic sense.
With that said, I entertained other options to pursue as a career. But, immediately after graduating, I needed to justify the student loans I had accumulated.
The plan was to get a job close to home. Saving money and making sure I racked up the quality time with my family was what was important to me. I ended up as a community health worker, working in a case management setting. I never thought I would be doing case management, but it surely taught me a lot about myself. I now know myself to be a very caring person, but also a very sensitive person to the energy around me. Recognising this about myself, and adjusting my life accordingly, has become important to me.
The relationships we create in our lives have so much power to heal or damage, build or destroy.
Some things we should not tolerate just for a paycheque.
This is something we know deep in our hearts, but may not have had to confront in our own experiences. Sometimes we find ourselves as 23 year olds with so few personal and career goals accomplished, settling in for the satisfaction of a regular pay day.
One day it dawned on me that I was spending my money to maintain a car, to get to a place five days a week that I did not enjoy.
Sometimes we equate being busy or existing comfortably with success. There comes a point where we must answer to the dreams—missed or achieved—we had as little children, teenagers, and young adults. If we have not abandoned those dreams altogether by the time we reach adulthood, then the path is probably still available to us.
Still, we must keep in mind that dreams don’t always turn into realities and that many do not. We must manifest our purest intentions. Life has a funny way of showing us why it’s so important to recognize ourselves.
Over the course of my employment , I started to pay close attention to the things I enjoyed—building relationships with people, caring for plants, practicing self–care, promoting peace and unity, learning about different spiritual and religious philosophies, travelling, writing, meditation and yoga, being surrounded by nature, and deepening relationships.
The best learning experiences I have had thus far have been those that showed me what it was that I wish I could do on a daily basis, without the constraints of financial obligations and other social constructs that teach us how to be limited in our existence.
Those of us on the spiritual path come to a fork in the road where we must decide whether or not to invest in the life that we want to live.
In the previous year, my 22nd, I had already started getting back into nature, meditating more often, and filling my mind with different philosophies and scientific principles. I was in a waking state characterized by a battle between what I thought I had to do and what I really wanted to do. But now, after much soul searching, I am more confident in investing in my true wants and needs.
I had to start by clearing my space (mental, physical, and spiritual) of all the ways we have been taught to limit ourselves. I stopped listening to music on the radio and XM, watching the little television I had kept up with, engaging in conversations that made me feel anything other than positive emotions, talking myself out of possibilities, asking for permission or forgiveness for being who I am, and trying to convince others of what was possible. This last piece is still a work-in–progress.
Though I will never be finished learning and exploring, in telling my story I hope those of you who are simply secure, comfortable, stagnant might find the inspiration to begin your journey towards true fulfilment.
Author: D’Andre Quinerly
Images: Flickr/Ryan King
Editor: Erin Lawson