by Vineeta Sathiamoorthy
Never try to be something you’re not – but does that mean you shouldn’t try to be something you want?
Choosing a career is difficult especially when your chosen career does not exactly scream ‘you’ . I am one of life’s observers and not a fan of confrontation, so it came as a bit of a surprise to those who know me, when I declared that I wanted to become a journalist. More of a social moth than a social butterfly, I struggled to find a voice among the one’s that existed around me but by choosing a career that ultimately was a choice of my own, I have learnt a few lessons so far.
My mother taught me to be fearless with my talent yet there has been many moments in life where fear has stopped me from showing exactly that. As someone who prides herself on independence, my closest confidante is myself. For a long time, I thought having fears represented weakness but I’ve come to realise it’s the opposite. It shows you give a damn about what happens in your life and you’re simply afraid of not achieving perfection. I don’t know if you got the memo, but perfection is overrated and sometimes doing the very thing that scares you can help you realise that.
Everyone experiences rejection in life. From not getting an interview for that part-time job you didn’t really want, to getting no right swipes on Tinder. The main way I have learnt to deal with rejection is to trust fate. Whether you’re religious or not, believing in something other than a tub of ice cream may just help heal that broken heart. Broken by a lover, work or family, your heart will always heal depending on how quickly you can get back up. Like that annoying zit, rejection is likely to pop up again but next time, choose to believe in fate and know this was not meant to happen for all the right reasons, even if it seems unlikely now.
Getting angry at situations out of your control, is a feeling most of us dread. Instead of going all ‘Incredible Hulk’ on the next person in your sight, learn to channel your frustration onto something that’s less frustrating. Next time you find yourself coming home to a pile of dirty dishes after a long day avoiding the death stare from your boss, remind yourself of the mojito with your name on it that will be waiting for you on Friday night. Or seek solace by writing on paper (remember these? They existed before tablets!). By physically writing out your frustrations, you can find that your mind becomes clearer and it also saves someone else from the wrath of your anger.
Listening to others
Opinions. We all have them. The trick is to not accept every opinion you hear. I didn’t have a career role model in mind when I chose to become a journalist, which meant I don’t have to compare where I’m at with the most successful person I know in my field. While the thought of 10-year-old’s signing music contracts sends you into a fury over your own career, remember you are NOT them. No one else can live your life for you (unless your body is taken over by an alien parasite that is), just like you can’t live theirs. By learning to accept your own pace and decisions, you know that whatever happens next, is down to you.
Many things can define happiness. Whether it’s the feeling you get while eating a decadent brownie or watching a panda sneeze, it’s a regular emotion that can be prolonged if we choose to let it. While it may be impossible to stay happy all the time, finding moments in life to be happy is one we should never sacrifice. Having a career is important, you’ve worked hard to get here and you don’t want to give it up just yet, but what about the times you do wish you could have made more time? Living with regrets is something we will all have (even the people who say they won’t), but changing the present is all we can do as the past has already been done and the future has not begun.
These are lessons that science and maths forgot to teach us and can only be learnt while living life. Don’t be afraid to be something you’re not as you’ll learn about fear, frustration, rejection and listening to others. The best part is when you do these things, you will also learn about happiness.
Vineeta Sathiamoorthy is studying journalism at City University, London. She believes that life doesn’t owe us anything but we owe life everything.
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