“What are you Doing with your Life?” & My Thoughts on Having a Work-Life Balance. – Wildlight&Lush

So often I think to myself about what my parents might say if someone asked them how their children are doing. I saw it when family friends graduated high school and college – people always asked how their child was doing, how college was going, what their plans were, etc. And I always compared my journey to what those kids and my siblings are/were going through. “Their parents have such good answers to those questions. Their kids are successful, smart, motivated, and they’re accomplishing so much already.” My own parents have great answers for my brother and sister. My sister goes to a great college and my brother has an insanely bright future ahead of him. Things were never that clear cut for me though and I always felt like my parents were left with sort of a garbage variety of answers about me. I went to community college. I have no useful degrees to my name (yet) and I work with my boyfriend’s mom. If I was going to give myself a little more credit here, I am technically in an amazing position working with her, because the experience I’m gaining is just.. priceless. I’m learning so much about what she does and I learned early on that I actually really love this. I love coming to work, I never look at the clock for “punch out” time. I enjoy every second I’m here. I want to do this.

But I grew up wanting to be part of TLC, Hannah Montana, a fashion designer, an actress, an artist, and every other “impractical” career I could think of. It was extremely difficult for me to commit to any specific degree in college, so I didn’t do very well while getting my associates degree. It was hard for me to “see the finish line” when I had no goals to work toward. So I took a break. The last few years have been seemingly unproductive to those that don’t know or understand what I’ve been dealing with. And I know to some it may sound like I’m just being a whiny, lazy, asshole but I’m not, promise.

It’s just always been really important to me that I live my life happily. I believe 100% that I can be happy. That I can live a life that I love. That I can work a job that I love. Be with someone that I love. Do things that I love. I mean, why couldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I? I don’t want to find myself stuck in some job or field that I just sort of fell into and stuck with because my real interests seemed too unachievable and I felt like I didn’t have any other choice. I’ve been waiting to find my thing because I think it’s worth it to wait until I’m satisfied. Sure, I’m a few years behind now. But I know I’ll be 100x happier in this position than I would have been had I settled for something else early on because of money or pressure from society.

A lot of you know I want to get my undergrad in child development and my master’s in Speech Language Pathology.

A lot of you guys know I also love the content creating process that comes with blogging, photographing, video, and other things like this. It’s a lot of fun for me, and it’s something I want to keep doing as a hobby. And a lot of you guys also know that I love to travel and be literally anywhere but home.

It can get tricky to balance work and your passions and a lot of people aren’t able to make their passions their work. And in my little experience with making my passion (photography) my work (those couple of years I did paid photography) I learned that that is actually quite miserable. Passions are passions for a reason and when we do them for money, it changes the entire dynamic of what a passion is meant to be. It wasn’t fun for me, it was… well, work. I don’t like having to create my art on someone else’s schedule or demand. That’s not inspired, to me. And I had a lot of trouble dealing with that and being happy with my work, so I stopped and I put my photography into my blog and lemme jus’ tell ya. I’ve loved every second of this blogging venture I’ve been on the last couple years. Even the sponsored or paid work I do is fun for me, because my clients and partners respect my “creative vision” and they can appreciate a variety of looks in the people they work with. I LOVE that!

Blogging has taught me a lot about life in the sense that.. many people get into blogging because they see what kind of perks others are receiving through their social media presence and reach and they want in. I can’t blame them, though, it’s awesome. But you can’t go into something expecting to get the reward without putting in the time and effort. Blogging is a lot of work. If you don’t actually like it, if you’re only doing it for the perks, you won’t do it well. You’ll hate every minute of it. It won’t feel good to you. You won’t be in it for the long haul. And you’ll give up. This goes for literally everything though, not just blogging. I have quit nearly every hobby or venture I have ever started within the first 6 months. What I’m getting at, is that it’s never beneficial to you to only do something for the money. Money does not equal happiness. It never has and it never will. If you find something you truly enjoy,  do that regardless of the payoff. And if you put your best foot forward and let your passion run wild, things will happen for you. It may not be what you planned, it may not be what you expected, but it’ll be amazing. And if you had settled from the beginning, and you decided on something based on the pay, the perks, or convenience, you may have never found what truly makes you happy. And that’s not something to miss out on.

That goes for your career, too. Find a way to make your passions and your work blend perfectly into a life you are proud and excited to live. I chose Speech Therapy for a million different reasons. I get to work with children, I can work as an independent contractor or I can be an employee, I can have the freedom and time to travel if I want it, I can make a difference in the lives of children, and it pays really well. There’s a demand for people in this field. I can move wherever and there’s a good chance I’ll find work. I’ll have the financial independence I need should I need it. I’ll have that security.

And I’m excited to do it. And one day when my parents are asked how I’m doing, I’ll have a great career, maybe I’ll be married with children, but most of all, I’ll be so happy, and they’ll have a really good answer.

8 Comments

  1. I think we all wanted to be in TLC growing up LOL. I completely agree with you that money cannot be your goal for getting involved in something, especially blogging. If content creation is not a passion, you’ll give up on blogging after the first few months.
    Keep working on balancing life, building a career, and following your passions.
    xx A

    • Kaleigh Reply

      Lol, you’re probably right. But yeah! Money can’t be the objective – it’s important, yeah. But it can’t be the driving force in your life when it comes to anything you do. Thanks for reading! xo

  2. I think everyone worries and wonders how their parents will answer this question. They’re always a feeling that you won’t measure up. But you are already doing amazing things and working hard. You are good enough. Your goals and dreams are good enough. You got this, girl! xoxo

  3. I love this. I love how you have poured your feelings in this one post. I could actually relate myself with this post. I have seen people relating happiness with materialistic pleasure i.e money and thus fail to be happy. Real happiness comes when you do something out of passion and immense love. That’s where the real happiness lies. 🙂

    Love,
    Manavi
    http://www.beforbeauty.com

    • Kaleigh Reply

      I’m glad you can relate!! Or glad I’m not alone, anyway. lol! But yes! Money does not equal happiness!

  4. “But you can’t go into something expecting to get the reward without putting in the time and effort. Blogging is a lot of work. ”

    AMEN. While it is nice to monetise your blog, unless you actually truly love what you do, you will not have the drive to get things done for it. What a great reminder to everyone looking to explore a new path in their careers or personal lives. Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Abbi
    http://www.upraisedliving.com

    • Kaleigh Reply

      exactly!!! And same for work. I had the hardest time in college because I didn’t know what I was working toward or why I was there! Thanks for reading! xo

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