“Hurry up and graduate”, they say. It’s time for you to get on your way! What do you do when you finally “make it” after years of studying up, preparing for the “real world” and attain your first “big girl job”? You dive in head first. That’s what I did, anyhow. But, after analyzing my one and a half years fully employed in the U.S. workforce, it has been easy to identify many areas in this new stage of “life” that I was not taught or prepared for in college. It’s all wrong.
Forewarning, this interpretation could be crazy… but I’m used to it now.
Over the past few weeks, many thoughts have run through my head. Some could be logical. Others could be derived from my changed diet and bodybuilding altering my hormones and emotions (which could actually happen).
We all have had our awkward moments. In beginning life stages, we are in a realm full of experiments.
We are uncertain.
We sometimes do not know the next thing to say, see, feel or do.
We are awkward.
Through stages, we develop and grow out of it… or so, we think. Parents, teachers, friends, coworkers, strangers in public all influence us to evolve out of the “awkward” life moments. Once we get through the terrible teenage years and into our 20s, we think we have made it.
Life stays challenging. If it doesn’t, you may have become complacent or just go each day accepting the life you lead and the circumstances you face.
I do not.
Work-life balance, moving away from home, maintaining relationships, identifying faith, finding hobbies, making friends and reviving our life goals and passions are tough. More than half of the things I experience daily in my job I did not learn how to handle or approach from a college course. I’m not even practicing what I studied in college (and neither are many of my friends).
Yesterday, I had three different phone conversations with friends living across the country. You know what is interesting?
All of us have identified at least one of the above topics as a challenge.
One of the ladies I spoke with is a good friend named Jordan. She shared something similar to below and is exactly what I have needed to hear.
“We are all going to have seasons of awkward. If we are not questioning our actions, our decisions, our beliefs, or our ambitions, what does that make us? Many of our peers do not do this. I think the 20-somethings need to take time to examine these things. It is intimidating and scary to think about it. However, no one tells you the differences between situations that are “good” difficult or “bad” difficult. That’s what you must discover on your own.”
Today’s season: uncertainty
This goes back to Jordan’s reference of separating two types of difficult. Let me explain a bit.
Good Difficult: experiences or situations that challenge you and make you grow, with progression towards something ahead. Usually in your career or personal endeavors and you know it will make you stronger, but you just have to get past the breaking point.
Bad Difficult: experiences or situations that are initially perceived as positive for growth, but actually end up evolving into a destructive or negative side affect and avoidance of real issues at hand. These could be working out a tough issue in a relationship or avoiding feelings deep down of circumstances you can control but are choosing to avoid.
I do not think these can be identified quickly nor easily. However, by probing and asking questions of my closest peers, mentors, and loved ones, it can help me start to find the separation.
Season two, coming at you
Everyone experiences seasons of awkward.
(any and all tips are welcome)