Truth be told, I’ve felt out of place for most of my adult life. Whenever I stopped to compare where my life was at in relation to others my age I constantly felt left behind. I thought I was standing still while I watched the rest of my peers go on ahead. The quote “comparison is the thief of joy” stood true. I forfeited too much time measuring the success of my life against where I thought I should be based on what I saw others doing around me.
In college, I struggled to declare a major while other classmates confidently pursued degrees with a definitive career path in mind. Post-college, I struggled to find an entry level position while my fellow graduates began working away at various firms. In my early twenties I was still living with my grandmother and job hopping while friends continued to advance in their careers and then moved on to marriage. In my late twenties I ended my serious relationship of over three years while those who had married went on to start families of their own. I always felt like I was one step behind.
And then one day I made the decision to stop. I had to discontinue looking outward for approval. It was time to start looking inward and define my own happiness. I had to stop perpetually checking my life’s progress against others perceived achievements. I had to accept that my path wasn’t a straight line from point A to B. My life was a series of scribbles, wrong turns and ups and downs. And that was okay.
The thing is everything happened for a reason. My undeclared major and job hopping ultimately worked with serendipity to land me in a career I am in love with. My failed relationship, my subsequent years spent being single and waiting to start a family afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, sleep in when I wanted to and indulge in my youth a little longer.
I have to continually remind myself that things happen for a reason. One of those instances is when I kick myself for turning down an opportunity to pursue my MBA immediately following my undergrad. UNH offered me an amazing opportunity for an accelerated Master’s program which I turned down. I had taken a GRE prep course, struggled through the standardized test and everything – but my heart just wasn’t behind it. Instead of being a prisoner to regret I had to shrug it off as poor timing and have confidence that it would all work out.
This mindset shift from second-guessing everything to simple acceptance was life changing. The minute I put my faith in the universe and trusted things would work out one way or another I was finally able to breathe. I was freed from the anxiety that I had been unaware was slowly suffocating me. I stopped trying to march to the beat of others’ drums and I celebrated dancing to the music of my own journey.
And with that being said, ten years after my college graduation, I decided the timing was right for my Master’s Degree. I’m not doing it to make my family proud, to make more money or to change careers. I’m simply doing it because it feels right and I’m ready to. And the cool thing is that I now have six years of professional experience to apply my leanings to, whereas straight out of college it would have just been theoretical knowledge. I’m learning more about real life subjects I’m living in my career every day.
With that being said, I’m torn to admit that this will be my final Stay Work Play blog post. I have loved sharing the fantastic things about living, working and loving life as a young professional, homeowner and thirty-something in NH. But those three hours I spend collecting photos, drafting and editing blog posts on Sunday afternoons will now be spent on my Masters of Business Administration coursework. Thank you to those who have followed and enjoyed the ride with me. And thank you to Stay Work Play for offering me this unexpected and rewarding opportunity. It has truly been a pleasure.
For those of you seeking an excellent graduate program, I highly recommend PSU. The admissions department, professors and program staff have given me the personal experience I was in search of. They have made me feel like a person – versus another name on a list. Their information session, countless emails and phone conversations have reassured me time and time again that they are deserving of my investment. And their “try before you buy” approach to completing up to five classes before officially applying to the program has allowed me to explore online learning and make sure it is a good fit for me before jumping in feet first. If you’re curious to know more, you can contact admissions here.
Happy learning, living and loving in the “Live Free or Die” Granite State. I’m out!