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Friday, 26 September 2014

Choosing Happiness

"Life is so damn short.
For fuck sake, do what makes you happy."

Okay, this post may sound somewhat hypocritical considering my earlier posts on my foray back into education. I talked about how I've always been a bit of a quitter. I never truly felt like I had a direction or end goal, so I didn't see the point in putting the effort in. Once things got hard or well... when I just couldn't be bothered anymore, I'd hightail it out of there. I've never been a person who see's things through no matter what, and that is something I want to change about myself.

My own lack of ambition and perseverance aside, this post is about my sister's decision to quit her child care course after doing it for a year and having nine more months to go. This was met with quite mixed reactions from my parents. My mum was a little more understanding, but kind of kept flitting between being okay with it and not being so sure. My dad acknowledged he couldn't really do anything to stop her quitting, but thought she should stick at it regardless of how unhappy doing the course made her and whether or not she would eventually go into child care.

I should say here that she isn't dropping out to do nothing. She has a part time Teleperformance job, which she enjoys. She works three evenings during the week from 6pm to 11:30pm and one long shift at the weekend. She'd only started her job a little while before she got off for the summer, and never really had to juggle school and it for long. I think juggling a full time course, part time work and then all the stuff she does for me as one of my primary carers would have been a whole lot easier if she was actually enjoying the course. But she wasn't. She was waking up every day shattered and dreading going to class or placement. My dad said that's normal. He said work isn't to be enjoyed, but endured.

Considering I've never had a job, it doesn't exactly put me in the best position to have an opinion. And my family would be the first to point that out. However my dad doesn't fully believe in depression, and my mum has been known to say when we're at our lowest that we need to 'get things into perspective'. I understand what it's like living on a knife edge, and I know more than anyone how Eva has struggled with... for lack of a better word, mental health stuff in the past. And while it might be normal to dislike going to school or going to work, I'd rather not put the pressure on her to stick at something that makes her so unhappy if she truly knows it isn't what she wants to do with her future.

Eva isn't like me. She isn't directionless. She tried child care and found it wasn't for her. She's nineteen. She doesn't have to have everything figured out right now. It's okay to to see how things go. She wants to get extra hours at her job to help save for us moving out, and hopes to take an animal management course next year. She had thought about doing that this year instead, but over the summer she was convinced to go back to child care. I guess she should have stuck with her gut instinct, and that's why I think she needs to do what's right for her and not let the opinions of others make her second guess herself.

When I started out writing this post I had looked for a quote that said quitting is okay, but I couldn't find one. They were all about how bad it is to quit and how you'll never be a winner if you give up. I hate that. I hate that there's this stigma attached to quitting. It's like it's a dirty word or something to be ashamed of. Like it makes you weak. Once a quitter, always a quitter.

Life is too short to spend time doing things that make us unhappy if we can avoid it. There are so many things we can't control that affect our happiness, it's important to take advantage of the ones we can. And as they say, it's never to late to be what you might have been. My older sister did musical theatre at university when she was nineteen and we always thought she'd end up on the West End. And she could have, but she realised it wasn't her calling. By a fluke she ended up realising what she really loved doing was nursing. She still ended up living in London, but has just went back to university at twenty eight years old to become a nurse. She's living proof you don't have to have things figured out right away, and now she couldn't be happier. Eva will find her path too, and I don't think it's wrong of her to try and find happiness while she does so. Whatever she ends up doing in life, I know she'll be great. I'll always be on her side and believe in her. She's my baby sis after all.


5 comments:

  1. "My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, `Oh God, I’ve got to do this today.`" Richard Branson.
    He quit school at 16. Now he makes spacecraft.

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    1. I love this quote/example! :)

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    2. The quote you used is basically the same thing. Lots of really successful people quit. I don't finish everything I start either. Knowing when to quit is a good thing.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Well I'm glad you found my post just at the right moment. :D But yes, life is too short to spend time doing something that makes you unhappy. So long as you're moving forward and not staying still, then there's nothing wrong with trying to find what makes you happy. :)

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