“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” – Henry David Thoreau
On this unique Labor Day weekend amidst a global pandemic, I am inspired to share my thoughts on labor and living:
When people ask me what my current job is or where I work… usually I am met with confusion, disdain, and eventually grave concern.
And, based on some of the responses I get, you’d probably think that I engage in some form of illegal activity or a line of work that harms myself or society.
Rest assured, I don’t.
I seek to live a mindful existence in a way that works best for me as a young woman.
Being a college-educated woman of color in her late twenties with “endless potential” (by society’s standards)… usually means grinding it out and becoming a top level professional in a corporate setting.
Certainly, working from home and following my passion for homemaking and entrepreneurship isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
So understandably, when some people learn about what I do, they get very uncomfortable and usually begin questioning my motives, my well-being, and my entire existence.
Common questions I get asked are:
- But, what do you do all day?
- Are you really just going to give up on your career?
- But, what about your college degree? How are you going to use it?
- This must be some 1950’s housewife phase you’re in…
- How are you going to make money?
- Don’t you want something for yourself?
- Spending all that time at home can’t be healthy for anyone…
But the interesting thing is, no one questioned my well-being when:
- I was confined to a desk/cubicle for 8 hours a day and barely saw the light of day
- I suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Spent 2-3 hours a day solely commuting back and forth to and from work
- Severely struggled balancing work and my declining personal health
- Suffered burnout from a schedule that shifted in extremes week to week (1-11 PM and 7 AM-3 PM)
- My husband and I rarely got to see each other or enjoy a meal together
- Our finances were in a scramble and our spending habits were not sustainable
Now don’t get me wrong. For some, the above experience is just a small price to pay for a life worth living in the end. Often times that sacrifice is one stepping stone away to ones dream career.
The circumstance I am referring to, is the one I was in. Sacrificing my mental health and wellbeing for a career path that was not sustainable to me.
I was a terrible match for corporate America, and to be able to make the change was truly a blessing.
The life I was living wasn’t true to who I considered myself to be: A human being on this beautiful planet for a limited amount of time.
When my husband and I left corporate America a few years ago and jointly took the dive into entrepreneurship, we were met with great resistance. However, I am glad we continued the course, because it was there that I also followed my passion for homemaking and wellness.
Because of this, I:
- Live an active lifestyle, I am constantly moving and spending lots of time outdoors doing the things I love
- Involved in many activities and community efforts that previously took the backburner to my corporate profession
- Wake up every single day excited to do what I do
- No trouble balancing work and my health as the two are not mutually exclusive
- Significantly if not completely eradicated my severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Have the time to exercise my passions of learning, reading, and creating
- Along with my husband, have been able to stay debt-free and increase our life savings quite significantly
- Live a mindful and sustainable lifestyle
This Labor Day, if you are reading this post, I hope this inspires you to go after the life of your dreams (as cliché as it may sound). Reconsider your definition of “labor” and whether it needs to be daunting. Reconsider whether your wellness really needs to take the backseat in order for you to become successful. Instead, consider what does “success” truly mean to you?
The life I have chosen, may not be the life for you, however the road taken is often similar:
Do not be afraid to drown out the noise, and the critical opinions of others to go after what fuels your soul
Only you know what it is, that will make you truly happy.
Because, if we have learned anything during our time in this pandemic, it is that we have one life to live and it might as well be an authentic one.
And with that, I leave you with one of my favorite lines from Beyoncé’s latest album Black Is King:
“Life is your birthright, they hid that in the fine print…” – Beyoncé
Stay organically opulent,