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Trials and tribulations of procrastination
It's either now or never
We're all guilty of it.
At some point in our lives we've all been victims of procrastinating. You're a teenager in high school who has that important research paper due in a week, yet you put it off to hang out with your friends. You say to yourself"I'll get to it tomorrow". Flash forward to the day when the paper is due, and you're in a panic, praying and wishing you had started it the day of and wouldn't be getting the evil eye from your teacher and classmates.
You make that yearly resolution of "I'm gonna lose weight this year". Then proceed to head to Red Lobster the same day and gorge yourself on Cheddar Bay Biscuits, which granted they are delicious and feel like tiny food angels baked you biscuits. Before I go off into a food tangent here, the point I'm making here is that we all have procrastinated at some point. This can be especially true if you're divulging into the world of writing, whether freelance or otherwise. I've have my time struggling with two instances of my life, which I'll talk about here.
I came at a huge realization this year about my job. The drama that I went through, the managers I had to put up with, the crazy shifts I worked(close opens should be a crime against nature). To make a really long Seven year story short, I decided to leave from this job. The problem wasn't when,so much as it was how. How do I leave a job of 7 years to look for a new one? How was I going to make the money to sustain myself? Would they have insurance? Thousand of thoughts were racing into my head as I contemplated leaving.
Then procrastination came in. I told myself "ok, we're going to leave in this month". That month would get pushed back to a week, then two weeks, then a month and so far and so forth. This went on for several months, and each day felt longer than the last one. "Just put in your two weeks. Stop being scared"I would tell myself. Yet the day would never come, and here it is, Saturday, working from 10 in the morning to 8 at night, then doing the same shift on Sunday and having to open at 7 in the morning on Monday. Now try doing that for 7 years in a row.
Don't get me wrong, I do occasionally get the weekend off. By "occasionally" I mean if I schedule it off myself, which in that case I have weekends off about 3 or 4 times out of the year. Then add into the account of having to do close opens, being up every holiday you could think of, and our management that treats us all like a bunch of children. But the one thing that was holding me back was myself.
I lived in the land of delusion.
I was deluding myself into thinking "we can't leave. I have to stay here for my team". After all, I went through a lot to get that job, and the hiring manager hired me on the first day right after my interview. But looking back on it, I was just making excuses for not wanting to put in the hard work to find another job. I was staying for the sake of my team, when in reality I was staying because I was afraid of finding another job. Of course the pressure from my mother didn't help any at all. In her mind working there is one of the best places ever and that I was a fool for wanting to leave. But I'm choosing to live.
We all have the power of choice, and I was fed up with complaining and just staying there, even though I was unhappy. 2015 is around the corner, and I refuse to spend it in the same job, complaining about the same thing. So I'm sticking to a decision that I made, and I will be leaving in January of 2015. There's no point in staying somewhere that gives you anxiety, staying at a job that you dread going to every day, a job that controls almost every aspect of your life. I've learned that you either have to do or don't. There's no middle way of doing things. That's part of the main reason why I decided to join up with Hubpages as a journalist, because I know I deserve better than what I'm getting.
Living a sheltered life at home
Growing up, I don't have a lot of memories of having any friends when I was younger. At the time that I was going to school my parents worked late, so my grandmother took care of me most of the time. That made inviting friends over or hanging out at a friend's house very difficult, if not impossible. So a lot of the time I was just secluded, hanging out by myself or with my cousins. I believe this went on until middle school, where I practically begged my mother to let me stay home by myself since I was old enough to take care of myself. That talk felt like forever, like it was a drawn out tennis match between Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. Even through high school I still hung out by myself at home because no one was allowed to come over to visit, and I wasn't allowed to take the bus to go visit a friend.
Sheltered and trapped in my own home, with not a person to talk to. Sure, I had my fun playing video games and typing to people on forums that I went to(safely of course), but it didn't feel the same without hearing another voice on the end. I still felt empty, I still felt like I was alone. I was a latchkey kid, meaning I had my own set of keys to the house,and that as soon as 3:30 hit I had to be out the school and right in the car, because my parents would be on their way to work.
Flash forward to 2014 and I' m currently at home in my 20s. I look back at all of those moments and just wonder how I survived through it all. I mentioned moving out at some point, and my mother told me long ago I was to stay with her forever and never leave. That if I did then there was no point in them keeping the house for me when they passed away. But i'm not sitting around and waiting for that to happen. All the years I put off by waiting and procrastinating have led up to this.
I had to stop and take a moment for myself and wonder why I waited so long to do it. It was the fear that controlled me. The fear of wondering where I would live and how I would afford my lifestyle. Me putting it off for so long felt like I had a Peter Pan Complex, afraid to grow up and get into the real world. But I also had to realize that the independence I want and the freedom I crave were not going to happen unless I move. I know what you're thinking, "hey, sit down and talk to her about it". Well that worked, in theory. My dad doesn't know why I want to move out and pay bills, whereas my mother is "ok"with it, even though she keeps telling me "you can't leave, stay here". As an adult, I also had to realize that we have to make important decisions in our lives in order to grow. By me staying here, I was stifling myself and staying here because it felt like I was ordered to.
Thankfully, I saved up a substantial amount of money and have started the process of getting things packed up and moved. In February of next year is when I plan on moving. All that time that I spent saving up, working long hours at a crappy retail job, I can let all of that go now. I have quite a few years to make up for, and a big city to explore. It's my way of apologizing to my pasts selves for not doing this sooner. For not standing up for myself and going out there in the big world to find new experiences. Next year, I'm choosing for myself, and I choose to live. I choose to no longer procrastinate.