Recently, I was laid off from my job. I worked a traditional 9-5, made good money and had a normal routine. I felt safe and secure, however, I had given up on chasing my dreams because money fueled me not passion. I was content chasing after a steady pay check but I was at a stand still. I was working everyday but never moving forward. Just a hamster on a wheel.
I don’t wish getting laid off on anyone. It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying at 26, hell, it’s terrifying at any age. My lay off came just 2 weeks after my wedding and 6 months after buying a house with my husband, so as you can imagine my savings account is looking a bit dry.
Now, I won’t lie. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster these last couple of weeks. What am I going to do? Am I ever going to find a job? How could this happen to me?
Recently, most of my thoughts have been down right negative. I traditionally face the world with a slice of pessimism but I am aware of that flaw and it is something I am trying to work on, which is why, at 26, unemployed and somewhat terrified, I refuse to look at this situation as anything but a blessing in disguise. I remind myself that this might be the universe telling me to change paths, to take a risk and to find new motivation for life.
I recently read an article on elitedaily.com called “You Don’t Have to Be Rich In your 20s: How Much Money You Should Actually Be Making”. This article isn’t about making you feel better about your entry level salary, it’s about removing your blinders and reminding yourself that money isn’t everything. Because it’s not.
I don’t want money to define me. I don’t want money to motivate me. I want to live a life full of passion, creativity, and fulfillment. I want to grow old and look back and be proud of myself. We enter this world penniless and we leave it penniless. I’m determined to become somebody and if money is a benefit of that then so be it, but I won’t allow myself to be crippled by the fear that money brings. It’s time to live a life of less because sometimes that means you can live a life of more.
Money definitely makes things easier. Money puts food in your belly, a roof over your head and buys you brand name boots, bags, and clothes. But at the end of the day, just like money, that’s just stuff. Stuff that distracts you from reaching your full potential, from chasing your dreams and taking risks.
We’ve all heard this quote, “if it doesn’t scare you a little, it’s not worth doing”. I’d like to think there is some truth behind that, especially now. I’m currently at a cross roads. At 26, I can jump back on the daily grind and continue an honest career in finance, where I will never worry about money or I can take a non-traditional route and chase after something that actually makes me happy.
Your life isn’t over at 26 and there is no need for you to crumble under the fear of not making a comfortable amount of money. 26 is young, no matter how old you may feel. Sure, high school was 9 years ago but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s all relative.
Sacrifices will have to be made when you start over but that’s okay. Bags can always be bought and expensive dinners can always be enjoyed. Again, it just stuff. You’re never going to regret stepping out of your comfort zone and changing the direction of your life.
So don’t slow down now. Things happen for a reason. Your life isn’t over at 26.