Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Choose your happy

Last week, I was in a job interview, and I got asked a question that, to be quite honest, both offended me and made me second guess some of my life choices:

Why did you go to such a prestigious - and expensive - college and then just sell wedding dresses and be a nanny? If you take this job you won't be making much money at all. You'll never be rich.

I went to Biola University for college, and graduated in 2010. (Biola is a private Christian college in Southern California, if you didn't know.) For 7 months after college I continued my job selling wedding dresses, then I was a nanny for a year and a half, then I moved back to SLO and worked at a wealth management firm, and now I live in the mountains and work for a very small non-profit organization.

I said that I went to Biola because my brothers went there and my dad got his doctorate there, and I wanted to go to a Christian school, and Biola seemed like the right place. It was familiar, but far enough away from home that I felt like I was on my own. What I didn't say was that when I was 17 and deciding where to go to college, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't apply anywhere else, and if I hadn't gotten in to Biola I probably would have gone to community college for a few years.

When I was 17 I thought I'd figure my life out while I was in school. I didn't have a plan going in to it. Do any of us? What 17 year old knows exactly what he wants to do? If you're one of the few who actually did know that you wanted to be a doctor, or a teacher, or join the Peace Corps, or whatever, then I'll admit that I'm pretty jealous of you. 

While I was in college I didn't think about a career. I figured I'd figure it out afterward. Then, a few months before graduation I realized I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. It was then that I started to realize I don't want a typical career. I don't want to work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week outside of my home. It started becoming clear to me that what I wanted was to - one day - be a wife and a mom.

That's why, after school, I didn't try to get my foot in the door at some big company raking in tens of thousands of dollars. I'm not motivated by money, or prestige, or a title like CEO or anything. I want stability, happiness, and a family. There was a time when I didn't think I'd ever have any of that, but that's a story for another time.

What I wanted to tell the man who asked me that question is this: I went to college because it was expected of me, and I didn't know what I'd do otherwise. And I didn't move to the mountains to get rich. I moved to the mountains to be with Keith, and if I can make some extra money to put in the bank and put toward travel plans and our wedding, then that's fine with me. But just because you don't understand that doesn't mean I should feel bad about it.

17 comments:

  1. Wow! I can't believe he even asked you that, especially in a job interview! I think a lot of people are motivated by money. I understand because money does make life easier (most of the time), but I don't think money is everything. I'd rather work a job I love and make less money than work a job that I hate and make a ton of money.

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  2. That's a WILDLY inappropriate job interview question!

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  3. Four for you Juliette, you go Juliette.

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  4. Definitely needed to hear this today! So true, choosing what makes us happy!

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  5. Seriously love your attitude about this. Life is meant to be loved.

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  6. YES! Fist bump, girl. I can't believe someone would ask you that. I hate that most people define a successful life as one with lots of money and fancy jobs. I didn't pursue grad school or high-paying jobs because I had no desire to climb the corporate ladder. And now I have a husband and a baby, I'm not working in an office, and this is exactly what I want to be doing.

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  7. Um seriously I had this happen to me this weekend. By a family member (that is not my husband). And I was sort of crushed. It was in the midst of a conversation about work -my job is the least formal, least important in the spectrum of workers that were talking- and he turned to me and said, maybe it's time to get a real career, to start taking your professional life seriously, and to reinvent yourself.

    I wanted to flip. But instead I reiterated (something I've said to him 9031857823984798 times), work is not my identity, it never was going to be and I'm not changing that now. My "work" is much more personal, much more dictated by my own values and definitions, and though it's not your style, GET OFF MY ASS.

    You said it more eloquently.

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  8. LOVE this! I agree with this post and so happy to see you happy and passing along this advice. That is one of my most favorites quotes about being in love with every single minute of your life.

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  9. And to be friends with me, duh! In all honesty, it is no one's business why we choose to do what we do. Happiness is the only goal we should have so I am happy for you that you see that and see what you want.

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  10. I can't decide if that's a smart question or a stupid question. Your response is definitely a good one, though. What DID you end up telling him?

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  11. I'll never understand why some people project their idea of normalcy onto others. Maybe you could have gone a different route, but it wouldn't have been what you wanted...So what would even be the point?

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  12. This is just a reminder that God works in amazing, beautiful ways and that everything happens for a reason. Love you sweet friend!

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  13. I couldn't love or agree with this more. My priority isn't to make a name for myself in the career world or make a million dollars. My life goals centre around being a wife and mom and using my passions and interests to the best of my abilities. My happy isn't the same as anyone else's happy and I am 100% okay with that.

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  14. That last paragraph though. Thank you for that. I feel like I needed to hear it. Because this means that I'm not the only one who feels this way. And clearly based on the number of comments, other people feel this way too. I tell people all the time that I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I was one of those people who had it all figured out, I wanted to be a teacher. Now I am. Now I don't know if I want it anymore. I want to travel and visit little cities around the world and make friends with people in different nations. So thank you for being brave and for saying what you feel. Maybe this way more people will be able to accept that it isn't always about money, it is about happiness.

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  15. Wow. I can't believe someone would ask you that, how inappropriate and downright rude. If I were there I would've punched him for you. As if your happiness is up to him to define. Jerk. This post is wonderful, 10 points to Gryffindor.

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  16. I completely agree with you. That's kind of where I am now with going back to work. I love working. And I love helping those with cancer and fighting back. But I love being here with Jaxon. Knowing I'm the sole provider, not a nanny (nothing against them, I was one) or a teacher. It's such a struggle.
    I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with that. And I agree, Lord knows I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I still don't. I don't care about prestige. I care about being happy.

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  17. i would have dick punched him.
    what a rude piece of shit.

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