I am having some problems changing my way of thinking (and living). I am referring to work related lifestyle mostly.
A few years ago I had a really good paying job with great benefits – I actually had money in my savings account for the first time in my life! Now I have none of that – it is all gone (money too).
So my lifestyle is different now than it was a few years ago but I am having feelings of sadness and guilt because I lived one way for so long and now everything is different (also because I feel like I am “starting over” again)
I think it is because i was brought up to believe there is only one way to live: you get a 9 to 5 job (working for someone else) with good benefits and save for retirement, get married, have kids and retire. Well, that is NOT the way I am doing things. I don’t have a problem with the marriage and kids thing (well, my mom does and she barely speaks to me anymore because of it) but more the job thing.
For a long time I had “regular” jobs (not necessary 9 to 5 but you know 40 hours a week with good benefits and working for someone else ) now I don’t have that and I honestly don’t want to go back to it if I can help it – I would like to a more flexible schedule and set my own hours and maybe work from home and not work like I used too (mostly because I am NOT a morning person and like to sleep in plus I hate the fact that I don’t have much control over whether or not I get the job or not) so I have been trying to start my own business and find alternate ways to live and make money but I still keep have thoughts like “this is not a right way to live because it is not a “real” job” and it keeps holding me back from doing more things.
It also doesn’t help that I now live in an area where people work 60 to 70 hours a week at their jobs (not saying I want to do that) but I feel like a total slacker because I don’t have a job to “go to”. I had always prided myself on being a “perfect employee” because I was always a very hard worker at my past jobs.
I think maybe I burned myself out in my twenties as I worked very hard at a full time job and part time going to school. I would actually feel guilty if I was NOT busy doing something. I always felt that if I had a spare moment with doing work related to do that I should find something (work wise – not relaxing). I accomplished so much during a day back then and now I don’t accomplish anywhere near as much as I used too and my thought go back to thinking that I was doing better than.
I know that lots of people work for themselves and do fine but I think it was so ingrained in me that I should have a “real” job with security (one you get when someone else hires you) that I am feeling guilty about trying to do it differently. I feel bad about it (and sort of scared about the money issues).
My parents are very pessimistic people who think there is only one way to live: you finish high school (and in their minds you don’t need to go to college – of course I did), get a safe secure job (and you don’t change jobs in your life if you can all help it unless you are moving up in the same company), get married, have kids, eat meat and go church. (hehe! I just threw those last two in there – I don’t do those either and my mom does not like that! but I don’t feel guilty about those at all!).
My parents believe that only rich people can go to school to become doctors! They are very “nuclear” family and “don’t take any risks” type of people and relaxing and enjoying life was limited to holidays, vacations and special occasions only – no doing it on regular days. Anyhow, all of this was ingrained in my thinking at a young age. (Not to mention how my parents believe that it is bad to owe any money on your credit cards or to anyone – oh how I failed in that department and they love to tell me so when they get a chance – of course i avoid them now which I need to do because I’ll start feeling bad about myself if I have to deal with them – of course I still feel guilty about it because of them).
I don’t believe there is only one way to live but I still have those feelings of guilt creep up on me now and then (I sort of go back and forth) and that I should go back to the “safe” way of living (not that I am having much luck getting a “regular” job either!). What can I do to get rid of these thoughts and feelings?
How does everyone change their ways of thinking about things like this? Are there any good books or websites I can read to help me that I can refer to when I start thinking like this – to help me not feel guilty and that what I am doing is OK? (I guess I do have problems living in the “present” too – I am always worrying about the future and sometimes the past too – I am trying really hard to change that.)
Does anyone else have thoughts and feelings like this or am I a total freak? I feel like I am the only one. I hope I am making sense and my post isn’t “all over the place”.
Gosh, how hard it is to get rid of learned thoughts and behaviors from your childhood? I can’t believe it!
Sorry this post is a bit long. Maybe I needed to rant a little bit too. thanks in advance for any advice!