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Many people like to believe there is only optimism and pessimism, but there’s actually a middle one; realism. That one can go either way; depending on how you want to perceive it. I try to write my posts with a flair of optimism, but for this one it might be the most realistic one yet. So, let’s start where I left off last Wednesday. As expected, the 90 evaluation was an uncomfortable discussion about me needing to make improvements fast. It sucks, like anyone would agree, and it seems like every time I try to find a glimmer of hope that I’m getting better appears to dim by something else. Everyone in my personal life says the same thing: they seriously can’t expect you to learn everything and perform great so soon upon starting. Yet that’s how it can feel some days, and I wish I could bring it up yet formalities prevent me. As you know, some things you probably shouldn’t bring up at work nor do you want to burn any bridges if worst comes to worst.

That last part was sort of brought up when I asked about the next time a check-in will occur. Hearing it wasn’t reassuring which, again, dims that hope a bit and after the evaluation they said I could go home for the holidays an hour early. Make no mistake, I wanted to go badly, but I also have been taking initiative wherever I could. From taking on as many presentations as I could, to doing other tasks in the office, to other things I can’t think of right now, I try to go above and beyond in other areas. So, I told them thank you but I made a commitment to leave at 4:30pm and I will. And I did. They probably thought I must be crazy to want to stay after hearing what was said, or maybe that I like punishing myself, but I’m doing all that I can to show my commitment to succeeding. As soon as 4:30 came, I was so happy to make the drive home for my 4-day holiday.

As usual, whenever I visit family and friends, it’s nice to see their faces and their personalities. Holding my nephews and playing with them, seeing my 11 month old nephew walking, dad’s cooking, etc. I missed a lot. Thanksgiving food was so good! And another year went where I did not have to fight with other Black Friday shoppers. I joke, but some people out there can be crazy during this time of year. The other thing here was a caught a glimpse of my brother. I have not seen him in about ten years.

Now I normally don’t delve too deep into my personal life, but there’s a reason it has been that long. And on Thanksgiving evening, I saw him in the review mirror hanging in there with everything he went through lately. Did I want to get out of the car and see him? Yes, but something also told me that it wasn’t the right time. Maybe it was intuition, or gut instinct, that was saying hold on this is not the right place and time. As I said, he has been through a lot in life and still pushes forward. From afar, I can’t help but admire that; though how he copes I’m not sure I want to know. One day we will meet again, all of us siblings, but for now a glimpse will be the start. Did he see me in the car? I’m not sure, but if he did perhaps he also felt it wasn’t the best time.

While I was back home, I also watched a few movies. One of them really stood out to me. It was called Whiplash and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. Basically it’s about a 19 year old trying to be one of the greats in music. And the school he goes to has a teacher who can help students become successful, but he is very very hard on them and insulting. Long story short, the kid struggles between the path to greatness and what it will cost versus accepting failure and moving on before it gets too addicting. I won’t spoil it for you, but basically I related in a way to it. Now I’m not saying I’m being insulted or yelled at in my job. However, it’s the frustration of not being good, the struggles with the feedback and trying to apply it, and wondering if this is meant for me. And I’m here pondering if I want to make it my obsession to become great at it; knowing whatever happiness there is will be at risk of going away.

Be mindful of the sacrifices it takes to be great at what you do.

Again, there has been nothing wrong with the city, workplace or my coworkers. Rather it’s the tasks itself that I feel is affecting me. I haven’t progressed like we all hoped, and I feel like if I want to get better I’ll have to commit more to it. But I mention happiness, and I’ll admit I have reflected on what other things exist. I believe I said it before (many times), but I always had my eye on abroad. I follow two people who are actually based here in Texas. One is a tv show host who travels and shows all that you can do in towns not many people might’ve known existed. The other is a well-known Youtuber who makes his career out of opening Pokemon cards. I think he also does voice acting, which I still think about doing as well. But both have something in common: they were both lawyers.

I’ve heard before that being a lawyer can be taxing on your well-being, but also it’s examples of others pursuing a passion and taking that chance to be successful at it. Passion. Too often there is that debate about doing what we love or doing what we can tolerate so that we can do what we love. I have a friend who tells me that I should just be in a job that I’m okay with doing so that it can pay me to do what I love. I understand that, but something about it doesn’t sit right with me. I know if I do something I really love, there’s the risk of it becoming hated as I see it more as work than fun. That’s partly why I gave up the idea of travel blogging or something like that. I’ve read online the stories about how those folks get to travel, yet don’t have time to actually enjoy the places around them. So I sit here thinking what would a perfect day look like for me?

Throughout the weekend, I thought of that question and the things I could see myself doing. Again, I take solace knowing I’m not alone in this. There are those of you out there who might be in the same boat as me. Maybe you’re still looking for a job after graduation a few years later. Or perhaps you’re coming back into a job after doing something completely different. Whatever the case may be, we all have our struggles and we’re all connected in some way. Truth is, I’m not sure if this opportunity will last for me. I’m going to do my best, though I don’t know if I want to make it my obsession to be great, because I’m looking more closely at my personal happiness. That’s what we should all try to do. There is no optimism or pessimism here, only realism because no matter what I’m gaining experience and understanding the world and myself better along the way. Like I’ve said before, no matter what happens I have family, friends and you there with me.

I’ll admit, I have been thinking lately of starting my own podcast in my free time. My mind has been focusing a lot on hobbies. As I logged on here today to begin writing this, I once again noticed all my extra categories on here that have not been updated. I feel bad about it, and it calls back to what I was just saying about doing what we love. How what we do can take us away from other things we enjoy doing. Just like the two former lawyers who now do something incredible, I wonder if that can be me as well. However, things can change for the better, and I might write a month from now how all is well. But the way things have been going, and progress not good, of course I have one eye towards alternatives. Nevertheless, it is so great to be able to talk about this with my family and friends; of course you global friends as well. I want to explore my interests again, and see what exactly a perfect day looks like. It will take time, and more self-discovery, but that’s what we need to find what makes us happy and if we want to do what it takes to pursue such passions. In my mind, I have an idea. . .

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