Truth be told, I hesitated to write (and then to post) this. In a lot of ways, I didn't want to acknowledge that it's already December 17, 2012. That I graduated from Texas A&M a year ago today. It was a silly fear that held me back - Oh, I'm not where I thought I would be! I'm not who I thought I would be! I'm not with the guy I was then! I'm not, I'm not, I'm not...
I thought to myself: Am I ashamed? Afraid to admit that that I decided not to work in politics? Do I wish I was doing more or doing something different? Am I embarrassed? Why am I so hesitant to talk about it?
Then I realized the weird truth, the truth that is only weird because it's not the truth anyone else wants to hear - the truth that I'm okay with where my life is right now. I enjoy being a barista and training other baristas. I enjoy photographing gutsy couples in love, and I like not knowing if I'll still be doing all this next month, let alone next year. I like studying French in my spare time, and I enjoy thinking about the grad school I'm applying to for fall 2014 - a program so perfect for me, I couldn't have designed it better myself.
Yes, my life can be stressful. Making ends meet... well, it doesn't always happen. I live paycheck to paycheck every month, hand to mouth some days. The status of my savings account can be up for debate, which is rough when I'm trying to apply for grad school, and I -- in the name of honesty -- I am not super happy every day, sometimes not every week.
My point here, and the whole reason I'm writing this post at all, is to say that I almost didn't write this because I thought people wouldn't approve that my degree is "going to waste." As the days went by, I noticed that the thought people might not approve bothered me more than my own feelings on the subject. Then one day I realized how ridiculous that is - of course there are people that don't approve. But you know what? Fuck 'em.
There will always be people that don't approve of something you're doing. Always. Because if you're pleasing everyone, you're doing something wrong - you're not staying true to yourself. And so you (read: I) have to decide - are you going to ruin your happiness and your life to seek and gain their approval, or are you going to work toward being happy without everyone's approval?
This has been a startling transition, one that I didn't quite know how to digest immediately. As I've moved into this stage of life, I've found myself starting to feel like I've outgrown Simply, Valorie. So starting in January, I'll be blogging at a new location, which will focus on my new lifestyle as a recovering approval addict. I'll post the new link soon to make it easy for you to update your RSS feeds.