Thursday, August 13, 2020

Affirmations August: Entry 4

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Hello to all! The Unleashed One here. I hope that your week has been a wonderful one so far. It is time for another installment for Affirmations August. In case you missed, the last three, the links to them are below for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

Entry 3

Entry 2

Entry 1

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In my experience as a child, one of the first questions I got asked in school is, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Funny enough, I remember the majority of the answers I gave when asked.

The 1st answer I gave was to be a doctor. In particular, a plastic surgeon. I thought (and still believe) they do miracles as it pertains to transforming the body. When I saw the cost and time investment involved in making it a career, I switched gears.

My gears switched to possibly being a nurse. The nurse was the main one tending to patients, having one-on-one interaction. In my opinion, some of the nurses get to know patients on a more humane level than the doctors.


What put that aspiration on pause was my being squeamish of needles and science not being one of my top favorite subjects. Not that I didn't do well in science, but English and math ranked higher on my priority list.

Since I excelled at math, my career choice switched to something more numbers-based. In the 9th grade, I signed up to take Accounting. Back then, it was a course mainly for 10th-12th graders but I got the okay due to my advanced placement in other classes. There were many moments that I would tutor some of the other students struggling in the class. This experience stuck with me. In the end, I received my Bachelor's degree in Accounting.


Graduating from college was a very big deal, considering that I am a 1st generation college graduate. One of the lessons I wish college would have done a better job with preparing me for was the possibility of not finding work in my chosen career right away.

I had a small internship with one of the Big 4 accounting firms doing auditing. Once that ended, I attempted to land an entry-level accounting job in my home state. The opportunities were scarce, but the majority of the reasons why I got turned down was due to "lack of experience".

How is one supposed to get experience if you don't let a person "enter" to get experience? Um ... I'm just saying.

On top of that, the interviews were usually not very close, due to my being from a small town. So, even if I got hired, I would have to prepare for a long commute or move within proximity of my job's location.

I did get good news from a firm in Chicago, but my grandmother's health was starting to decline. Plus, she had major concerns with me going so far. I relinquished the offer but did let my grandparents know that if I wasn't able to find work in my home state within a year, I would have to take the chance and venture out.


Around 2001, I decided to switch gears. My theory was that in order to open myself to more opportunities, I would have to take a more general route. In specific, business administration. So, although I already had my degree, I arranged to transfer the majority of my credits and pursue another degree ... in Business Administration. Doing so led me to Georgia. By doing the transfer, I would only have to be in college for just over a year. In addition to going to school, I was also doing office administration work for the county government.

About a month shy of graduating, I discovered that my current position was being eliminated. Another degree, but now, no job.

I don't know what would have happened if I'd decided to stick it out in Georgia. I admit there were some negative experiences that impacted my wanting to remain there. However, in my mind, returning home represented failure. Why have all of this education if it wasn't equating to success?

I did something that was a far cry from my typical moves of calculation. I threw it all to the side and opted for a new beginning. That new beginning led me to New Jersey.

It has been during my time in New Jersey that I've redefined the meaning of success. Success should not necessarily reside in the choice one makes as a career. If anything, success should be measured not just by a tangible yardstick but by an intangible one as well.

1. Success is the ability to rest easy at night without constantly taking home the stress of your occupation.

In the occupation where I made the most money, I constantly had to take all the woes of the position home with me. Even after I worked a twelve-hour shift, it felt like my day hadn't ended when the aggravation traveled with me to the house.

Now, when I clock out from work, it's a true punch out. I don't entertain anything work-related until my next business day. Nor do I take it with me on weekends.

2. Success is doing your best, even when you are surrounded by others who may not be.

When in a workplace setting, it can be challenging to do "like the locals". However, there can be danger in doing so, especially if other co-workers aren't setting the best example. There can be pressure to slack off just because the others are doing it.

For me, I benefitted more by sticking to my work ethic. The right people saw and were impressed by it, which caused me to move up the ladder more successfully than others.

3. Success is working in the field you are passionate about, or if you are not in that field, have other extracurricular activities that fill the void.

Although it did take some interesting curves to arrive, I am pleased with what I'm doing. Before I arrived at my current career, I was still writing and publishing, which was always my first passion. So, I guess, either way, I would have achieved happiness.

4. Success is doing something because you want to do it, not because of other people's views of what you ought to be doing or should have done.

People ask my grandma about my occupation from time to time. Since my grandma knows I'm a private person, she doesn't say much. Plus, it doesn't help when I'm limited to what I can say and cannot (confidentiality and all of that). 

What I am thankful for is that my grandparents' main aim was for me to do something where I could really be independent, or as my grandma would say, "you aren't out here beggin' anyone for anything." To them, if you are able to have food, clothing, and shelter, and manage to have something left over, then it's a good thing. I still believe that. There are so many in the world who lack basic necessities.

5. Success is not trying to keep up or be like the Joneses. It's having what you perceive as wealth. Not just monetary but mental, emotional, and spiritual.

If you don't have the rest, especially the intangible elements, then you will always be perpetually broke.


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