Growing up as a kid, I always thought that if I went to school and worked hard I would have a great job. Who didn't think this way growing up? Our parents tell us, movies, TV, and society paints this picture for us that seems almost like a guarantee. My plan in high school was to have a family and my own home by the time I was thirty years old. Boy was I wrong! 

Out of college I quit my job with a wireless company and started working for a company that sold me on a dream package. Great pay, my own truck to drive, future growth opportunities, and that professional career that I was looking for. I worked hard and got promoted within nine months to an outside sales position. It was my first real taste of a corporate career, you would think my educational background would have helped me through things...but it didn't. A lot of the things expected of me were not taught at my school, I had to learn them on my own. Having a manager who expected me to know everything without being shown was a huge challenge. It was a very stressful and difficult time for me, I had a lot of sleepless nights. Working for a year in a miserable situation I finally decided to go back to my previous job till I found something better. 

I went back to the  wireless company from before in October 2014 and it is now October 2016. So much for finding something else right? I have been consistently applying for jobs and getting interviews here and there but nothing solid has come up. About two months ago it finally hit me,  I was stressing about the idea of being twenty seven years old living at home with mom...with barely any money saved up. What happened to my plan? That dream that I was sold seemed like it was so easy and obtainable. The idea of not being where I expected has caused me to be so stressed and almost depressed. As of April, the United States employment rate was at 5% and the average wage for a United States citizen is around $51,000. Depending on where you live that might be enough to get by comfortably, if you are in a major city rent alone for a 1 bedroom apartment is around $1,400. That is $33,600 a year! Factoring in all these things it is so easy to get stressed and worried about life. 

Living in Los Angeles there are plenty of jobs out there, I apply to them everyday! I have redone my resume and reached out to people close to me for referrals. It is so easy for me to get down on myself about what I am not doing. Seeing others doing seemingly better drives it home even more. I am sure that someone out there reading this can relate to my struggle. I learned though, to be happy with what I do have and not focus on what I do not have.

One of my favorite people, Joe Rogan says that this is the best time ever in humanity's history. People are living longer, we have computers in our pockets, and for the most part safe from danger. When you hear things like the average world wage is $18,000 a year, who am I to be freaking out over my situation? I do not make a lot of money, but I am living. I have a college degree, people who love me, a place that I can call home, a nice car, and I have a decent job. Sure it's not the same picture I painted as a kid, but I am going to get there it is just taking longer than expected. I hope that this hits home with someone out there, because it is easy to get trapped with society's expectations...more, more, and more. You do not absolutely need all the shiny latest and greatest things. Be careful what you spend your money on, try to map out your finances to save. Better yet, do what makes you happy! I am starting to understand that it is not the life that you live that defines you, but how you live your life. Don't stop trying and working towards what you want. Seriously, don't worry you are going to be OK. 

Published by Robert McElroy