I Changed My Definition Of Career Success

Successful career list

 

I’m a typical Gen Y’er and if you’re a Gen Y’er like me, you probably grew up with the same mantra – do well in school, go to a good college, so you can get a good job. Then work work work so you can get all the promotions and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Making lots of money, having an executive title – THAT was success, and hence what we all should strive for. This mantra was repeated by our parents, our teachers, our mentors, and reinforced in the media. So I adopted it, and I set my sights on achieving it. I started college as an engineering major and interning at a Fortune 500 company. I switched my major to chemistry but headed to grad school, to further my training, and hopefully make more money after graduation.I had a brief flirtation with the idea of going into academia, but in the end I decided to go the corporate route.

When I started my “grown up” career at 24, I was full of new grad optimism and enthusiasm. I wanted to learn as much as I could, and overachieve so that I could get promoted, because that’s what I was expected to do, right? So I volunteered for all these extra projects at work, and did the career development stuff that is pushed to new grads in large corporations. I believed all those stories that said if you work hard and don’t be a lazy young person, you’ll be rewarded. And I was, at least monetarily. My salary grew by leaps and bounds but that promotion? I had to change companies to get it. Despite my work, networking with allies and mentors and career development, for whatever reason, promotions in role weren’t coming my way.

It’s been almost ten years since I started my corporate career, and my view of success has changed drastically since I was a new grad. I had a feeling that my priorities and career goals had changed, and last week showed me that  my definition of success has changed as well.

Last week I had my performance review. I wasn’t super excited about it and expected the worst, not because of my performance but because of the drastic changes happening within my company. I survived many layoffs in 2015, and the subsequent personnel changes resulted in numerous changes to my chain of command. I’ve had 5 direct managers, plus many VPs and other executives that I report to. When the review period started, I realized that there was no one left in my department who could reflect and comment on my entire 2015 performance, because everyone was gone. Crazy, right? So I didn’t have high expectations for my performance review results. My score was decent, and I received a small raise but once again, I was not promoted. When I started with this company 3.5 years ago, getting a promotion was high on my list, but due to circumstances beyond my control it has yet to happen.

I expected to walk away upset, questioning myself, questioning if this is the place for me – the types of reactions that I’ve had before. This time I walked away with a #kanyeshrug and went about my business. And then I paused, and I asked myself if I should be upset because I wasn’t promoted. Like my initial reaction went something like this:

Me: Still got a job? Getting more money? Cool

My brain: Wait, you’re still at the same level you were when you started. Aren’t you upset? You should be upset.

Me: Wait, I should be upset? For why?

My brain: You’re supposed to get promoted! You’re supposed to want to be an executive with a fancy title and a big office! Did you forget?

Me: OH. For real? I’m supposed to want that?

My brain: DUH! Everybody wants that…right?

And that’s when I had to have a quick DM chat with a couple of friends, who talked me off the ledge. I was totally fine until I started thinking, and all those rules about success that I was taught as a child started flooding into my brain. I grew up with a message that success meant a fancy title, a big office, the big money, etc. Everyday I see lists about the Top 30 under 30, or see LinkedIn updates from people I went to school with announcing their promotions and fancy jobs and whatnot. I’ve been conditioned to want a specific type of success but I have not been able to achieve that, at least not yet.

I’m OK with where I am in my career. During these ten years I’ve worked, I see what it takes to get to those high levels, and nothing about it is appealing to me. I don’t want to spend my nights and weekends working. I don’t want to have a company cell phone and spend every waking moment being available for work. I don’t want to go on vacation but still log into work each day (that’s not a vacation). I don’t want to work 60+ hours a week, and not have time to do anything other than work and sleep. None of that is appealing to me. I love my work-life balance and I love that I can leave work at work and pursue other things in my free time. I don’t love that my hard work doesn’t directly benefit my bottom line, but I love that my direct deposit hits my account on a regular schedule.

I’ve arrived at a state of peace in my view of my career. I’ve realized that my passions lie elsewhere and that I value different things than I did when I was 24. I’ve learned that a successful career doesn’t look the same for everyone, and that I have the ability to define success for myself. After a moment of angst, I realize that not getting a promotion is a blessing as well, as it gives me time to focus on the things I enjoy, and less pressure in the office. If I do climb a ladder, it’s going to be my ladder, not a predetermined corporate ladder. I probably will never have an executive title, unless it’s a title for my own endeavor. And honestly, I like the sound of CEO of My Thing better than VP of Corporate Whatever.

What say you readers – what does a successful career look like to you? Have you achieved it? 

A Life Update

It’s been a little over a month since my life completely changed. First, my love LM moved to Minneapolis and we began cohabitating, and then we got engaged! I still cannot believe I’m engaged – I stare at my left hand a lot, partially cause my ring is gorgeous and partially cause I’m just amazed I have a ring! I knew we were going to get engaged, we talked about our future a lot, but I’m still amazed that it happened. In the years I’ve kept this blog, I’ve written a lot about my relationships and my fears of being an old maid. LM says he can’t believe that I ever thought that, but the evidence can be found in various posts on this blog. Anyway, that doesn’t matter, cause we’re getting married!

Living together is going extremely well, smoother than I expected. I was nervous because neither of us has lived with a significant other, and I haven’t shared space with someone since college. We got a glimpse of how we share space during our extended visits, and they went extremely well, which made me feel like we’d be ok. We’ve been living together harmoniously so far, the only issue we have is around our lack of space. My apartment is only 750sqft and it’s just not enough space for all of our stuff. We also need a second bathroom. Since my lease was ending this summer anyway, we decided to find a bigger place. We’re moving next week and I cannot wait! We’ll have more space, we’ll be in a better location, and we’ll be out of my old (and kinda shitty) apartment.

Next week, after the move, we got to DC for my BFF’s wedding. I’m so excited to see him and his fiancée get married. After the wedding, we head to Puerto Rico for my birthday. I cannot wait to have a few days away, to relax on the beach, and take our first vacation together.

Work is ehhh…I’ve been putting my energy into finding my next role, which is very common at my company. Other than that, i’m cranking out work, which is really just a lot of copy & paste *sigh*.

The rest of my brain is dominated by all things wedding but I’ll save all that angst for another post.

2014 Randomness

First post of 2014…I suppose I’m not too late since its only the 2nd week of January.

I used to write a lot more and I’ve been slipping slipping slipping.

I think one reason why I haven’t been writing is because I used to write about my relationship struggles, and that’s the best part of my life currently. Like I have zero issues…no complaints…nothing that I’m struggling with. We are so great and I’m so happy. I haven’t shared much about this relationship on the blog initially because I was afraid of The Jinx…but it’s such common news in every other part of my life (Twitter, FB, IG, all my friends, my family, even my coworkers!) that I really should stop this no blogging moratorium. I’mma work on it.

My job is a trip. There have been rumors for months about layoffs, and people are walking around on pins & needles waiting to see how everything shakes out. I’m pretty much over my job – I want to be on a new team, with a new manager, and a new project. I don’t think any of that will happen, and I’m disinterested in putting in the work to make it happen. I’d rather put the time in my own business.

Speaking of my business, my goal is to have at least one webinar by the end of March. I’d love to do one in February and one in March. I need to put the time into getting my content ready and advertising them.

I’m doing another event with Team In Training! This time its The Big Climb, which is a 48 story climb in Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis. I wanted to participate again but not in another endurance event so I thought this challenge would be fun. Once again I’m raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and I’d love your support. Check out my fundraising page! I’d love your support and no donation is too small.

 

 

I’m Back

I’ve been AWOL. Just haven’t felt like writing. I’m still not fully in blogging mode, but I figured I needed to put something up.

I’m moving ahead with the business, so far it’s been going well. I have some really great friends who are extremely helpful. And people have responded positively to what I have planned for my business, which is great.

Somehow I woke up & it was December…another year comes to a close. 2011 went by in a blur, it seems like it was just a few months ago that I was ringing in the new year.

This winter has been much easier so far *knocks on wood* We’ve only received a few inches of snow so far, by this time last year we’d already had 16 inches and that was before the huge storm that collapsed the roof of the Metrodome.

Instead of traveling for NYE this year, I’m having a party. It’s gonna be epic.

I need some book recommendations – what have you been reading? I’m about 2/3rds of the way through A Game of Thrones, and next after that is The Other Wes Moore. I need some new books to add to my list.

I tried to write 3 different posts today & the words just wouldn’t flow *sigh*

I’m going to see New Year’s Eve on Thursday #yay. Hopefully it will be decent. Review will be on the blog.

I also wanna see the new Sherlock Holmes and The Sitter.

12 work days until I go home from Christmas.

Something big is going on in my life now. I’m not yet ready to blog about it in-depth. But its the biggest thing I’ve ever done…and I’m both scared out of my mind & excited all at the same time. I have this fear that I’m gonna fall flat on my face yet I’m moving forward because if it works, it will be so totally awesome.

I’d love to know what my friends think of me, specifically what they think my flaws are. Everyone should know their weaknesses & who better to give you feedback than your friends.

I need some inspiration….

Jubi’s Goal For 2012 – Start A Business

When I was a child, my father started a small business, a Black greeting card company. He & my mom spent years & lots of $$$ starting this business from the ground up – designing cards, printing them, finding stores to sell them in, marketing, etc. Ultimately the business folded after a few years, but it was a great concept (and ahead of its time as Hallmark added their Mahogany line a few years later). As a child, I didn’t enjoy being dragged to every meeting my parents had for the business, or going to all the stores across the state where my parents sold their merchandise. I didn’t realize that I was getting a first-hand lesson on just what it takes to start a business.

Even thought the greeting card thing didn’t work out, my father was committed to an entrepreneurial way of life. And so, after years working in state government, he left his secure job & struck out on his own, as a consultant.  He’s successful, but more importantly, he’s happy.

As I get older, I realize just how much my father & I are alike. He did not enjoy being just a number, a cog in a wheel with no ability to control his destiny. After only 5 years in the corporate world, I feel the same way. I toil 5 days a week. 40-50 hours a week, for a decent salary, 401k, & medical benefits. I do what I’m told, I suppose I make a contribution, but I feel no passion or enjoyment from my work. I want to put my energy into my passion. Something that benefits ME, not stockholders or executives. Dammit, I wanna be the executive!

For the past few years I’ve been kicking around a few business ideas, but I hadn’t done much with them. I could give you a million excuses why I haven’t, but it boils down to laziness & fear. Doing something new takes a lot of work, especially since I plan to continue in my current position until I’m able to support myself & lifestyle from my business. It’s so much easier to allow myself to be distracted by trashy reality tv, Twitter & other antics. But I allow myself to be distracted…because I’m scared. My entire life I was told that the key to success was going to college, getting a job & working hard. I know that’s not true & I know that’s not the life I want, but it’s comfy. Change is hard. Change is scary.

I’ve reached the tipping point. My need to change my situation & take control of my career & financial freedom now outweigh my fear. I’m ready to take the plunge. And I’m actually doing things now, instead of just talking about doing things. I’m putting plans into action & making things happen #yay.

My goal is to launch phase 1 of my business in Q1 of 2012.

I’m ready.

I can do this.

I’m claiming it.

Success is coming!

When It Doesn’t Fit

How many of us have bought something that needed to be put together? A desk, a bookcase, an entertainment center, etc.

You open the box, pull out all the pieces and the instructions. You separate the various screws, nails, nuts & bolts. You begin to follow the instructions, following each step in order. And sometimes, even with the best instructions, for whatever reason, something doesn’t fit. Maybe the hole wasn’t the right size, or the correct part wasn’t supplied. Try as you might, you can’t get it to fit correctly. You have two options – force it to fit and hope it works, or stop what you’re doing and fix the problem.

Life is a lot like that.

We’ve been given instructions on how to go about our lives – from our families, our friends, our teachers, the media, and society overall. For many of us that message was go to school, get good grades, don’t drink/smoke/have sex until you’re old enough, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house/car/other fancy stuff, work hard, retire. For some people this life blueprint fits. For others, it’s the proverbial square peg in a round hole situation – it doesn’t fit & it never will. Those people are faced with a challenge, to either force themselves to fit into a life they don’t want & that will never truly fulfill them, or to forge their own path & leave behind the life they were told to want.

I tried the former path, in various facets of my life. From an early age, the words “go to school, get your degree and get a good job” were drilled into my head – so that’s what I did. And I enjoyed most of it. But it did not occur to me that I could change & shape my destiny. I was simply following the crowd, floating along & going through the motions because everyone else was. It wasn’t until I reached the “get a job” stage that I started to wonder, “why exactly did I do all this?”. This wasn’t the life I had planned for myself. In fact, I hadn’t planned a life for myself at all, I just did what I thought I was supposed to do.

I also tried to make it fit in my personal life. I remember as a child, being a chameleon, or at least attempting to be one. I’d be whoever the other kids wanted me to be, because I wanted to be liked & have friends. As an adult, I shifted & adapted in my quest to “get chose” and instead suffered through heartbreak, tears & disappointment. It all stemmed from a desire to be loved, to be accepted, to be wanted, to be “good enough” for other people.

I’m a Cancer, we desire to be wanted & loved.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I really don’t have to stick to the script I was given. I didn’t sign up for this life. I didn’t ask for it. So why should I continue to play a game I didn’t want to be involved in? I want to create my life on my terms. In some ways, I’ve done that. I had to start with being confident in what I wanted for myself & my life. To be ok with me first, & know that there are people who love me, accept me, and support me no matter what I do. And then I had to begin to detach from others. I don’t mean live off the grid..I mean detach from the opinions of others. In The Four Agreements, this is the “don’t take anything personally” agreement. And this one was hard for me. I’m a sensitive Cancer, so everything was personal for me. Sometimes it still is.

I know what path I want my life to take. I want one that is designed by me, and not simply dictated to me by outside influences. I want to be happy on my own terms and to answer to know one for it. My journey is MY journey – one that only I can take, and that has to be unique to me. Sometimes I still find myself coveting the journey/experience of others, and I have to remind myself that my journey is my own. We all have to stay in our own lane, and not be the distracted by other peoples’ journeys.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

I’m ready for the life that is waiting for me.

Randomapalooza Vol. 5

I have 600+ Sephora points that I really need to redeem for a full-size product. I’ve purposely been avoiding it but I need to go in there for the Urban Decay liners.

Officially found out this week that I did not get the job I really wanted. I had prepared myself for that since it took them so long to get back to me but it still stung. A lot. I am not used to not getting what I want. Call me spoiled or privileged or whatever…but I generally don’t deal with rejection when it comes to work or education.

So because I was not the chosen one for that job, I’m back to my nationwide job hunt. Initially I was just looking in the Twin Cities, because I do really love it here & I would like to stay, but now it’s more important that I leave this position than it is that I stay here. So I’m back to my old list of cities/areas to live in, which is Chicago, Philly/NJ, DMV, Charlotte, RTP, Dallas and Houston. Would I stay here? Absolutely, and that’s my first choice. But I’d rather be doing something else in another city, than still in this job in Minneapolis & miserable.

I fell in love with a beautiful red military coat at Marshall’s a few weeks ago. Only they didn’t have my size! The size they had was too small for me, so I couldn’t button it. So I have 2 options – starve myself so I can fit in the coat, or hunt all over the Twin Cities & hope a store has it in a bigger size.

I finally got a new iPod #yay. Originally I was going to get a iPod Touch but now that I’m planning to get an iPhone #dontjudgeme I got a 160GB Classic instead.

I’m being followed by @KetelOne now on Twitter – I find this amusing considering how much I tweet about Ketel One.

This week was both National Taco Day & National Vodka Day, on the same day. I did my part.

Next week will be 2 months 😀

Have you been on my Tumblr? http://fabrandomness.tumblr.com – follow it post-haste.

Minneapolis weather has been so crazy lately. It got cold like around Labor Day & I was sure that fall was coming early. For the past week, its been in the 80’s #WTF. Granted I’m happy it hasn’t snowed yet…but I got a closet full of sweaters & some new boots I’d like to debut. And I turned off my AC & then had to turn it back on #wack.

I really feel like I’m going to end up moving again. Don’t ask me why, I just think so.

I go home in a few weeks for my mom’s 50th birthday. I haven’t been home since my nieces’ birthdays in April. Can’t wait to see the family & a few friends.

I’ve decided – I’m really going to loc my hair. I’m going to go with microsized locs. I need to schedule my consultation.

I bought another Nooka watch, Gilt had another sale. I was supposed to be on watch restriction!

Oh & I’m getting an iPhone…

Lately I’ve taken back a lot of “I would never…” statements.

I didn’t realize how stupid people were until I joined Twitter. I am amazed at the level of willful ignorance.

This week has been an epic week of concerts – Eric Roberson, Wale, Lalah Hathaway, Esperanza Spalding & Van Hunt. I made it to every show expect Esperanza, & Van Hunt is this Saturday. Pics & reviews coming soon, I’ve just been lazy.

Randompalooza Vol. 4

I have a ton of stuff in my mind. But I can’t write any of it down. Not that I can’t organize it, I mean I can’t actually publish any of it. I absolutely know it’s for the best, but over the years blogging has allowed me to get things out & help me clear my head. It’s frustrating sometimes to not share.

What do you do when I feel like you missed a really great opportunity & you may have missed your one shot? Do you move on & live with the regret? Or do you circle back & try again anyway?

Its been over a month. I’m happy.

Got my flight home last week. I’m really looking forward to my mom’s 50th birthday, to seeing my family, to spending time with my nieces & nephews & seeing my homie JC.

My bum shoulder has bothered me lately. This sucks. I don’t remember if I ever told this story about how I injured it. It was the end of my first year as a PhD student at Tech; I was giving finals to my students, taking my own finals & also studying for qualifying exams, so I was doing a ton of studying. I have bad posture so I tend to hunch over a lot, and in the process, my left trapezius (the muscle that goes over your shoulder blade) just quit working – it was fatigued. I had to go on muscle relaxants & painkillers. To this day when I don’t exhibit good posture it starts freaking out.

I absolutely adore the seasonal candles at Bath & Body Works. I got several of the autumn ones & they smell so good.

Speaking of autumn, it’s coming & it’s my favorite time of year. I love everything about fall – the leaves changing, the cooler temperatures, the crispness in the air, the pumpkins, the caramel apples, the hayrides, etc. Even though I’m a summer baby, I absolutely love fall. This is something I missed living in Florida.

This weekend I found several items for my fall wardrobe. I got some cute camel boots & some nude platform pumps from the Nine West Outlet. And I got a blazer & a sweater dress from H&M. Next up is winter coats. I realized last winter that my winter coats are at least 7 years old and they need to be replaced. I want at least 1 coat in a bright color, like red or cobalt blue. I fell in love with a red military coat at Marshalls but it was a size too small so I either need to either starve myself or find a bigger size.The last thing for the winter I want is a pair of Uggs. I finally tried on a pair at DSW last week & I fell in love. My feet were so happy in those boots.

I’ve been working on a scarf for my sister all summer & I need to finish it so I can send it to her before it gets cold.

October is going to be a great month for concerts in the Twin Cities. Eric Roberson, Lalah Hathaway, Esperanza Spalding and Van Hunt are all doing shows here. I can’t wait! I’ve been dying to see ERRO, Lalah, and Van Hunt so I’m super excited about those shows.

How I know a situation is done – when I realize I haven’t given it any thought. Sometimes doors close on their own, and it’s no one’s fault.

I can’t stand playing the waiting game. I have a short attention span & limited patience. I’ve been forced to play the waiting game with a position that I applied for, and it’s killing me. I really want to know one way or the other – either they want to offer me the job or they don’t. I gave myself a deadline of the end of the year to be out of my current job and it’s almost October so I need to make some moves, stat. I do not want to start 2012 in my current position or without any prospects.

I’m still doing the Primal Challenge. So far I am down 5 pounds. I was doing great during the week but the weekend was my kryptonite. I am too social & I love to be out & that makes me go off my Primal plan. I need to figure out a strategy of how to handle that. I went to a new yoga practice last week & struggled through it, but I made it. My goal is to do two yoga practices a week & cardio the rest of the week & see how that goes.

I need a Halloween costume – what are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

I’m officially a Minnesotan now – I finally got my Minnesota plates on my car. It only took me almost 2 years.

Are you one of those people who can be friends with an ex? Does it depend on the ex & the dynamic of the relationship?

 

Randomapalooza Vol. 3

Yall know what it is…

Ever notice how the people who claim they hate drama & try to avoid it are always the folks that keep up the most drama? I’m watching the Basketball Groupies & Ex’s Wives reunion & these chicks keep talking about how they hate drama blah blah blah. If you really hated drama, wouldn’t you decline a show like that? #imjustsayin

I feel like an e-celebrity thanks to my feature on DrJayJack’s blog last week. Thanks to him for asking me to do it. If you made your way to my spot thanks to his feature, thanks for stopping by!

I promise yall I’mma start writing again.

I wrote something here but I decided to keep it G-14 classified instead…tho if you follow me on Twitter you probably already know what it is.

My mom is coming to visit this weekend & I’m so excited. She hasn’t been to visit since last March, and I haven’t seen her since April.

I’m happy that the NFL is back but I think this preseason is even worse than it normally is. Let’s just skip to the regular season, shall we? Oh and I’m still a Colts fan, nothing has changed.

How the fuck did Lala get another season of her show? Seriously?

 Please tell me why I started this post on Monday and it is now Thursday & I’m just now getting around to working on it again? *sigh* Where has the week gone?

Operation New Job has been in full effect. I applied for an internal position at a different site & had an interview on Monday. It was more of a pre-screen so hopefully I will be invited on-site for another interview. In the meantime, I’m still working on some other opportunities, cause I gotta make moves.

I was reading the NY Times online today (now that I have a Sunday subscription I have a digital subscription for free #yay) & there was an interview with Chris Tucker. Apparently he is going on a comedy tour. I immediately tried to see if Minneapolis was on the tour, but of course it wasn’t #boo. I think Chris Tucker would be hilarious live.

Speaking of tours tho, Esperanza Spaulding will be at the Dakota Jazz Club on Oct. 4 & I’m getting tickets ASAP. I love her.

Lately my wireless connection in my apt has been real bootleg. IDK what it is. Maybe I need a new router? All I know is I was trying to watch some Noah’s Arc on #Netflix via my Wii last night & it was NOT COOPERATING.

LM & I are doing another one of our famous last-minute trips – we’re going to Chicago for Labor Day. Booking our flights was an ordeal let me tell you, no thanks to late ass emails & uncooperative airlines. But we managed to work it out. Now we just gotta handle the hotel & rental car & I really hope I don’t have another Priceline malfunction like I did with our Miami trip *crosses fingers*

Oh I forgot – I’m an auntie again! I have a new niece & her name is Zainab & she is a doll. She looks just like her older sister Zunairah, who looks just like her dad who is my youngest brother. So out of my 5 nieces & nephews all of them look like my family. Crazy nuts.

Alright that’s enough randomness for one day…what’s up with yall?

Feeling Like I Wasted Too Much Time

Over the past week, I was engrossed in a new book – Michele Grant’s Heard It All Before. This isn’t a “new” book, but it was new to me and I finally got around to reading it. The book is about the various challenges that two friends face in their love lives. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

As I was reading the book, I started thinking about relationship timelines & the past 2 years of my dating life. In the book, one of the characters meets a guy, cohabitates with him, gets engaged & then unengaged in a span of a year. While the other main character doesn’t move that fast, within the span of 3 months she was serious with the guy she was dating.

As fast as those characters have moved…my love life has been the exact opposite.

Why is it that I can date a guy for months & months & months…and yet it never becomes serious? What am I doing wrong?

I spent 2009 off & on with DB – waiting for him to choose me to be his one & only, and I didn’t get the resolution I wanted before I left Orlando. My 2010 was spent dating the attorney & hoping praying wishing for him to see how we were already in a relationship in every way but title, & that I am more than awesome enough to be his girlfriend.

I feel like I wasted 2009 & 2010. I really do.

I know that I need to stay in my own relationship lane, and that what is meant for me is already on its way #LoA.But I look around & see so many people in relationships, and I can’t help but wonder “what’s wrong with me? why isn’t there anyone who wants to be in a relationship with me?”

I shouldn’t have to spent a year convincing a guy of how awesome I am. If it takes a year for him to figure it out, that’s a problem. It’s an even bigger problem if he never figures it out. And this what I’ve been dealing with.

I’m bothered that I’m not seen as awesome, at least by the men that I think are awesome. The fact that I’m not seen as awesome makes me feel like a failure, honestly. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Why is it that I am so willing to spend/waste so much time trying to convince a guy that I”m good enough for him? I wasn’t this way when I was younger – I was quick to move onto the next if it wasn’t working out or it seemed like a guy wasn’t into me. Somehow, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more fearful & more invested in proving to people that I”m “good enough” – to be loved, to be special, to be successful, to be their friend, etc. I was so fearless & willing to follow my own path just a few years ago; and now I feel paralyzed by this need to be accepted by people who shouldn’t matter, & who really don’t give a fuck about me at all.

Why am I so invested in what other people, especially men, think of me?