Perspective. It’s a word that gets thrown around quite a bit. And I am probably one of the worst offenders. But I am unapologetic about it, because I believe that people as a whole, need better perspective. Life isn’t a bed of roses, and even if it were, roses still have thorns; thorns that could potentially hurt you. But perspective is being able to enjoy and appreciate the roses in one’s life, despite the thorns.
I have never met a person who didn’t have disappointments. I have also never met a person who hasn’t failed at something. I’d go as far as saying some of the people who I look up to the most – including my parents and siblings – have failed terribly. But the reason why I look up to certain people over others is that they don’t allow their failures to define them or make them bitter. People with great perspective usually pick themselves up from their failures, laugh at some of it, learn from most of it, and try again. Or move on to something different or better.
I had an old friend tell me that she sometimes envied my big city post-college life. It’s not the first time people have said this to me and I am often dumbfounded. While my post-grad life has been a lot of things – a lot of good things – it has also been a lot of disappointments and failures. I failed at going to law school; I’ve worked for a failed start-up; I’ve worked for someone who is the real life version of Miranda Priestly of the Devil Wears Prada; I’ve done more free work in marketing, writing, and social media projects than anybody should; and many times, if my bank account could talk, it would probably laugh out loud. So I suspect what people envy is not the above mentioned things but my attitude about them.
I am very grateful to have learned so much about writing, digital marketing, and how to teach yourself pretty much anything – which is what I learned from working in a start-up. Working for the real-life version of Miranda Priestly will give you some thick skin and for the most part, negative criticism now tends to roll of my back pretty easily. But I’ve also learned what kind of company culture is right for me and what kind isn’t. I’ve learned that doing what you love might sometimes mean doing things for free just to get your foot in the door, and that sometimes the relationships you make are more important than any pay you receive. And I’ve learned that money does matter; but sometimes you have to be willing to just merely survive in the present, if the future might have bigger plans in store for you.
The truth is I have a lot to be thankful for – to be in grad school studying something I didn’t know I loved until I started studying it. To have opportunities to write about things or be involved in projects that I care about – sometimes projects that have little or no financial compensation. To have lots of family and friends supporting me in all my endeavors. And to have the perspective that today is a good day to be alive, to be useful, to be happy, and to get through something or the other. And to know that the future is indeed bright; that it is always bright. This is my perspective and I believe it is everything. It makes me bet on myself against all odds, especially when I am the underdog. And I want to communicate this to other people.
You have to believe that your failures will lead you to your successes. And that your efforts in something are never in vain, even when they don’t achieve the desired result immediately. You have to believe that every rejection in any area of life will lead you a step closer to something that is far better for you than you could have imagined. You have to believe that who you are is okay now but also that you are capable and deserving of being something more, different, and better. You have to believe that even when others don’t believe in you and your ambitions and your perspective, that their opinions do not have to be your reality. And you have to believe that you have more good days than bad days if you’d just count your blessings more. Your perspective is everything so choose it wisely.