If You’re Unhappy, It’s Okay

I’m no expert at being happy or having it all together. I’m also no expert at what life after graduation is supposed to be like, when it stops being confusing and I only can talk about it from my own experience. I do know, from personal experience, that if you’re unhappy, it’s okay. It’s definitely okay to be unsure of the future and what you want out of life. It’s definitely okay to change your mind about what you like and what you don’t like. It’s perfectly fine if you feel like a total weirdo/loser who is aimlessly working away with no end goal. *ahem, I’ve felt like that before*

Really, I think this post is more for me and less for y’all… because I am unhappy. Wow, that’s a bit terrifying to write, especially because I’m sharing this with a bunch of other people who may not even know me personally! For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with this looming feeling of unhappiness, uneasiness and a lot of anxiety and pressure. I’m not sure where all of these are stemming from, it could be that my visa to stay in Spain expires in less than 30 days, it could be that Mario and I are trying to solve immigration paperwork and it could also be due to the fact that I don’t have a “real job” once my contract is over. If we’re all going to be honest here, I’m feeling a little lost and unsure about the future.

After graduating from college, I made the decision to move across the Atlantic Ocean to live and work in a foreign country, with a foreign language and a foreign culture. I decided NOT to pursue a full-time job in my field of study and instead am now working 12 hours a week, have three day weekends, and about every month, Spain has a long-weekend consisting of an extra one to two days! It’s been quite a “luxurious” and “easy” life, as opposed to my friends who sometimes work more than 40 hours a week, barely have time for themselves and no time to travel. I’d say I’m very lucky to have a job that allows me to live in Europe where travel is much cheaper and to have all those long-weekends for exploring! And although through Instagram and social media, it seems like I am happy, there are more days that I’m feeling uneasy or unhappy.

Sagres, Alvarge, Portugal -- The Quirky Pineapple
Sagres, Portugal

The pressure that my family puts on me, that society puts on me and the pressure I put on myself, is to find a “real job” with a full-time, high paying salary, start saving enough money to buy nice things, start putting in those hours so that I can advance in my company, have paid health insurance and a 401K. This ideal, and my own *stubborn* thoughts about not wanting to go into corporate America are really battling it out. Like, REALLY battling it out. I’ve been applying to jobs back in the United States for office positions, I’ve been applying to jobs in Spain for English teaching positions. One thing I’ve learned from applying to both of these positions is that I REALLY don’t want to do them. So, here is where the uneasiness and unhappiness comes.

No one tells you that after college the pressure to follow society’s norms are so painstakingly felt in everything that you do. It could also be a product of comparison, where I compare my life to the lives of people who are leading “normal” 9-5 jobs, going out with friends, getting engaged and moving forward in their careers! That is something that I sometimes crave for yet know that I don’t actually want. You know, the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome? Yeah, I’m guilty of it sometimes. I’ve realized that although I am happy with the choices that I’ve made, there are days where I feel unhappy and unfulfilled as a creative individual who wants to inspire, create change and ultimately make an impact.

So, where is this post going? Well, I wanted to write something a bit more honest and a bit more raw for all of the people who are in their post-college years. Whether you’re in an office, in a part-time job, unemployed or living abroad, I’m sure there are more people who feel unhappy and on top of feeling unhappy, feel guilty for feeling it. I know that I feel guilty for feeling unhappy, because to everyone else, I’m living an “abnormal” and different life, I’m doing something a bit more interesting by living abroad and being able to travel. Although I admit that I am fortunate to be able to have this opportunity and to travel as easily as I can, the grass isn’t always greener over here! I’m stuck in a perpetual job limbo where I want to travel and take advantage of opportunities, but I also need a job – but me being stubborn, I won’t take an office job, I want a job that I’ve created.

Canals in Amsterdam, Netherlands -- The Quirky Pineapple
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The important thing is that everyday, I wake up and I’m scouring the internet looking for opportunities, I’m researching different means of income, I’m connecting and emailing people and I’m throwing it out into the universe that I want something MORE than what I’ve been doing. I want something that is thick and juicy with substance, that weighs heavy and can be counted as experience and inspiration all in one. I guess the moral of this post, is that although I’m unhappy, it’s important that I keep on moving forward and keep on trying and testing and working hard to find an outlet. This, I believe, is better than being stagnant and accepting my “fate” as an unemployable, travel obsessed, hospitality management major who can’t stand being in an office. I mean, hire me… please? (:

If you’re stuck feeling unhappy about where you are in life, it’s okay. It’s okay to be unhappy and it’s alright to want something more! The important thing is to keep trying, keep looking, keep working to find something. I’m making changes and although they’re slow and may not show results instantaneously, I have a feeling it’ll make a difference in the future!

Molinos de Viento de Don Quixote, Castilla La Mancha, Spain -- The Quirky Pineapple
Molinos de Viento de Don Quixote | Castilla La Mancha, Spain
Dear post-college graduate, it’s okay to feel unhappy. I’m saying this to myself, because I deserve some pep-talks too, right?

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