Sometimes we get sick of our own voices, so we introduce people we love who are willing to share their experiences with Prescribe Nutrition. As you know, balance is our theme this month. Meet Erin Bird. She is one of Megan’s friends, a soul sister to be more precise. She’s talking life, getting older, career and Galileo. Smart cookie, this one.

So I’m turning 32 pretty soon (big time) and per usual, I’ve started my annual pondering phase.  It’s my standard “Am I where I want to be, and if not, how can I resolve that?”  Career is always the number one place I start, and every year, career is my number one dissatisfaction.  It’s the one fragment of my life that is least important to me, yet consumes most of my time.  For the entirety of my working adulthood, I have been stuck in an ok job making ok pay, all the while just going through the motions Monday thru Friday.  It’s not good, but it’s not bad.  If this is the first evaluation of my new year, why on earth am I still stuck with this indifference at work?  Let’s face it, when it comes to career, I settle for satisfactory.  Why do I do this?  Why can’t I find a career that I actually like?  To figure that out I guess I’ll start from the beginning…

This is me.

I’ve fallen in and out of love with activities, in particular, for as long as I can remember.  In 1988 at the age of 7, I received the generous gift of telescope in exchange for assuring my parents I looooooved astronomy.  I was like, no seriously, this is my thing… And it wasn’t a lie.  I really did like the moon a lot and dug all things celestial (like one of those watches with the rising and setting moon and sun… so awesome), but I just didn’t want to look at the stars every night.  A few years later it was the viola, then a few years after that, the trumpet (I know).  Just last year I took knitting classes (again, I know).  I have knitted 1/2 a scarf.  I really did and still do like all of these things, but as soon as I gain interest in one thing, something else grabs my attention.  And there you have it.  I have ADD.  Okay I don’t, I’m pretty sure anyway, but it’s whatever the disorder is where you see something you like and then see something else you like and then you can’t decide which you like more but you just have to choose.  I have that.

I have a lot of passions.

I have been able to directly correlate the ebbing and flowing of my interest in things in general to my inability to find a career that I give two shits about.  I have at least figured that much out.  I am on my 6th job since college and not an inch closer to finding my “thing.”  So until I find a job that changes every few months, I’m sort of stuck in not knowing what to do with myself professionally.  I feel tremendous pressure, internally and externally, to find a career that suits me.  Many of my friends have found their paths, and, at times, that makes me feel insignificant.  I do my best not to compare my life with those of others, I really do, but I have definitely let those comparisons allow me to question myself in the past.  I’ve been known to give the occasional eye roll when I hear the words, I love my job!  Really??  You love your job?  Freak.  But I suppose it really is true for some people.  It’s just not me and that’s okay.  

So here I am, not so happy at work, but the happiest I’ve been in my life.  Say what?  I really am though.  Feeling so great and confident and stable.  The key to my happiness has been balancing the part of my life that I am obligated to partake in with the things I cherish. I am required to come to work every day and do what is expected of me, but I can do whatever I want with the rest of my time, for as long as I want and when I want.  And, that right there? That makes me feel liberated.  There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t take care of myself or take time to do something to make myself happy.  Those things, the things I do on my time, are a bigger part of my life.  Sure, I work 40 hours a week, give or take (mostly take), but the time spent with the people I love doing what I do…those hours are timeless.  Yoga makes me feel alive, cooking is straight-up therapy,  traveling makes me appreciate, and being with my friends and loved ones, that is just… it’s my fave.  All of these things are so much bigger and make the only impact I care to absorb.  Finding that balance is the answer for me.  Until I find an open position for a sweater knitting, globetrotting, astronomy-loving yogi, this is where I’ll be, just real happy.

So the moral is, take care of yourself.  Balance your life.  Whatever that means for you.  We aren’t able to do everything we want, when we want, because that’s just not realistic, so don’t forget to be good to yourself. Satisfy yourself and do what’s right for you.  I really believe it’s the only way to find happiness.  In the words of my favorite astronomer (because I have one), Galileo, “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”  He’s smart.