I’ve always been one to throw myself into work. I’ve spent most of my adult life working two jobs, which I’ve always felt was necessary to make ends meet or to further my career path. But at what point is it detrimental to your health, both physical and mental?
We live in a society that is constantly on the move. Nothing ever slows down in America. Having “down time” feels as though I am wasting valuable time that could be spent contributing to the greater picture. I also feel societal norms have put this idea in my head that I am not worthy of a healthy life/work balance. I feel it is this unspoken rule that we must pay our dues before being able to legitimately enjoy life.
I’ve kept my retail job since 2012, which was before I had finished my undergraduate degree. I’ve kept that job for 7 years, despite having earned two college degrees and state licensure as a therapist. I began working for a non-profit agency in January 2017 as an unpaid therapist. I loved the work I did and felt I was truly making an impact on others. While I felt disappointed that I was not paid for the hard work I put in every week, it felt necessary. I started there as a school intern, and very rarely are internships paid positions in America. After I graduated and earned my degree and state licensure, I remained in that unpaid position. I held on, hoping and praying that my hard work would pay off. I worked there an average of 20-25 hours a week, on top of my 40 hour retail job. I kept waiting… until I realized that I deserved better. I deserved better than to work years for free, while maintaining a 60 work week altogether (while I was also in graduate school working toward my Master’s). Something in me just flipped the switch on this narrative that I needed to be miserable until someone else viewed me as worthy. I chose to leave that agency in March 2019 and found a job with a private practice.
Fast forward three months, here we are again. I am working 65-70 hour weeks between both jobs. This is also why my blog posting dropped significantly over the past two months. I felt disappointed in myself that I allowed this to happen again. Working two jobs while just trying to keep my head above water at this point. But finally, last week, that same switch flipped again in my head (whether that’s a figurative lightbulb moment or what have you). I am allowed to have a healthy work/life balance. I am allowed to enjoy my life and have more in it than work. I am allowed to be happy with the life I’m living, rather than feeling like I’m just living for others. So here we are, today. I am standing up for myself, and to myself. Enough is enough. There is so much more to life than work, bills, chores, errands, and other responsibilities. There is so much more to life. Live it.