I want to get one thing straight before we delve into all these Life Lessons: Being Overworked & Underpaid is not necessarily a bad thing. I would also like to note that I don’t feel bad for myself (at all) and if you are in the same situation (or have been at one time or another), you shouldn’t either. Now you might be sitting there thinking, “Of course you don’t think it’s rough; you’re over there writing a blog about all of this.” Let me just say that before this blog was even #athing, I have always been a firm believer in the infamous J. Cole quote, “there’s beauty in the struggle.” I guess you could say it became my motto because it has given me (a.) some peace of mind in my most trying times and (b.) the strength to get through it all. Keeping this quote in mind has pushed me to do more when I didn’t think “more” could possibly exist within my capacity.
#TwentySomethings go through so many phases where we question our worth, our goals, our path, our choices, and even our lifestyles. We wonder where our hard-earned money has gone – like, why am I still paying so many bills and why doesn’t this Ramen taste like the filet I know I deserve? – and hypothesize how we can stretch the hours in a day, then turn around and get paid for all that stretching (because someone has to do all that work). All I can say is that I have come out of each life-questioning moment with an understanding that EVERYTHING I do, especially the things I consider to be #thestruggle, make me better. Every. Single. Time. The harder we work, the more we understand our limits and what it takes to push ourselves to them (aka overworked). The more situations we find ourselves in where we feel that our worth is undervalued or that we deserve more (aka underpaid), the more clear our boundaries are. Personally, I have taken both of those aspects and used them to evaluate my life; I know what I am willing to put up with, for how long, and for what outcome.
So what’s the alternative to #thestruggle? This is a two-fold answer in my book; the alternative is either having everything handed to you and being content with that or giving up on life entirely. I don’t think you can truly be successful until you experience the #comeup. I am not knocking on privilege at all, but I whole-heartedly believe that no matter how privileged you are, you can always push yourself to be something more. If you don’t come from a privileged situation, it can be easy to think you can’t make it because there is someone out there who is already a step ahead of you. WRONG! Working for what you want has nothing to do with where anyone else is. Your journey is all about where you are and where you’re going; that’s the beauty of it!
Here’s my take on being Overworked & Underpaid: everyone should get a taste of it as a #twentysomething. It shapes you, prepares you for the next challenge, teaches you lessons and allows you to paint a picture of the life you deserve. Being a #twentysomething is the one time in your life when it is completely appropriate to try everything you think you want at least once, work as hard as you can, play just as hard (or harder) and sleep when you’ve exhausted all your limits. Just go for it. Chances are, you will never have the adaptability that you do at this time in your life, so make the most if it! At the very least, you learn something from each experience. At the most, you make an incredible life for yourself that only YOU could have created from all that underpaid (over)work.
Follow me on my personal social media accounts to see how I handle my Overworked and Underpaid #lifestyle.