Sometimes motivation comes from the strangest places. Some people just need an idea and they act on it. Then there are others like me that need a little push, shove, punch and then a couple more shoves to act on something they want to do or try. Sometimes it’s fear that sets me back; the fear of not accomplishing the task or the fear of being able to accomplish it and then realizing it’s not what I wanted after all.
I was at Chick-fil-a today with my sister, when I saw Amy.1 I tried my best to avoid her hoping they’d hurry with my order. Too late. ‘Melissa!’ Oh great, she’s seen me and now I’m subject her rambling. “I retired!” It’s been months since I’d seen her. At one time she was my team leader. She has never been a very ‘people person’ (in fact before she noticed me, she was arguing with the cashier). I didn’t hate her or anything but she had a way with people such, as no one liked her. She told me she retired in May (which was a couple of days ago). “I’ve been working since I was 17 ½ and now I’m 52 and I don’t know what to do”. She continued, “I know that I will never go back. They wanted me to comeback part-time, 32 hours a week! I’m not doing that. All that work for little pay! I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should go to school. Maybe I should become a librarian. I have so much time on my hands.” She wants to be a librarian? That’s what I want to be. (Yes, I really do). Most importantly she didn’t like our employer either? And yes the pay is crap.
Then it hit me. She’s 52. I will be 50 or 52 when I am able to retire at the same employer. She’s 52 and she’s just now thinking about school. She has a brand new life. While she continued to put down her old employer and my current employer, all I could think about ‘is this me when I’m 52?” I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want to say horrible things about my employer. I am not an envious person by any means nor was I when she told me she retired. I was and still am happy for her. She is able to start a new chapter in her life everyone deserves one. When she finished I told her, “Sleep in. Take it all in. Experience life. Enjoy yourself” and I actually meant it and still do as I write this post. She earned it.
I’m 33. I’m going to school and I need 12 more classes to graduate. It’s take me years to get this far working full time, not being able to take the day classes I need and paying for everything myself all while making little money. I asked myself, ‘Do I want to be 52 and say those things about my employer? Do I want to wonder what if…?’ Given that not all jobs are great and glamorous but why wait? I sent an application a couple of hours ago for a librarian position.
I guess it was a good thing I saw her. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes we need a little push from the unlikeliest people. I on the other hand need a push, shove, punch, and a couple more shoves as well as words to motivate me from someone who wasn’t my favorite person. Am I scared? Yes. Do I want to wonder ‘what if’? No. When I’m 52, I’d like to tell the 33 year old me, ‘you see’.
1 Not her real name but incase she ever reads this blog. Well…