Advocate for yourself! Advocate for yourself!
I have to repeat that phrase multiple times a day. Everyone forgets to do it, and at times get lost in the expectations of others and loses their voices. My teacher said it to me for the first time weeks ago, and it’s stuck to me since, I hadn’t heard anyone say that before.
I was explaining to her how unhappy I was and that I didn’t know what to do because I felt like I was living my life for others. I was miserable in school, in my internship, and just with where I was in life and I knew it was getting worse.
It felt like I was just letting my life pass me by. I didn’t do anything about it because I didn’t want to disapoint anyone, or have them think of me in a terrible light. I thought “I’ll just do what I need to do, and follow my dreams later.” Crazy right? In my mind, what I really wanted to do can wait, it’s more important to focus of other things. My dreams literally didn’t matter.
Now, as a self proclaimed advocate for others I wasn’t able to even advocate for myself. I realized, in order to be able to actively advocate and fight for others it’s important to advocate and fight for yourself. I am always quick to tell others to follow their dreams, don’t give up and don’t live their lives for anyone but themselves. To make sure they never feel like they’ve lost their voice, and if they have help them regain it. But, I didn’t even realize in my own life, I didn’t have a voice.
“Don’t live your life doing something you hate, or something that makes you miserable because you don’t want anyone to look at you sideways, or even say your dream is terrible and you can’t achieve it.” I’d tell people this all the time, but never thought that maybe I needed to practice what I preach per say.
As a senior in college, I’m was feeling lost and not very happen with the major I picked (a little late I know but hey, sometimes it take’s awhile to realize things). I really wanted to travel, blog and not work a 9-5 job, and definitely not in the corporate world (it’s the millennial in me).
When my teacher told me to advocate for myself, and follow my dreams, do something different, I smiled. It’s like a light blew inside of me, and I felt this rush of awareness, excitement and peace. She validated my feelings, and helped me get my voice back. I got home actively started looking for blogging sites (hello, spiral notes), and also looked for jobs abroad.
I knew I want become an Au Pair, and move abroad and start writing those blogs I’ve always wanted to write. I decided it was okay to take a break in school, I wasn’t happy and realized it’s okay for school to not be your thing. It doesn’t make you weird, and realizing that helped me a lot.
I looked, and looked and finally found a wonderful Au Pair website, and even a family that liked and and offered me a position, starting in September. To some people that sounds crazy fast, (maybe so fast it’s meant to be). All my life I’ve wanted to live abroad, I’ve looked up information to be an Au Pair in the past, but never went through with any applications, because I didn’t want to disappoint my family and friends by taking a leave in school. I’ve known for awhile this is what I wanted to do and getting the chance to do it feels great.
I finally get to travel like I wanted, work with kids, and even have the time to blog, or even start a YouTube channel!
I get to go to Germany, for a year and finally live my life how I want. If advocating for yourself and following your dreams feels like this all the time, then I’m glad finally decided to do it. Shout out to my teacher who awakened, me and told me this wonderful saying that I know can’t stop thinking about.