Sometimes I feel like I’m quantifying success.
I know you shouldn’t settle for less, but these past few months I’ve been struggling to get a job because of various limitations.
- Getting a librarian job in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) is competitive
- If I want to be a librarian, I have to move out of state
As someone who lives in a household with her parents, moving out of the house isn’t as easy as some people think it might be. There are also various reasons to this:
- My parents are Asian (Korean)
- My parents are conservative
- My parents aren’t really assimilated into American culture
It’s actually very common for Koreans, at least in my household, to live in the home with their parents until their children get married. So moving out of the house, much less moving out of state, is not something I can do so easily. So where am I? I recently got connected to a lead librarian and I’ve decided to apply for an entry-level position at the library.
One of the reasons I didn’t do this right away is because I felt like I was quantifying success. I have to be successful by the time I’m this age. I’m not doing anything right if I’m not in this position by this age or this number of years. I felt like I was constantly comparing myself to my much better peers in my cohort. Some haven’t even worked in libraries and yet find themselves in librarian positions.
And I felt like I was setting for less by applying to the same position I could have applied for when I graduated from high school.
I basically felt like a failure. I felt like I wasted all this time and I really felt like I wasted my 20s.
And I started to think about why I felt this way. Sometimes it takes talking to someone else to realize that the thoughts I were having were insecurities and me, selfishly, wanting to take the easy way out. I expected for my life to work out after I graduated from graduate school.
I have to tell myself that there’s nothing wrong with reaching your goal in life at a much later date than other people do. Just because I’m nearing 30 and still working retail jobs isn’t something I should be ashamed of—because I know that’s not what I’m still going to be doing 5 or 10 years down the road.
But just because I know this, doesn’t mean my insecurities go away or my confidence gets any higher. I still feel like I wasted my 20s. I should have done this or I should have done that. But reality is, I can’t turn back time. I think it’s important not to look back in the past of “what ifs” but keep moving forward.