Do What’s Best For YOU

This past year has been the most turbulent year I have ever experienced. It was genuinely chaos and messiness, everywhere. Everything that I intended for my life has gone out the window — I changed university courses, I took a minimum wage job and then resigned after a few months, but most of all, I’ve become a brand new person who is perhaps a lot more fearless than before. When your life is in slight havoc, you have no choice but to go with the obscurity of it all. When this sort of chaos arrives in your life you must be able to make decisions that you know are best for you, even if it means being judged for them.

The biggest decisions I’ve made were made instantaneously. Deciding to switch my university and my course happened due to an amalgamation of ridiculous things that had happened to me, but it took one moment of a person treating me rudely that pushed me over the edge. There comes a moment for me — and I’m sure for most of us — where we can just feel in the pit of our belly that this is not the life we deserve.

So here are some tips on learning how to trust yourself and your intuition:

Sometimes you have to push things through, and other times you need to know when you’re being pushed around.

In many cases, many of us have to do certain things to survive and we have had no choice but to push through — this does not mean we should accept treatment that is anything less than respectful. An example of this is my family member who was put in a difficult situation of being exploited at work because he was afraid to lose his job and would not be able to provide for his family. He did not fight against the mistreatment.

I didn’t understand why my family member would allow himself to go through this — of course, I was ignorant to the fact that the job market was practically non-existent. After several years of enduring both mental and financial abuse from his boss, he took a complaint to the CCMA (The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration). The CCMA is an organisation in South Africa that can basically defend the rights of both employers and employees. My family member did not get the complete compensation he had wanted, but some of the money due to him was paid soon after he was offered a job where he is much happier now. The point of this story is that regardless of your situation, don’t be afraid to make a calculated risk and do not settle for less than you deserve.

People won’t agree with you, but they won’t experience your pain either.

When I decided to leave my minimum wage job that I did not really need (I am privileged in that regard and I am aware that not everyone has freedom to make this decision), a colleague of mine expressed that he thought that I was being “silly” (I’ll have you know I did not ask for his opinion). I had expressed to this person that I could not cope with my new university course and manage a job. He came up with plenty of reasoning as to why I should change my mind, but the only reasons that counted were my reasons — how unhappy I was, and how that job was hurting my prospects for my actual career by hindering my academic ability. Simply put: don’t care about what anyone else thinks, and do what you know you need to do.

Change can be emotional, even if you know you’re making the right decision.

In both of the decisions regarding my university and my old job, I had made them fairly quickly and without hesitation. It was only after the decision was made did I feel doubt and the sadness of letting go what once meant so much. I had to come to terms with the fact that what once was, no longer was what I needed it to be. We are allowed to expect more of our lives, ourselves and the people we put in our lives. Let yourself feel everything you need to feel. At the end of the day know that change may bring an end to what you know, but it brings new beginnings, which are far more exciting.

Let go of expectations and open your mind.

Expectations are the biggest killers of good things because we expect everything to be “great” and we forget to acknowledge the good. The new opportunities may come quickly, or you may have to work hard to create an opportunity, or maybe you left an old opportunity for a new one and you need time to adjust. Whatever the situation is, always be prepared for anything to happen, and do not think that everything will be easy. If you are happier in the prospect of what is to come, your decision will never be wrong.

(Featured Artwork: Tsjisse Talsma)