Career anxiety is inevitable, especially when you’re just starting out. The future can feel daunting, and as women, it can be especially difficult to voice what we want working in male-dominated fields. I was definitely plagued by a great deal of worry about my career but was able to let go of all my anxiety when I decided to focus my energy on worrying about my boyfriend’s failing career.
I used to spend so much time playing out scenarios in which I failed to become the award-winning journalist I had always dreamed of being. I was consumed by toxic thoughts of never earning enough money to get by and watching all my friends achieve success without me. But then one day I realized: I can release myself from these feelings of inadequacy about my work ethic and instead feel them even more strongly about my boyfriend who is lazy, unmotivated and will never achieve anything at the rate he’s going now. Honestly, it’s freeing!
Now, instead of yelling at myself in the mirror, I drive twenty minutes to my boyfriend Ethan’s house, knock loudly on the door and, after I’m reluctantly let inside, scream “Get up, you’re going to be late for work.” “You shouldn’t have spent so much money on an arts degree if you were just gonna sit on your ass instead of actually being a graphic designer” and “You’re going to end up unhappy and poor”. He hates it, and I get it! I hated it when I used to say things like that to myself. But, it’s better to feel insecure about him than insecure about myself, so this is all working out nicely!
Some days with Ethan are hard, mainly because he’s pretty affected by the fact that I’m all of a sudden totally wigging out about his future. But putting pressure on him and feeling shitty about his life is much easier for me than feeling all those things about mine. I finally have time to go on walks for fun, eat indulgent dinners and spend time with friends, while Ethan is frantically applying for jobs and talking to his mom about budgeting.
To all the women out there who are worried about their future, I’ve been there. My best advice is to do whatever you can to be kind to yourself while simultaneously being a total bitch to your boyfriend about his bad life! It works! I’m fulfilled now!