One thing I would change about myself would be not to overthink and analyze everything so much. Almost every bigger decision I make comes after painful hours of thinking and analyzing the possible options. Yes, sometimes you should do this because some decision are life changing and actually every decision may change your life – at the end you never know (and yes, I do have a story about this). But there are decisions that give you more or less equal options and it is almost impossible to choose which is the “right one”. There is not a “right one” there are just different options and I am sorry that I will give you that overused piece of advice but at the end the only person that can give you an advice, make a decision and be responsible for it is YOU. Whether you are listening to your intuition, heart, soul or someone from the universe is talking to you and sending you signs this is it – this is the answer for all the dilemmas. This is the “ACT” sign and the right direction.
Probably I sound mature and Miss “all under control”. Not at all! I am very good at giving advices and explaining how the things should work but when it comes to me I usually do kind of the opposite. So when before an year ago I was faced with the dilemma “What to do with my life?” for a numerous time I spent something like two weeks thinking, talking and dreaming only about what my next step should be and choosing not only between two options, not three, but four. And if you know me, you would guess how tough was that.
Long story short I was in my last year of University, I have just won a first place prize in the field that I was working and graduating in (which led to several job offers), I have applied for a professional internship in Singapore with AIESEC and for a Work and Travel program in New York. And for the picture to be full my parents asked me if I would help in the family bussiness. Not having any options sucks for sure, but having too many options is not easy as well.
My daily dilemmas in these two weeks were starting from “Should I settle down and start building a carrier or should I travel the world?” to “What if I go to America and I gain 10kg like most of the students?”. In my country most of the people are still under the influence of communism beliefs so they believe that life has its own pattern that we should all follow – graduate, find a nice job, find a man, move in with him, buy an apartment with credit from the bank, go for a vacation once per year and it is time for some babies and more or less that is the end of the story because when the babies come you do not matter anymore. So the advice that most of the people gave me was: “Stay in Bulgaria and either get the best job offer or even better start working in the family bussiness. You have already been to a WAT and it would be a waste of time. Singapore is far away, who knows what are you going to do there and they will not even pay you that much.”
What were my concerns? If I go to work as a hostess in New York for 4 months how would this help me later on in life? Will I just waste time? If I do not start a job now that they are offering me will I be able to find one later on? If you continue travelling here and there at the end what are you going to have in your CV? If my parents have put so many efforts in developing a bussiness isn’t it the smartest thing just to help them out and make much more money than I would working for someone else? Or should I start something completely new on my own? If I go to Singapore will I really be able to pay for my accommodation and food with the internship money that I would receive and will this experience be helpful for me carrier wise later on? What if I don’t like it there and I have already signed a contract for 6 months?
On the second week I already had some answers. It turned out that I can not get a work visa for Singapore since I am studying in Bulgaria so this option failed. I figured out that I can join my parents bussiness even after 4 months ( they won’t kick me out I hoped). So now I was left with the options of working an unperspective job in the glamorous state of New York and fullfiling my hunger for travelling against the option of following my parents and some peers advice to settle down – find a boy, an apartment and a perspective job to give me the opportunity to save for the apartment.
Thanks God after 3-4 more sleepless nights I heard my heart, my intuition or just my soul hunger and I packed my suitcases. More or less the same scene and all this life dilemmas came again in my life 10 months later while I was wondering should I go back to Bulgaria or should I stay in America. Now I am lying on my bed in my home town Pernik ( the mafia city 😉 and writing this article ready to fight with my next dilemmas.
Do I regret going to the USA with the WAT program? Not at all! It was disasterous the first 10 days and I wanted to go back to Bulgaria but after that amazing things happened and it turned out to be the most challenging, beautiful and life changing summer in my life. I changed 3 jobs, 4 accommodations, I fell in love, I cried, I laughed, I met amazing people and made great friends, I get to know myself much better and learned how to fight for my rights.
I came back in Bulgaria 10 days ago and saw many of my friends. They started their jobs, moved out with their boyfriends, saved money for vacations. Me? I unpacked two suitcases with my new style, new dreams, tons of stories, new point of view, new goals to accomplish and new destinations to visit and one single rule: “Turn everything off and listen to yourself!”. What is more at the end I had the opportunity to work as a marketing expert back in America so I even upgraded that CV that I worried about.
If now someone ask me for an advice to go or not go, I would say that this is not the question, not the right one. The question is more like “To be or not to be. That is he question!” Because if you are open minded, ambitious, curious, adaptive and self efficient you will not waste your time and you find opportunities and advantages wherever you go and whatever you do. So there is only one advice – be the best you can be and do the best you can do for the situation you are in. Do not stop developing yourself. And at the end you know what I mean:
“Listen to your heart there is nothing else you can do….”