What is it to be Content – Pages of a Career Journal


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. –Marianne Williamson

All of my dreams are coming true professionally and personally. Part of my brain is saying live in the moment, enjoy. The other half of my brain is saying continue to dream a bigger dream. I know both sides are making fair points. I do dream of being published, becoming an author and spinning tales of a protagonist both the young and old would enjoy. I relish being a voice for youth and young adults who do not have one. I am energized by changing the laws and requirements in my profession.

Rereading this entry, I remember that my life continues to be blessed. Granted, I haven’t written a novel; but I have been on several major, ground breaking studies and in more academic journals than I knew existed in my field. I have spoken and changed state laws, leaving my words permanently documented somewhere in our state capital. (Real life moment- if a student is wondering how to become published, start by finding something you are passionate about and be open to taking on new roles, even if they are mundane.) My first research job as an undergrad was video coding. I spent hours watching parental and relationship videos, listening for key words and watching individuals’ body language. I admit it was sometimes tedious. However, today I am thankful for that opportunity and the skill set it has taught me in reading individuals.

Though I have digressed- the center of the discussion was “At what point do you become content with life and stop reaching for more?” Pondering this question, I wonder what would happen if I stopped setting goals. Would I lose my independent identity and lack purpose? Would I squander valuable and irreplaceable relationships? Worst of all, I fear the worry that I “should” be accomplished more for my age.

Then I stop and think- whose race I am running? I reflect on the words of my grandmother “Chile, the grass may be green on the other side, but I bet you that water bill’s something else and you don’t know what they doing to pay that water bill.”

I sent my good friend, M, an email talking about contentment. I also shared the words of my grandmother. My friend emailed back “I like what your grandmother said. Not only that, but that green grass on the other side is probably just as green as the grass you have on your side, but because we’re all looking at our grass through our own lens, we may see something completely different. That’s how we view the world, through our own lens. So, why not work with what you’ve got? If you don’t like it change your lens, change the way you see your own grass. Because usually it’s already pretty magnificent!”

I forwarded her amazing reply to another friend. She replied “Everyone needs to write a list of 100 things we accomplished that are clearly valuable to us and not anyone else. This way we can feel accomplished and empowered daily by our own strength.” I also loved this idea, but never followed through. Let’s be real- writing 100 amazing things about yourself is daunting. Then I did the math and it’s it really is only eight to nine things a month. I could do this. My list starts:

  1. Growing food from seeds
  2. Being a runner (self-care)
  3. Starting a blog
  4. Being a political and social justice voice for others
  5. Always honoring my word
  6. Not letting my childhood circumstances define me
  7. Learning to cook
  8. Following God’s purpose with my life and learning to accept the detours

Doing this each month, I guarantee you that you will discover yourself and reflect on your blessings, as you are achieving something beautiful in your life every day.

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7 Responses to What is it to be Content – Pages of a Career Journal

  1. Pingback: Extra Money and Home Project Dreams | Real Life of an MSW

  2. @vapor_sage says:

    My lens is opaque right now as I ponder my accomplishments it seems I’ve done damage at every turn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your opening quotation reflects the escalating insecurity of a child who is too much in control

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gail Kaufman says:

    Reblogged this on Gail's Blog and commented:
    MSW’s words, “Whose race am I running?”, reminds me how senseless it is to compare where I am to the success of others. I define what success is for me, and I alone decide if I am not measuring up. MSW’s quote from her grandmother captures this well: ” the grass may be green on the other side, but I bet you that water bill’s something else and you don’t know what they doing to pay that water bill.”

    It’s food for thought as I wonder why I don’t have that job, that body, that bank account or whatever. Maybe it’s because I never wanted it badly enough to make the necessary sacrifices, rather than a reflection on my capabilities. Maybe I had other priorities. I chose my paths for a variety of reasons and take pride in whatever I achieved along the way. When I’m ready to try a new direction, I am free to make a detour in search of a different landscape. There are many shades of green.


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