Personal Experience

Editor’s Note: The following is a response one of my daughters gave to a young adult in our family, who is struggling and asked a group of us for help. I thought it is such a well thought out reply that I wanted others to benefit. It is a nice reminder for some of us.

Advice We All Can Use

By Janna Shuemake

Hey B… and everyone else on this line.   I am soooo glad you are reaching out to all of us.  We are here for you to love and support you and encourage you.  We believe in you and your ability to get your stuff together!!!!  I have so many ideas for you.  I think all of the advice you have been given from others is accurate and spot on.  I have experienced what you are going through and I am certain you can flip this.  So here is what comes to my mind after reading all of this. 

What you say you want and what you are actually doing doesn't seem to match up.  I believe you want to have a better life but it doesn't look like you are taking the steps toward creating that.   So what do you do about this?  Take action.  Everything you do is either getting you closer to what you want or getting you off track.  Eventually you are so off track, you are depressed and lonely and anxious and fearful.  At these low points, the only solution is for someone to rescue you.  That is usually helpful but then you keep ending up back off track.  This will only change if you want it to.  This situation you are in is not because you are young.  It is because you are doing the least you can do to get by.  You can do this your whole life.  You can even do this if you have a family.  This doesn't get easier or better with time.  

It only gets better with action steps.  So how do you take action when you are bored, lonely, anxious, scared, depressed or just don't feel like it?  You feel the fear or anxiety or depression and do it anyway.  You get up early and meditate.  You go to a support group every day.  You get help in as many ways as you can think of. You exercise every day. You journal write and get all of your feelings out daily.  You volunteer or help someone out.  You figure out your strengths and weaknesses and make those work for you.   You stop smoking and drinking for 6 months or forever or only in social situations or as a reward or celebration for getting to a goal.   You talk to one of us.  You read about something you want to be better at or learn about something new.  You google how to be successful and do what they say.  You make a list of helpful things you could do to lift you up and do those things daily.  

Success in all areas of life is a choice.   Create a blueprint for every day of the week and do things successful people do.  Plan ahead and create a schedule for your life. So even when you are not working you get up early and meditate and exercise and create space for success.  So what do you want?  Write out what you want.  It can be a paragraph or 10 pages.  Read this every day. Pick out the main ideas and then you back track and create steps toward getting there.  Nothing is impossible when you are focused on goals and are clear with what you want.  It might take awhile to get what you want, but that is how life is.

Being a responsible adult is like watching grass grow.  Its slow, dependable, boring.  Consistency over time will bring you whatever you want.   Fun is a tricky thing.  Generally, if you are doing fun things or things you love it needs to be managed and planned in your blueprint.  If you are ruled by fun and what is easy, then that usually doesn't take you where you want to go.  

Having a life purpose or a career that is just right for you is a fantasy.  You already have a purpose.  You already have a career.    So if you don't like it then change what you are doing to match up with a different purpose.  Your attitude and mindset are the same no matter where you are working or if you have a good job.  Because all jobs are work.  And work is hard.  That is why they call it work.  And that is why fun is so fun because you are not working!   Nobody is having fun at work even when they are living their purpose or have their dream job.  If anyone is having fun at work while they are doing their job, they are lying. Your work ethic is a choice.  You can change jobs and move up to better positions or go to school and you will find that a job is still work.

 Your job gives you the gift of money.  Be thankful and appreciative for every dollar you earn.  This will happen no matter what job you have.  Money management is a choice too.  I know we have talked about this before and these principles never change.  You have to discipline yourself to make a money plan and stick to it.  More money doesn't equal more savings unless you actually save according to a plan.  Trust me and Sarah and Lindy on this.  We all were spoiled growing up,  just like you and when we had to work as young adults, we were so confused why we didn't have any money and could never save anything and we needed extra help constantly.  We also like to have fun and basically all fun things require money and having fun means you are not working.   Be realistic about how much money you make and need to make.  Live within your means.  Live in the place you can afford, drive the car you can afford, spend money responsibly, save money, give money.  We are now experts on this story, ask us, talk to us, we are here for you.

Sarah is so right that when people are helping you financially it makes you just stay stuck where you are and you never have enough even with the extra help.  This might sound scary and the opposite of what your instincts are telling you but you are gonna need to make a plan and actually do it.  Make a realistic plan to be cut off from others’ financial help.  I'm not sure where the best place for you to live is.  I do know living somewhere expensive will make it so more money doesn't feel like more money.  It makes sense to live closer to work, but lots of people drive far to get to work.   I would need more information on this if you want my advice.  

Going to school and working is very common.  Working 60 hours a week is very common.  Having a full schedule is very common.  This is not a unique situation you are in.  Stop believing your situation is impossible or too difficult to manage.  You can totally work and go to school.  This is what most people do.  Tell yourself that you can do it every time you start to feel like you can't do it.   I think Lindy had a great idea of taking an online course in 6 months once you feel more balanced.   We can help you with time management so you have plenty of time to get it done.

I love you and believe in you.  You have so many amazing qualities.  You are adorable and helpful and sweet and charming and beautiful and funny and smart and family oriented and dependable and aware and have a nice butt just to name a few.  You can do this!!!

Janna (your favorite)





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