Someone once told me that I can do anything. Many people say that to others just out of habit. It is rare, in my eyes anyway, to have someone say it to you with such clear intent that the comment was made especially for you. I noticed the look but felt embarrassed knowing that although people may think I can do anything it's not really true. It's hard to truly accept such a complement when I know deep down in my heart I have priorities in my life that in no way am I willing to sacrifice in order to "do anything". You can only do anything only if you are willing to sacrifice anything. In response, I brushed it off like it was meant for anyone and said, "Oh, but anybody can do anything."
Our whole conversation was about me going back to school to get my degree but I didn't know how I was going to do it. In the back of my mind I was thinking....how is this possible? My boyfriend and I are 25 years old with three children, a mortgage and a bunch of bills. We get zero help from anyone and work our butts off full time just to make it by every month. I wondered how people went back to school later in life but then I thought...well, everyone else probably didn't have as much bills and responsibilities as we do and they probably had some assistance like parents or financial aid. I absolutely cannot sacrifice the little time I have with my family everyday or my house, for example, so at this point I see little to no leeway. Then I was told I could do anything.
Although I don't believe this can be true for me in many aspects of my life, I am infinitely grateful to this person for believing in me because this is what keeps me going when I'm stuck. After much reflection I think of it like this...
I have a job that is just perfect for me. I love what I do, the people are great, and the pay and benefits do me well. The only issue is I don't have a degree and I don't think I will be able to get as far as I want without one.
A new job opportunity presents itself that overall offers the same pay and benefits (there are trade-offs). The type of work is in a similar field but I'm not sure I'll love it and I'm not exactly sure what kind of people I'll be working with. It's a temporary position and I will not be able to advance without a degree.
What do I do? I take the new job. The only significant difference between my perfect job and my new job is having to step out of my comfort zone a little bit. I chose this path because I would be expanding my mind by learning different things and meeting new people. Being a temporary position, I knew I would be forced actively push myself and learn how to handle discomfort. This was great because either path leads to the same obstacle and getting used to being in uncomfortable situations would probably prepare me for what would come or even push me to find another route.
I think of "you can do anything" as the ability to never give up on finding a path that will work best for you and ultimately be successful in life. I hope that is the quality I portray to others because I believe this is true of myself. I keep pushing myself to progress even if it's not in the direction I planned. Because I'm not willing to sacrifice everything I've worked so hard for, I may not get my degree. Or I might. It just depends on the path I find that will work best for me.
And all it takes is one person to believe you can actually do anything :)