“I’m trying not to get my hopes up…”

Image-1I watched a great video a few months ago that talked about basing our goals on feelings instead of material things. I’ve also written about this before. In short: the idea is that you probably don’t really want a new car, you just want the feeling that driving a new car gives you; so we should find other ways to experience that new car feeling. I also read that excitement is a more practical synonym for happiness so when we want to be happy, we should first strive for excitement.

Right now, I’m 60 days away from finishing up my job here in North Carolina and planning to move to Texas in May. I’m working full-time (including at least 2 evenings a week and some occasional weekend commitments), maintaining my blog, contributing to other blogs, job searching (which is a job in itself), and much, MUCH more. Needless to say, I’m tired. You would think that I’d also be stressed but I’m not. I’m too excited to be stressed! In 2 months I’ll be closer to my family, friends, and boyfriend: no more phone calls, FaceTime, or group texts. I’ll be able to see them all in person. I’ll be going on dates to my favorite places, hanging out with my best friends, eating my mom’s cooking, and not missing out on whatever other random events they plan. My time here in North Carolina has been absolutely phenomenal and I’m leaving here a new person, more prepared for my professional future than I could have ever imagined. But people want updates: they want to know if I’ve applied for anything, if I’ve heard back from anyone, and what my “plan” is. My resume is much stronger now than it was this time last year and I am hopeful that I will land a great job but as of now, I don’t’ have a solid response other than, “I’m moving to Texas.”  And usually when people talk about their job search or upcoming interviews they follow up with something like, “I’m just trying not to get my hopes up…”

I’m guilty of having said this before but that statement is absolutely ridiculous. 

Why shouldn’t you have high hopes? And more importantly, who would hire someone that doesn’t express enthusiasm or excitement? I sure wouldn’t. Of course no one wants to be let down, but not being excited won’t shield you from disappointment. Whether or not you acknowledge your hopefulness, you’ll still feel the exact same sadness you would if you didn’t get the job. So don’t fool yourself.

In student affairs, the average job search takes several weeks. Once we submit an application and the job posting closes, we go through at least 2 rounds of interviews: one phone or Skype interview, and then an on-campus visit. Because the process takes so long, there is a slight chance that I won’t have a job secured by the time I move. And since I know that, it makes no sense to worry. Worry is like praying for exactly what you don’t want. Worry is like betting against yourself. Worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it only takes away today’s peace. Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I could go on for days, but I’m sure you get the point.

I don’t know if I’ll be a career counselor, sandwich artist, or a stay-at-home girlfriend (that’s the running joke my boyfriend and I have). But I do know that I’ll be happy. Because happiness isn’t what my name tag says I am; happiness is whatever I wake up looking forward to doing.  For the next couple months, I’m just living off of excitement, a prayer, and a resume. My hopes are way up.

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