September 11, 2018 at 9:43 am #225195
Dear Tiny Buddha community,
I am currently facing a big change in my life. The big change is that I have decided to not go for my dream job which is being a flight attendant. Well, I used to be a flight attendant for a budgeted airline but I resigned my job to pursue my studies after working a year. I told myself that I would continue to pursue flight attendant again in a bigger airline after I am done studying. Fast forward to 5 years after, dealing with a loss of relationship and rejections from job applications. I was devastated. I cried to myself oftentimes but thankfully I have my family, friends and this site to support me throughout this hardship.
Now back to the topic, through this process of grieving. I found out a lot about myself. I found out that I was a people pleaser. Which I think is the main cause of this turmoil in my life and the reason why I am so affected by all these losses. When I was a flight attendant, I was really proud of myself because first my family was proud especially my mom. She would brag to all her friends about my job. My friends looked up to me and admire me because I get to travel to many places and have a really great salary. Of course I enjoyed my time there but of course there are things that I am not satisfied about the job as well. I mean who loves their job 100% right? I think the main reason why I really liked the job though is because of the recognition I get from the past because of this job.
That is why I have this obsession of going back to this job when I’m studying because I want to feel belonged again.I wanted to be that proud and confident person again. I wanted to go back to the past. The job became my identity. But I was not aware of this toxic relationship with my dream until today. I was chasing a mirage, the past to cover my sadness in life. After all these, it came to a point where the biggest airline Emirates held an interview in my country and they only come once a year. That was my No.1 choice of airline to go to. However, 2 nights before the interview I suddenly have the feeling in my hard that going for the interview was not right. It just felt not right. It wasn’t fear that drives me against it but it was more of an assurance that I shouldnt go for it. That night, I firmly told myself to move on and go for other passions in my life which is health and fitness. It gave me a warm feeling and assurance even though I am moving into the unknown because I dont know where will this lead me. I was just so sure this is the right thing to do in my life right now.
So now I am grieving because part of my identity is lost, and sometimes my ego takes place telling me what are the what “ifs”. I should have gone for the interview. I should not give up.But I know this is part of the process towards something new in my life. Have anyone experienced such change in their life? Please share and if you have any opinion on this please do share as well. Thank you.September 11, 2018 at 10:09 am #225203
You wrote regarding your dream of working as a flight attendant: “I was not aware of this toxic relationship with my dream until today. I was chasing a mirage, the past to cover my sadness in life”.
Can you explain best you can what you mean by “toxic relationship with my dream”- what kind of a relationship, do you mean?
anitaSeptember 11, 2018 at 10:56 pm #225273
It is toxic because the motivation behind the dream was to please people. Making my parents feel proud. Getting the admiration from people around me. It wasn’t purely because I’m passionate about it. And I think I didn’t take the rejections so well it’s because I was desperate for it. Desperate for my life to be back it was again. So I think this is relationship is toxic because I am depending my life on this dream. I want to love myself again and I think the right thing to do is to listen to what my heart has to say.September 12, 2018 at 5:34 am #225289
A boy’s relationship with his mother is a powerful, powerful thing. When you were a child, your mother was in pain. You “saw her crying and constant breakdowns”. Her pain went on for a long time, maybe still. You wrote: “My parents’ hard work and love for us makes me feel like I really owe them a lot and someday I know I can repay them for what they have given me”.
You wrote in this thread that when you were a flight attendance, “my family was proud especially my mom. She would brag to all her friends about my job”
That was you repaying her: she was happy while bragging. The dream element in the “dream job” was mostly the old, old dream of making your mother happy.
You wrote: “I have this obsession of going back to this job when I’m studying because I want to feel belonged again” –
The child that you were did not feel that he belonged to his family, at least from the point his mother (more so than his father) fell into depression over a family betrayal. He was alone because his mother was not there for him, not beyond feeding him and taking care of other basic physical needs.
A child needs that recognition you mentioned, he needs his mother to notice him and express to him that she likes him for being himself, not for this or that particular work that he does. You wanted to make your mother happy so that she will recognize you, see you and like you for what you feel, what you value, what you care about.
This recognition, this belonging, is the love you did not experience as a child and still don’t. This lack is that “something missing” you mentioned in your earliest thread.
“I was never truly happy” you wrote, because of that something-missing in childhood and onward. You have been “always looking for ways to please everyone and in return receiving their love and affection”- looking for that love you did not yet experience. Or maybe you did as a baby or a very young boy and then lost.
There is no easy or quick solution to that something-missing. If you did attend the interview, you would still experience that lack. You didn’t attend the interview and you will still experience this lack.
At first, when you did not attend the interview, you experienced “a warm feeling and assurance… I was just so sure this is the right thing to do”. It reminds me of the great relief you felt when you finally ended your relationship. But then came the doubts about both, the relationship at that time (maybe still) and the interview.
To keep that “warm feeling and assurance”, it will take more than this or that choice. “I think the right thing to do is to listen to what my heart has to say”, you wrote in your most recent post.
Your heart has a lot to say, but you need help to figure out how to get to a place where your heart is satisfied. It is not this or that job that will satisfy your heart. Some jobs will be more compatible for your healing process, yes. But a healing process has to take place. Best place to start is competent psychotherapy or counseling for this very purpose: examine your childhood, see that young boy that you were, recognize him while another person (an empathetic, understanding therapist/counselor) is seeing and recognizing this boy as well.
anitaSeptember 12, 2018 at 8:49 am #225319
Thank you so much for taking your time and effort to refer to my previous posts. Really means alot. Your first paragraph about how my past links to my current state really touches my soul. I teared a little when I read it as it brought back the helpless feeling and my mother’s past.
You wrote “This recognition, this belonging, is the love you did not experience as a child and still don’t.” Yes, I believed I did not felt the recognition when I was a child although memories of it seemed blurry as I can’t really remember my childhood clearly. My mom right now however is totally different than she was when I was a child. My mom and dad’s debts are almost settled and they are more carefree now as we are older and more capable now. My mom has always been supportive in whatever I do and she shows more affection now. Things are getting better emotionally for my mom and dad. I told them about my decision about my job. They supported me. My mom even told me to do what I want, most importantly do not do it because of what others would think of you. So I think my childhood is what made me who I am now. Does it makes sense?
For that warm feeling and assurance, you wrote “It reminds me of the great relief you felt when you finally ended your relationship.” Yes it s the same feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. It could be my intuition talking to me? You wrote ” But then came the doubts about both, the relationship at that time (maybe still) and interview”. Well, there were doubts of course for my relationship but it was for a short while for maybe about 2 to 3 months after. But I managed to pass that stage and right now is just grieving and missing her that is all. Never thought of going back to her. As for the interview, I am not sure if it applies the same.
Thank you for your suggestions to seek professional help. I will consider it. I did considered it before but it was merely just a thought as I think I could figure it out myself with time. Thank you Anita. Would love to hear from you soon about my latest observations.
Have a nice day 🙂
RomeoSeptember 12, 2018 at 10:34 am #225337
You are welcome and thank you for your nice wish for my day.
I am glad your parents, particularly your mother is doing better and is being supportive of you. Unfortunately our childhood years are called our Formative Years for a reason: most of the neuropathways in our brain are formed then, pathways related to the basic things we learn about ourselves and about other people. These pathways are loaded with strong emotions.
Generally, I am cautious about the term intuition. Sometimes it is clearly correct. At other times, we misunderstand the message behind our feelings. For example (again, this is in general),:we always feel a relief when we separate from a distressing situation, so the relief means we should have taken a break, but not necessarily that we shouldn’t return to the situation and make it better.
You wrote that health and fitness is your passion, not being a flight attendant. I suppose then, that not attending that interview was a good choice. Do you have a plan to pursue a career in health and fitness?
anitaSeptember 13, 2018 at 7:07 am #225525
Indeed I agree that we need to be careful about intuition. But after going through the hardships of not listening to myself/intuition for my previous relationship. I feel like I am going through the same thing again with my job. That is why I strongly believe I should listen to this voice.
The thing is flight attendant was my passion until recently as I get to know more about myself deeply. I think this passion has caused me more harm than good in terms of emotional health. Does that make sense? Or maybe I was confused with passion and pleasing people which resulted in me liking the job. But health and fitness has always been my passion since even before flight attendant. I just did not pursue it as much due to lack of job prospects. As for now I am planning to save enough money to pursue my personal training license and see how it goes from there.
RomeoSeptember 13, 2018 at 7:37 am #225529
The more you “get to know more about (yourself) deeply”, the more reliable is your intuition. Knowing yourself is very powerful. If health and fitness has not been something your mother bragged about or encouraged, if it didn’t bring you the recognition that flight attending did, then this passion comes from a place other than people pleasing.
It makes sense that you pursue it if there are ways for you to make adequate living pursuing it, that is a living that is good enough for you.
anitaFebruary 14, 2019 at 2:33 am #280121
A little update about my life so far. I am currently working as real estate agent (REA) for about 6 months now. Previously I told you that I am gonna pursue my career in fitness and health once I saved enough money. I have always been thinking about this passion of mine even when I am working as a REA. It has been a tough journey in my current job. Initially I was pretty excited as I got to learn many new things such as marketing, property investment and also this job allowed me to really get out of my comfort zone.
The REA job is based on sales commission, so no basic salary. For the whole 6 months I only sold 1 apartment unit to my mom. I really thanked my mom for her support. However, I didn’t felt any sense of achievement as it was my mom buying it. I know she’s being supportive and also it was a good investment choice. But I just couldn’t help to feel sorry for myself deep down as the only sale I got after 6 months was from my mother. Talking about the job, I have great leaders/ mentors who are willing to put in effort and time into the people under them. I definitely learned alot from them in terms of mindset, marketing and sales related skills. I am grateful for them.
So this happened two months ago. I was reaching a point where I feel that I really tried my best in this job, but the outcome was not what I expected. For 6 months I only had 1 sale and it was from my mother and also financially I am still dependent on my parents. So basically, I felt very hopeless, useless and demotivated. I talked to my mentors about and of course they motivated me with their words of wisdom. However, the motivation did not last long and I will go into another cycle of negativity and depression.
Then one month ago, I was trying out a new marketing tactic which involves me posting live videos in facebook talking about property investment. I was advised by my mentor to do it everyday for a 30 days live video challenge. I was convinced that I can reach to more people this way through social media so that people can connect with me and I can get sales from there. I did that for 24 days and boy I did not enjoy it at all. I was forcing myself to do 1 or 2 videos a day of me talking about property investment. At 1st I was proud because I came out of my comfort zone and I did something many people would be afraid to do. However, after 24 days I got burnt out. After my last video, I laid down on my bed and I literally gasping for air. I was tired, depressed and felt useless. I felt like dying although not suicidal, wanted to call for help but figured I should just rest.
So after that I was very depressed, every night before I sleep. I would allocate 2 hours to myself in my room just listening to sad music and just cry. It became a habit for like maybe about 2 weeks. Then, sometimes I would rely on alcohol to suppress my depression. I drank half a bottle of red wine to sleep on one occasion. It was like I had this big craving for alone time for quite some time.
The breaking point came, when I counseled with one of my mentor, he told me I am doing great. It’s just that I am lazy and not proactive enough to look for more knowledge and answers from people. When he said that, it struck in my heart. I reviewed for the past 6 months what I have done. I realized, obviously that my efforts are simply not enough to create the results that I wanted. But I felt that I was really pushing myself to the limits already. And also I know deep down if I really want to do something I would do it with all my heart. But why this time is different? I was confused. Then I started battling with myself again, am I just lazy or is it I’m just not that into this job. After that, I was thinking of quitting really and I want to pursue my career as a personal trainer. After many torturous days, I decided to go for a counseling session.
I learned a lot of things about myself in the session. I told the counselor everything how I felt. I was asked if I can see myself doing this job for the next 5 years. I said no. (Honestly, I couldnt even see myself working for 1 year at my current state). I told her about my passion for fitness and how I thought of dropping everything and pursue it. She asked me if I work hard in a job i dont like vs a job I am passionate about. Which one would bring me more sense of achievement? Of course the answer was the latter. I told her, I feel guilty to my mentors and my parents because they have invested so much in me for the past 6 months and if I quit, it means I failed them. Then, I realize I have been doing things for other people again. I was like wow Romeo, good job. I’m aware after all the experiences I had that I shouldnt please others in what I do but I still do it in my current job.
I realised that I just didn’t have the drive to do this job and also I am not motivated by the money. She asked me why I didn’t have the drive? I said “I’m just not interested in it”. When I said that I felt good. I felt good because she doesnt know me and I know she wont judge me. So I got my answer there. I am just not that into this job, and I am doing this partly for other people’s expectation of me. To earn big money and be rich like all the top performers in this industry. So I am set to pursue my career in fitness after that and I am planning to take up a certification course soon.
So yes, I got my answers already. But, I still feel this tremendous sense of guilt towards my mentors who put in so much energy and time to want to see me succeed in this industry. I am still trying to find the right time and plan the right words to tell them about this. Although, I know there’s no right time to do it. This just feels like the break up again and it sucks. And another fear is that what if I enter the fitness industry and I struggle, will I feel like quitting as well. Is this a cycle or am I really doing what my heart truly wants me to do.
I need wisdom and advice from you Anita and also people in this community. Thank you! Namaste!February 14, 2019 at 7:37 am #280139
You wrote that it struck your heart when your Real Estate mentor told you that you are “lazy and not proactive enough”. You wrote, “my efforts are simply not enough to create the results I wanted. But I felt that I was really pushing myself to the limits already. And also I know deep down if I really want to do something I would do it with all my heart… I started battling with myself again, am I just lazy or is it I’m not that into this job”.
Based on our past extensive communication, this is my input today:- this is the early life experience that greatly formed you (those formative years of childhood form a lot of who we are lifetime): “my family was really struggling. My parents failed their business as my mom were betrayed by her siblings… it caused them a huge debt. My mom was really broken back then as well as my dad. But my mom was more in pain in my own perspective, as I saw her crying and constant breakdowns“.
The young child that you were did all that he could to rescue his mother from her struggles, from her despair, to make her happy. Maybe he handed her a napkin to dry her tears, maybe he handed her his favorite toy so to make her happy, maybe he did his best in school, but ALL his efforts failed day after day, m0nth after month, for years.
This young child learned that indeed all his “efforts are simply not enough to create the results” he wanted. He really did push himself “to the limits already”. And he did try “with all (his) heart”.
It wasn’t that this young child was lazy, that is not why he failed to make his mother happy. He was too young to be able to produce the money required to pay her debts, too young to take her siblings to court, if that was at all a possibility… too young, only a child.
But he didn’t know about his limited powers. Children are not aware that their powers are limited, they imagine themselves achieving great things, not knowing yet what is possible and what is not possible for them.
This early experience of repeated, ongoing failure to achieve what you wanted so intensely and for so long, led to you to believe that you are not capable of success, that you are incompetent.
Fast forward a bit, later in your life: “I was a very timid and awkward individual. Being skinny and small, always being called a stick”, you managed to go to the gym, eat more, get into fitness and health and you succeeded, looking bigger and stronger, “my confidence grew”, you wrote. But later that confidence was gone: “I realize I wasn’t that strong after all even though I have a big body. I was weak in the mind and heart, still that timid kid inside of me”.
In your romantic relationships with women you felt confident when you felt that you were “their beacon of hope, their rock and shoulder to lean on when they were going through their tough times. I felt good and manly to be able to be that person who was besides them supporting them… I do feel in control as I felt like a ‘real man’ helping them and being their rock. It gave me some sense of achievement which almost felt like a drug or something that fuels me as a person”.
Nothing fuels you more than the old desire, your most intense and persistent desire- to be your mother’s rock, to be her strength, to take away her pain and to make her happy.
It doesn’t matter that she is doing better now, no longer in debt, perhaps. What matters is that your heart still wants the same thing as intensely as it did before. When you attempt this or that job, be it bartending or real estate, your confidence is low, you are not motivated because you expect failure.
Life will get better for you, much better, once you realize, deeply understand that indeed you didn’t fail as a child, that indeed the job you had then, to help your mother, to be her rock, was an impossible job for any child. You didn’t fail. If you can deeply understand this, on a deep emotional level, then “Changing my course of life” will be made not only possible, but highly probable.
anitaFebruary 14, 2019 at 8:22 am #280163
I got to say that your replies always hit me right through the heart. This sentence, “The young child that you were did all that he could to rescue his mother from her struggles, from her despair, to make her happy. Maybe he handed her a napkin to dry her tears, maybe he handed her his favorite toy so to make her happy, maybe he did his best in school”. When I read it, it ignited past memories of me watching my mom crying again and I was trying to make her feel better. I cried really hard just now having these flashbacks.
It’s true that my heart still long for the old desires that I manifested when I was a child till now. My mom recently had a minor surgery in the hospital. I was really upset because I thought to myself. What if one day my mother leave this earth and I still couldn’t make her proud know my situation right now. I feel that I would regret if mother pass away and I couldn’t bring her to overseas to travel and take care of her. These thoughts are really affecting my life right now, pressuring myself to be successful and to be more, more and more so I can make my mother proud. It’s really tiring, so tiring Anita.
“When you attempt this or that job, be it bartending or real estate, your confidence is low, you are not motivated because you expect failure.” Does this means that I suck as these jobs not necessarily mean that I wasn’t interested but my subconscious mind tells me that I’m gonna fail anyway?
Would going into fitness my true passion on the other hand would be my heart trying to find the old desires again? I am abit confused on these parts.
Thank you so much Anita!February 14, 2019 at 9:15 am #280179
You are welcome.
For as long as you believe that you were then and still are responsible for your mother’s emotional well being, you cannot be happy no matter what job you try and what girlfriend you have. You have to be free from that belief you had since early childhood.
That early childhood feeling of a BIG failure does not allow you to be content with SMALL successes in your adult life.
After an initial high following your fitness/health success, after the initial high getting your mother’s recognition as the flight attendant that you were, following the initial success in relationships, being looked up to by the two women you mentioned, following those, there is the fall into the Big Failure, that of failing to make your mother happy.
You are stuck in the pit of that big failure.
It was not possible for you to succeed, you were a child. It was not possible for you to pay off your mother’s debts.
anitaFebruary 17, 2019 at 7:10 am #280517
You are right. I need to always remind myself that. I guess it takes time and patience with myself as this unconscious has been there since childhood. Thank you again Anita for your thorough insights. Will update you again on new thoughts and my progress in life.
RomeoFebruary 17, 2019 at 7:22 am #280521
You are welcome. Do remind yourself of the truth. This particular truth will set you free when you believe it deeply enough, when you absorb it well. It takes time to reject old and untrue core beliefs and accept new and true core beliefs.
I am looking forward to your next update!