Focus on the Good

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Choose Love Series

 

 

I was 20 years old when I became a father. I was finishing up my sophomore year at the University of North Carolina, when my then girlfriend told me the news. Abortion was never an option and neither was skipping out on my responsibilities as a father and companion.

Neither of our parents were in a position to help us out financially. However, I was on scholarship and everyone encouraged me to finish school and earn my degree. I got a part time job and my girlfriend dropped out of college and began working full time at a bank nearby. I felt like such a loser. She had dreams too. I promised her that as soon I graduated she would be able to go back.

I graduated and was able to get a pretty decent job, but there was no way we could afford a baby, rent, full- time daycare, and a college tuition. She began to take a few online courses but we both knew a college degree was a long ways away.

She never said it, but I think she really despised the fact that I was able to graduate and through this whole experience she had to sacrifice so much more than I did. Or maybe I was just projecting my insecurities and regrets onto her.

A few years later I began to really hate my job. My company switched management and everything was different and so much more stressful. My new boss was a tyrant. He would require us to work longer hours, made up impossible to achieve deadlines, and basically just treated us all like crap. I would spend my free time searching for other jobs but I knew that I had a really good job (that others would be thrilled to have) and leaving was never really an option.

Everyday seemed more horrible than the last and I began to grow resentful. The only reason why I took that job in the first place was because I needed to make money fast. I needed a career that would provide for a family, not a job that I loved and was passionate about. I tried not to take my frustrations out on my family but I was so miserable and began to wonder what the point of any of this was. I would basically wake up, go to work, come home, watch a show, go to bed, and then wake up and repeat. Not only was this not the life I imagined, this wasn’t even a life I enjoyed.

My outlook on my life completely changed the day I received my first raise. The raise was big enough that my now wife could go back to school. The excitement she exuded when I shared the news with her, made my heart swell. I watched her get ready for her first day of school and I literally began to cry. At first I felt like it was like watching a completely different woman but then I realized that I was watching the woman I used to know. I knew she loved taking care of our daughter but she seemed so much happier that particular morning and she reminded me so much of that 19 year old girl I fell in love with. She was singing as she got them both ready for the day and smiling ear to ear. Her enthusiasm carried over to our daughter and we all left the house smiling that day.

Over the next few weeks I began to genuinely feel happier. I think I finally realized ‘the point of it all’. I loved being able to keep my promise to my wife. I loved that she was able to fulfill her dreams. I loved that I was able to provide for my family.

I didn’t love my job but I loved what it meant. I chose to focus on the good. To focus on all of the gifts and benefits that job gave me. I truly believe now, that happy people choose to be happy and that fulfilled people choose to notice their blessings that fulfill them.

Submitted by: Guest Poster

 

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