Words to get you through #1

So as part of this blog I want to include regular posts with the quotes, notes and posts that I read just at the right time which got me through the more difficult times, or that I found to be relevant to me.

The first is by the unbelievably wonderful Oprah Winfrey. I think it originally came from a tweet she posted, but I found it on Instagram.

Those words were; 417804-Oprah-Winfrey-Quote-Do-what-you-have-to-do-until-you-can-do-what.jpg

At the point in which I first found this quote, I was just about to start my final year at university and this was my mantra. I knew that that year was going to be tough. I was going to have to work hard to achieve the grades I wanted whilst also working as a waitress part time. It was going to be tiring and I knew that I would also have to put in extra hours at work after my classes were finished if I wanted to save enough money to go anywhere. I did not set myself any New Years resolutions during that year, I just tried to make extra sure that I was on track with my mantra.

There were a lot times when I did not think I was going to make it through.                           The moments I cried with exhaustion having spent many tedious hours building tiny model box furniture (I did a part practical dissertation in stage design) in a room that stunk of craft glue. The days I sat staring at my computer screen thinking my written dissertation or final essays would never be completed. The endless hours I spent researching and applying for jobs that would allow me to travel somewhere new or mean I could hopefully give up waitressing for good (I have nothing against being a waiter, in fact I truly believe everyone should work for at least a year in the service industry to know the value of hard work, I was just ready to do something else after four years of it.)

But you know what? I bloody well did it! The day I presented my practical for assessment (which also happened to be the first time I was 100% happy with it), I completely forgot about the mental breakdowns I had trying to put it together. The day I walked across the stage to collect my degree, I was beaming with pride, not only for every single person in my year, but also for myself (because despite what society tells us, that doesn’t make a person selfish and heaven forbid I should feel proud of something I spent months working on!) I wasn’t thinking ‘thank God I got that essay done…” (In fact what I was actually thinking was “whatever you do don’t trip and fall on the stage!”)                         Oh, and the days I spent working as a waitress literally paid off. I saved every single tip I was given and used the money to travel with my friend Hayley who flew across to Edinburgh from Canada (we met whilst I was on exchange there). Over the course of a month we traveled down to Wales, then to London and the south coast of England, before flying across to Paris and finally returning to Scotland to explore the Highlands and Glasgow.

Whilst it is great to have dreams about what you want to do in life, or where you want to go, for many of us, it is completely unrealistic to think that we can achieve our dreams without dedicating some time, hard work or even (unfortunately) some money. “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do” tells us that if you hate your job, it’s probably not the best idea just to up and quit. Life is not like it’s portrayed in the movies. Yet, these words do remind us that if you hate your job, there’s nothing stopping you from putting plans in place to achieve the job of your dreams, whether it be taking extra classes or even just applying for it.

Plus, it can apply to many situations. If you want to travel; spend time doing your research into the best possible options and make sure you’ve got the money to get there (or have plans to earn whilst you travel). If you find that you are starting to really not enjoy the course you are doing at university (even if you thought it would lead you to achieving your dreams), don’t panic! People change and so do their dreams. Sometimes you might think life is leading you down a particular path and then you find a side road. (I just thought of that metaphor on the spot – I’m pretty pleased with it!!) For many people it takes work to realise what their dreams and aspirations for life actually are and sometimes it just takes a little longer to get there. So if you do find yourself in a situation such as this, seek advice from those around you, but make sure the final decision is yours. And, if you are suffering with problems with your mental health, then spend the time finding help. It probably will not be resolved in one counselling session and may never completely go away. Yet, just seeking help is a step in the right direction and could lead to a much happier version of yourself who strives for dreams you did not even think were possible.

So if you can relate to any of the above, use this as your mantra. Realise that whilst dreams are achievable, you have to work to get to where you want to in life and this may even involve some struggle along the way.

So start doing what you have to do, (or keep at it!) until you can do what you want to do.

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