Life is Made for Living
I graduated from college nearly five years ago and I always assumed I'd be a lot further than where I am. Had you asked me then, I would have currently been working somewhere as a public relations agent enjoying champagne showers and bathing in money. Obviously this has not happened but it has not hindered me from the constant longing for more.
With each passing day, I'm always left wondering what I've been doing with my life all of these years. I always struggle with calling myself a success and will normally downplay it if anyone decides to address me as such. I feel like my life has been filled with accomplishments that are intangible and sometimes overlooked. Those accomplishments that make me feel like my best self and remind me that I'm here for a reason...an important reason.
Once deciding to leave my last job, I pulled out my resume which had been collecting dust for nearly two years. The blank space reminded me of missed opportunities, unreturned emails from potential employers, and the fact that my nearly $70,000 in student loans may have been unwarranted. At best, my resume reminded me that I was proficient in things like Microsoft word though I had not discovered a job where I wanted to spend the majority of my time.
My resume paid homage to my two degrees in communication, my advocacy for DC youth and education, and my ability to generate over one million dollars in volunteer hours. If anything it told a story but what story was it telling? It said I had the ability to learn but what about my urge to teach? It said I had the ability to follow but what about my desire to lead? In many ways, my resume made me feel like a complete failure because it didn't even begin to capture who I really was.
We've been lied to our whole lives and honestly believe that the most important skills we acquire are those placed on our resume. We labor tirelessly at 9-5 jobs and chase dreams that don't belong to us hoping we will find our own American dreams. I used to be that person until I realized that the most important traits I have would never be on my resume but instead talked about in my eulogy.
This all is rooted from a Ted Talk I watched a while back which changed my perspective on how I live my life and what I see as most important. I once had dreams of having the resume that made other people jealous when they marveled at my accomplishments but I realized my proudest moments have not occurred in a classroom nor on a job. My proudest moment include me giving my shoes to a man in need while in Ghana, starting this blog to empower others, loving others passionately, and standing up for things that matter most to me like the rights of all people.
Based on my resume, there are several things a future employer would never know about me though my resume dates back nearly ten years. They would not understand my strength in the presence of adversity when those I had trusted easily turned their backs on me. There is no way to highlight my ability to forgive those who have meant no good while smiling in my face. It doesn't mention my fierce loyalty to those who have impacted my life in a positive manner. It doesn't talk about my talent to find the silver lining in a world which is sometimes crashing down.
No, the resume won't highlight these but my eulogy will.
I constantly remind myself that it is equally necessary if not more necessary to put energy into eulogy living. For me, it is cool if I can type at a fast speed and know how to correctly export data from Excel but have I helped other people? When you take your last breath on this earth, they may not give you a standing ovation for making it to work on time for 25 years but they will stand in awe at your willingness to make this world a better place. Your resume is just a piece of paper that collects all your professional accomplishments but your eulogy celebrates your personal accomplishments and the life you've lived.
I challenge you to stop thinking so much about your resume and start thinking about your eulogy. Live the type of life where even in your death, you're celebrated and the stories are bountiful and represent what you brought into the universe. Live a life that makes you happy and allows you to live out your God given purpose each and every day. A resume is "a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience" and an eulogy is "high praise or commendation". Which one are you living for?