A couple of weeks ago, I started a new job. And with this new job, I started a new way of life.
Between college graduation last May and the start of this new job, I had a much more laid back way of life. I would work on my writing (whether books, freelance, or this blog). I could create my own schedule. I would only work a few minutes a day. Maybe a few hours a day on a few occasions. I could decide when I posted. I was free to work from wherever. I could travel between my parents’ houses whenever I wanted. I could make plans with my friends whenever we wanted to.
Overall, my life had been in my control. I was the one who had control over my work.
But with this life choice came certain anxieties. Finances weren’t the best. I didn’t have a substantial income from my writing (and I still don’t). I was worried what people thought of me when I told them that I was a writer and that I blogged. I felt like my life wasn’t going in the direction I expected it to or the way I believed others expected it to.
I was chasing a possible dream while anxious over what I was to do.
So between January 2019 and June 8, 2019, I was searching for a “real” job. A more traditional job. One where I had to show up to a physical place at a certain time. One where I had a set schedule. One where I would have a set income. One where there would be certain expectations of me. One that was more along the lines of what was expected of me.
And since getting the job a couple of weeks ago, my life has changed quite a bit.
I have a somewhat more structured schedule. I have something that will get me out of the house. I have certain expectations to fulfill. I have a reliable income. I have coworkers. I have people that I can interact with. I’m gaining skills I wouldn’t have otherwise.
But with this, there is a new kind of anxiety. An anxiety that possibly comes with working in retail and with the public. But also an anxiety that comes with such a big change in lifestyle.
And this anxiety has occasionally felt incredibly crippling.
But with this anxiety, I’ve bought myself time to figure things out.
I’m earning money, so I don’t have to feel rushed in chasing my dream. I don’t have the same kind of worry about what people think of me.
It’ll take me a while to get used to this way of life. Especially in how I see myself and remembering what my true core identity is.
During the year or so that I worked solely on my writing and on this site, my Catholic identity was still very much present and very much towards the front of my mind. I could go to Daily Masses easier and whenever I wanted to because my schedule was flexible. I could take all of Sunday off for rest. I could go to Confession without worrying about my work schedule. This blog started off and continues to be a Catholic blog.
And even when I started looking for “real” jobs, some of them were Catholic.
But the job that I’ve had for the past two weeks is an incredibly secular job. It’s a retail job at a chain store. It isn’t a job where I can focus on my faith identity.
With the schedules that I’ve had for the past two weeks, it’s been more difficult for me to remember my Catholic identity.
I have to figure out when I can go to Sunday Mass. I have to figure out how I’m going to keep Sunday holy even though I’ve had to work on Sundays so far. I have to figure out when I’m going to pray. And the posting schedule for the blog might have to change as time goes by.
And I have to figure all of this out and try to do all of this alongside all of the other things adults have to do: eat, sleep, chill, socialize, run errands, etc.
Since starting this job, it feels as if my Catholic identity has been put on a back burner. Which I don’t really want to happen since my being Catholic is something close and special to my heart.
Regardless of if I’m trying to balance my “real” job and my life or if I’m solely writing, I have to remember what my true identity is. And I have to figure out how to keep in touch with it.
And this true identity isn’t my job. It isn’t the writing dream I’m chasing. It isn’t necessarily or entirely what I do in my time off.
My true identity is who I belong to and what my relationship is with them: God and daughter of the One True King.
I don’t always remember this, and it would be an almost impossible expectation to think that I will always remember this. But it is good to remind myself that I am God’s and I am His princess. And I am His, whether I’m in a beautiful Catholic cathedral or working the register at my job.