My sister confided in me how difficult her life is to keep financially afloat. A kid in daycare. Car payments. A mortgage. Flat income growth. This was a woman who was living the life not less than 5 years ago, living rent-free at home, making almost six-figures and saving close to 95% of her take home pay. Now? Not so much.
Salary is just one factor. Not the be-all and end-all.
I had a relative a few years ago who was the pride of many in the family. Why? She was absolutely killing it on paper. A business degree from one of the top schools in Canada. A job at a reputable employer with a six-figure salary. A beautiful bachelor apartment in downtown Toronto all to her self. She had it all by age 30 – except her happiness.
I watched a flawed, but nonetheless captivating movie last night called The Company Men. It had Ben Affleck (meh), Kevin Coster (meh), Tommy Lee Jones (yay) and Chris Cooper (yay) star as men navigating the crippling recession of 2008, experiencing everything from job loss to family pressures to renewed optimism, Hollywood style.
10 years ago, I entered theatre school, all doe-eyed. I was planning to be Gregory Peck. I was the drama class rock star in high school, so success was guaranteed, right?
Wrong. While I certainly had some talent, I realized that being a professional thespian wasn’t quite for me. Instead, I shifted my academic focus from onstage to backstage, finishing my four year degree as the top production student in my graduating year. Again, I was a “rock star”. Professors and peers alike would reinforce an unhealthy cocky attitude: “You’ll be fine!”, “You’re going to do great things in theatre!” I believed them.
I naturally once again thought success was guaranteed. But the world doesn’t work that way.