Making life decisions that don’t suck

Before we get started, I wanted to give y’all a head’s up that Capital One kindly made this post possible today for which I am very grateful. That’s just another way of me saying it’s sponsored!!! ;)

I’m in the midst of trying to figure out the rest of my life. I can hear my therapist in my head cautioning me, reminding me that thinking about it this way is very overwhelming. I know she’s right (also omg she’s amazing. If you need a therapist recommendation in Chicago, let me know). So, instead I’m figuring out how to create navigational tools for myself and develop different ways of approaching major life topics like success and happiness and purpose and meaning in a less “oh-my-god-what-am-I-even-doing” sort of way.

“There’s only so long that I can remain aimless like this,” I’ve thought to myself over the past year and a half. Everyone says I’ll figure it out eventually. This is the worst advice for someone like me who immediately internally retorts, “I know you have no evidence of that. You are just trying to end this conversation politely.” I’ve been dying to know where to place all my pent up ambition and nail down what is deserving of my critical yet optimistic passion. This process involves me spinning in circles of self-doubt and Google searches, ultimately giving in to my exhaustion until the next harrowing session of “what do I want to be when I grow up.”

I think I’ve done this adult thing alright so far. I graduated from college and got a good job with a great salary. A portion of that salary goes to student loan debt, food, and Lyft rides. Other than that I don’t really spend money. I wear my clothes until they have holes in them and, honestly, brands send me a lot of things that I’ll never have to buy ever again like makeup and shoes. I don’t know how to budget but I’m pretty good at saving. Beyond that? I’m a toddler in an adult body, blindly following a lot of the “should’s” of growing up.

So when I went to my Capital One Café for my Money Coaching session and to experience a Financial Superhero journey to make money easier to talk about, I didn’t have just one thing to ask about. I had many different potential goals to work through… Should I go back to school? Maybe I want a house now… Will I ever be able to afford a house in Chicago? Having a family with kids is eventually on my checklist… shit how much does that even cost??? Wait. I still don’t actually know what I want to do in my life.

I sat down with my Money Coach Aaron and pulled out a notebook I kept with hastily jotted down student loan numbers and my savings information, and he casually steered me into a different direction asking me about moments when I felt the most accomplished and proud in my life. Those moments usually are when I hear from followers of mine that I helped them feel that their ideas and the things they care about are meaningful — and when I’m able to introduce someone to a new idea or see something from a different perspective. As we continued discussing these moments, we started to outline other values in my life that are important to me. These are things that I’ve always been aware of in the back of my mind but never viewed as my personal compass for making larger life choices that I can feel confident in. I’ve fallen into a default of thinking over the past few months in which I make decisions based on “should’s.” I should do this or that because this is what success means in this bubble I’m in. I should maintain this level of success otherwise I’m not successful. I should want this. I should just do what everyone else around me is doing. I should want this.

I realized I’ve been silencing the voice within me that represents my true wants, the wants that echo my inner values, and allowing these “should’s” to dominate. Before I can make any massive life decisions, I need to let my values get louder and learn how to navigate my life based on those values. This stuff isn’t easy, but I’m not going to be in denial over here and let you all think that I’ve got all this life stuff figured out. Like I’ve been saying, I’m more lost than ever but I finally feel like I’ve got a map to get on a path that I feel confident about.

Damn… who would have thought a brand deal would help add to me realizing so much deep stuff lately?! LOL. I am moved. Shout out to Capital One for doing some legit work here. I highly recommend that you consider signing up for a free Money Coaching session at a Capital One Café near you. FYI — Money Coaches are not financial advisors, or accountants, or tax specialists. You have three free sessions that build on each other with the same coach each time. You can also sign up for Money Coaching for Couples, which is available for anyone who shares money (roommates, spouses, friends, etc.), and you get six of those! It blows my mind that this is all free. I will always take advantage of any professionals out there who can help me try to sort my life goals lol #help.

While you’re visiting Capital One for your Money Coaching session, be sure to check out their Financial Superpower experience available through June, featuring a four-paged comic of high-tech posters, developed by professional designers and illustrators. You’ll be able to identify what you feel confident in when it comes to money (your superpower), what your money weakness may be (your villain), what your current financial quest is, and how you can battle your way through it all with some help from the right folks!