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Choose Your Struggle

Strawberry Shit or Real Shit? You Decide

Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

I’m 20, officially an adult.

If there is one thing about adulthood I’ve learned so far, it is this:

“As an adult, you learn to just do things. Even if you don’t like what you’re doing, you do it. No questions asked.”

It’s the same idea that my parents, teachers, and society have pushed on me for all these years.

For me, going to university is what made me realize this more than anything.

University is a place where we learn to drudge through shit.

The multiple choice exams, the useless and boring required classes, the unbearably monotonous sounding professors, the dry-ass lectures, the last minute papers… We might not have wanted to be in those classes, but we just did it. No matter how much you procrastinated, the work got done.

Personally, I’m sick and tired of it. I’ve been sick in tired of it since the day I stepped foot on the damn campus.

So, I started skipping classes altogether. I don’t suggest you do what I did, but have a reason.

So what was my reason? Why did I skip certain classes?

Simply, it felt like I was wasting my time, and that I could be using it more productively doing something else.

My boring university professors and their superficial or non-existent excitement towards teaching taught me how to value my time.

I started asking myself, “Is this really worth my time?”

And the answer, was no.

The same question can be asked about your life and career trajectory.

What kind of shit am I willing to drudge through?

More specifically, what’s the end goal? What’s the shiny object at the end of the shit stained yellow brick road? What do I want to achieve? What is my vision? Who do I want to become?

These are questions we all need to ask ourselves — as students, as adults, and as individuals in search of greater meaning in our lives.

Because whether you have dreams of becoming a famous Hollywood actor, or are simply trying to please your parents, you will go through shit.

And let me tell you, one is clearly more pleasant to go through.

It’s almost like choosing ice cream flavors at your local supermarket. How fun! Do you want vanilla? Or maybe strawberry? How about lemon? Lemon tastes and smells pretty nice.

Decide Today

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. — James Clear; Atomic Habits

In the end it’s your choice.

You get to decide what scent and flavor of shit you step on and inhale through your journey through life.

And if you don’t decide, you get real shit.

The shit that you make yourself. The shit that hugs the sides of your toilet. Bits of corn, baby carrots, lamb-shank, and the Big Mac you had for yesterday lunch — chunky, moist, and soggy as it sits in the toilet water waiting to be flushed.

Sorry for the disgusting imagery.

The point is, your decision not to strive for anything more than you’re capable of is just as powerful as the decision to chase your wildest dreams.

Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life. — Mark Twain

3 Simple Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What are my goals?
  2. Do my actions align with the goals I have set for myself?
  3. What is one thing I can do to move myself one step closer to my goal?

Take out your journal, grab a piece of paper, or get out a notes app on your phone and jot down the answers to these three questions.

It doesn’t have to be much, it can be as simple as: “1) Learn to cook, 2) No, 3) Sign up for Saturday cooking class.” The intention behind answering these questions is to get you thinking about what it is you really want for yourself.

To all the students who are uncertain about their career, those who need a sense of direction, those who feel lost or trapped in their current situation, and those who just can’t bear the monogamy of daily life, remember that hope is just around the corner.

It requires accepting where you are now, taking responsibility for the actions that will bring you closer to your new life, and asking the hard questions.

What kind of shit are you willing to drudge through?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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M dash ( — ) is a way of life — one of joy, peace, & passion.

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Milton Jang

Milton Jang

I write about life, personal growth, self-awareness, and mindful tech use for the 21st century. [avatar artwork by laure sillus]

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