Pursuit of Happiness

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I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this weekend about something someone said about my choice in jobs. And thinking about where people tell me I should live, what I should do and who I should be.
I’ve tried moving to a big city that seemed cool and taking jobs that appeared even cooler and you know what? I wasn’t happy. I like living in mid-sized cities and I love the jobs I’ve had where I feel as if the work I’m doing is contributing to the greater good. I could never work in the fashion industry or any other sexy sounding sector. Sure, there are days I’d love to Instagram a behind-the-scenes image at a fashion show or vague-tweet some exciting new start-up I’m involved in to appear really cool to people. But the true is, I’m not cool or exciting and my blog is a small part of my life. I started it because there is a tiny creative part of me who puts pragmatism second, but I’m really just an 87 year old woman trapped in a 28 year old body who prefers a cubicle, structured schedule and financial stability. This blog initially helped give this quiet little introvert a voice, something I desperately needed when I graduated college and now, it’s simply something I do for fun and the occasional free shoe, nothing more.
As for life choices, I need structure and safety. I put these things first in my life because these are not things I had growing up. I will always choose a career path that offers structure, health insurance and job security. These things are exciting to me and if I can get that while being offered a challenge and a chance to help people, I feel like I’ve won the lottery. Moral of the story: do what makes you happy and fits who you are, even if it doesn’t live up to other’s expectations. I learned a lot from reading this Penelope Trunk blog post a while ago, stating, “Do not what you love, do what you are.”
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[Sara Sweatshirt c/o Poppy Lux, necklace by Clyde’s Rebirth (the great Merl Kinzie), pants from J Crew, heels c/o Call it Spring, bag by 3.1 Philip Lim, leather jacket by Zara]
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  • lindsaymarie
    February 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    this post made me so happy! I work at a non-profit – and it's not a sexy non-profit where I'm gallivanting across the globe with our latest celebrity endorser – my day to day is spent in a cube, writing grant proposals and reports. but i love it! and when I found your blog I was so happy to find a fashion blogger with great style who wasn't a professional blogger/fashion PR person/illustrator/etc. I love seeing how you work your style into a less-than-stylish job, and it's an inspiration to me as I rock pointy-toe leopard print shoes in my grey cubicle. so thank you!

  • Girl and Closet
    February 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Andrea!! And I'm with you, I love security! Even though I'm self employed I've been able to earn a reliable income, plus I save and invest like crazy!! Martin & I love living outside the city in our cozy beach-town and keeping our day-to-day life pretty uncomplicated. Man, every word you wrote rings so true for me!

    And this outfit is pretty darn fantastic. Doesn't get better than brights and florals!! xoxo

  • Jen
    February 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I was just so thankful this commentary didn't end with the end of your blog. I love that you are from western Michigan (as I grew up in Spring Lake and live in Rockford) so it's so fun to see someone so fab in places I know. You're awesome, keep having fun!

  • Delusions of Grandeur
    February 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Every word of this: "These things are exciting to me and if I can get that while being offered a challenge and a chance to help people, I feel like I've won the lottery. Moral of the story: do what makes you happy and fits who you are, even if it doesn't live up to other's expectations."

  • Jill M
    February 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    love the hot pink pants– so bright and cheerful! -jill
    redlipswontquit.blogspot.com

  • Jennifer
    February 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Bravo! It's perfectly 100% fine to be ok not being at the top of what people think is cool. I appreciate that you enjoy your work and it is in a field that you want to work in, where you want to live and don't cave to pressure!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Laura - Relatively Offbeat
    February 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Great post, Andrea. I've always admired you for making the career choices that are right for YOU. You stay true to yourself and who you are, and that's a beautiful thing.

    xoxo

  • Nikki Williams
    February 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    your hair is amazing!! and i love the colors of this look

    xxoo,
    nikki

    http://www.dreaminneon.blogspot.com

  • Alison Colby
    February 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind why you and I hit it off so well! We are total kindred spirits and do what we want to do. So glad to have a great gal for fellow inspiration and excited for your new career move!

    XO Alison
    looksharplansing.blogspot.com

  • Connie
    February 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Love all the color in this outfit!
    xo, Connie
    http://www.connnietang.com

  • Melissa
    February 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Kudos for knowing yourself, Andrea! That's awesome. I commend you for throwing your heart into what you love. And congrats again on the new job. Ps- you look adorable. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Melissa
    thebeesknees-mel.com

  • Johanna V
    February 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I love this look, it's so inspiring! And you look gorgeous as usual โ™ฅ xx

  • Jackie
    February 25, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I agree 100% with this entire post. I am also a big fan of a traditional, more steady job. I do what I enjoy doing, and blog as a hobby….but I'm not quite at the "free shoe" level yet!

    Thanks for sharing and keeping this whole blog so "real"

    xo Jackie

    Something About That

  • Elyse
    February 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Well said, my friend! Keep pursuing what speaks to you – for whatever reasons those are. I'm so proud of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stephanie Sheehan
    February 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    The shoes! I love that style so much but I haven't actually bought anything like it myself, but I also do love Call It Spring

  • blue roses
    February 26, 2014 at 12:36 am

    claps and cheers! understanding what makes your true self happy and sated, being honest to that person, being realistic about professional and personal goals…. all sounds pretty fabulous and sexy to me. life is not, or should not, be about jumping through hoops and expectations others set for you, it should be about creating your own opportunities for fulfillment. you are such an inspiration!

    (and, goes without saying, as per usual, you look slamming! that necklace is totally killer!)

  • Cindy
    March 5, 2014 at 2:59 am

    This post resonated with me. I'm happy living where I am, surrounded by my family and friends, in the job that I have. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling (the little I get to travel) and trying new things, but I love coming home most of all. People always say, "Don't you want to . . ." And I don't think wanting security and stability is a bad thing to want, despite all those "inspo quotes" urging you to take risks.

  • Ashley Bohmbach
    March 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Hello from a fellow midwestern (MN represent!)I love this post and everything it stands for. Thank you for being true to yourself, that is more beautiful then any pair of shoes. Good luck with your future and cheers to health insurance and a steady paycheck.