Making A Left Turn

My question to readers is:

Why should we care about stigma? Why should we live in fear of narrow-minded people judging us for who we are and how we live?

I say: find your tribe. Do your own thing.

Left of the Dial chronicles my early career in the gray flannel insurance field. It was an unwitting detour from the artist’s life in the city that I had wanted to live.

It takes guts. It takes grit. It takes perseverance to arrive at the kind of life that’s perfect for you.

I don’t recommend working at any job that requires a person to have an hour-and-a-half or a two-hour commute each way. That’s inhuman. It gives you no time to establish a fitness routine. It gives you no time to be happy at night to come home for at least an hour to do your own thing.

I realize that the artist types among us are often told: “Be an accountant. Do something practical to earn money.”

I’m here to tell you that you can earn a living doing what you love. Even if you have to work two jobs to afford to pay your rent. So be it. It’s better to be happy than to be miserable.

There are no accidents or coincidences in life. I firmly believe our lives evolve by divine design. It might take a person longer to get to where he or she wants to be. Yet the sweetest victory is often the hardest-won.

Always be hopeful. Not only does hope heal, it carries us through the hard times.

We need to have faith in ourselves. Finding our purpose for being here and then going out and doing that is what the world needs.

The world doesn’t need another person pretending to be someone she’s not just to try to be accepted by others.

Have faith and hope that the tide can turn.

It gets better. Truly life gets better the older you get.

Remember: you don’t have to make yourself miserable in a soul-sucking job just to try to prove you are normal.

There is no normal. Each of us deserves to have a life of our own choosing.

I’ll end her by stating I totally relate to anyone who took a detour in her life because she wanted to prove she was normal.

Yet that’s the quickest route to being unhappy.

A mental illness diagnosis is just a word nothing more than this. It’s just something a person has. It’s a straitjacket on our self-perception only if we let it be one.

Defy the stigma. Do your own thing. You’ll be happier in the long term.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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