The Telltale Signs of Being a “Potato” (and How to Avoid It)

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Shop the look - Aviator Sunglasses: $7.90, Biker jacket: $29.99, Longsleeve top: $6.90, Knit Sweatpants: $12.90, Pumps: $63.16, Clutch: $29.99 - THE BALLER ON A BUDGET Shop the look - Aviator Sunglasses: $7.90, Biker jacket: $29.99, Longsleeve top: $6.90, Knit Sweatpants: $12.90, Pumps: $63.16, Clutch: $29.99 - THE BALLER ON A BUDGET Shop the look - Aviator Sunglasses: $7.90, Biker jacket: $29.99, Longsleeve top: $6.90, Knit Sweatpants: $12.90, Pumps: $63.16, Clutch: $29.99 - THE BALLER ON A BUDGET

This is the perfect potato-chic outfit: sweatpants and heels. Perfectly acceptable on the days I want to go out and be comfortable but don’t want to look completely dumpy.

Speaking of potatoes, every now and then I think about my ex-coworkers at my last job. Do they miss me? Probably not.

With the exception of my job at the spa, I never felt comfortable or valued both as an employee or an individual at any of my previous jobs. I know that initially, a job is simply a workplace where you are paid to work and nothing more, but I was always the type of person to have anxiety attacks on my way to work. I hated work. I hated being around people who I couldn’t share mutual interests with or had nothing interesting to talk about to make time go by faster.

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It seemed that with almost every job I had, I could never relate to any of my coworkers. Naturally, the more we all worked together we would slowly start to unearth tiny pieces of our personalities and perhaps eventually grab some lunch or even a drink together. But the only common ground I ever felt with any coworker was the misery we shared working the same job.

The only common ground I ever felt I had with any coworker was complaining about how our jobs sucked.

Again and again, I always tried to “let my personality shine” as the common piece of advice was. And in doing so, I always felt like a strange organism being observed under a microscope.

“Oh, you sing? That’s super cool. I can’t sing to save my life.”

“That’s so cool that you take pictures, your camera must be expensive!”

“Wow, I saw your pictures on Instagram. You clean up really well. I didn’t even realize it was you because you never dress up at work!”

It always seemed like whenever I’d show a part of my personality to my coworkers, I was always discredited. It was always that my photography was good because my camera was expensive, or that I was naturally talented when it came to music. People just didn’t believe that you could build a skill and become proficient at it if you worked hard enough, let alone get paid for it. Most people I worked with just believed that I was blessed with these skills. And even worse, they never saw anything special within themselves worth pursuing as a career either.

I started to keep to myself because the times I did open up and show people my interests, people actually started to become resentful towards me, assuming that I looked down upon them because I was supposedly “gifted” and didn’t have to work for it. After a while I stopped allowing this to stop me from doing what I love – people are always going to find a way to reflect their lack of achievements upon you and make you feel guilty for being a goal-oriented person. You should never feel guilty for bettering yourself or your life.

And this was why I hated my jobs. It wasn’t necessarily the tasks that I despised, but it was the very idea of being around people who didn’t see a future for themselves. The furthest they could see was their next day at work and the things they had to accomplish that day. It was heartbreaking to be around. I’ve never been the type of person to separate my feelings from the people around me because I couldn’t help but feel so sorry for the people who didn’t allow themselves to dream because they didn’t see a future in it. It wasn’t an encouraging atmosphere to be in.

Being in this environment was exactly the reason why I chose to pursue blogging instead of finding another job that perpetuates unhappiness, where you are just another gear in this big machine, where you are just another piece of the big picture of someone else’s dreams. I did not want to work hourly or even for a salary to help someone else get closer to their dreams. I wanted to achieve my own.

People always laughed when I asked them why they didn’t think to continue growing their hobbies on the side, and the reason was always, “I don’t have enough money.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“I could never afford it.”

“I have too many other things to pay for.”

And so these people who cut themselves off from their dreams would live paycheck to paycheck, never saving money and never making goals. What was left over of their money went to alcohol, partying and other social events.

I call these people “potatoes.”

I consider such people potatoes because while they allowed themselves to freely spend money on things like going to bars, going to Vegas, and partying, their lives were a constant cycle of vegging out.

Potatoes don’t dream. They enjoy buying really expensive and unnecessary things that don’t benefit them as a person. They don’t see a desire to change their life, they aren’t self-motivated, and they don’t see a better future for them. They just want something exciting now, and the only thing they do in terms of work is work hard at the tasks they are told to do. Potatoes only follow paths that they are told to follow by society because potatoes don’t know how to carve out their own path.

Most importantly, potatoes don’t see a way out of the vicious cycle that’s completely devoid of self-respect and self-love.

I used to be a potato. After high school I wanted to be a photographer, but I struggled to build my business. I spent too much money on clothes and shoes and things I never needed when I really should have saved up for my future, invested in my business and bought a car. I never made enough money to save, so I just lived day-to-day spending the remains of my money on overpriced panties and pretzels at the mall, constantly letting my lack of sufficient income dictate where I could go in life.

I went to college to please my parents, but still tried to study photography and hoped for the best. Ultimately, I was wandering around in life, not knowing or even caring about my future. And it was because deep down, I hated myself. I thought I was a failure because nobody around me told me what I should do for my future, and I blamed myself – but for the wrong reasons. I blamed myself because I felt I wasn’t important enough to be guided through life by someone else, instead of blaming myself for not taking responsibility of my own life. I never grew up.

I regret not realizing this sooner, but my shift in career paths is probably the best and most confident decision I’ve ever made in my life. I am still struggling financially, but the fact that I can for once see a future in my work and am actually beginning to see profit from it is giving me hope that one day I can be the successful person I never thought I was capable of becoming.

The only way to see a future in what you love to do is by allowing yourself to dream. Then step two is figuring out how to make that dream a reality.

I was wearing:

Classic Aviator Sunglasses: $6.99 on Amazon
Biker Jacket: $29.99 at H&M
Longsleeve Top: $19.95 or 2/$30 at Cotton On
Zippered Moto Joggers: $16.03 at Forever 21
Leather Dress Pump: $63.16 on Amazon
Evening Envelope Clutch: $29.99 on Amazon

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