Dear Mikey,

I have been dreadfully working at a job for the past seven years of my life. I know I should be very thankful for my job, which I am; however, I have noticed for quite some time now that my job has not been “feeding my soul.”

A week ago a dear friend of mine passed away. She was in and out of the hospital for the months leading up to her final days fighting and trying to take back her life to be there for her kids and husband. I remember she used to tell me all of her goals and dreams that she still wanted to pursue, and when she passed away I realized that she never had the chance to get her dreams fulfilled.

The one dream she mostly talked about was quitting her job and starting her own clothing line business. She knew that she would not make very much money at first, but she didn’t care. She knew having her own clothing business would make her very happy so she wanted to do it. Instead, to support her family, she remained at the same job for 16-1/2 years, where although she was thankful that she could support her family with that job, she was never truly happy there.

Mikey. I miss my friend so much and ever since we heard the news of her passing I have realized how incredibly unhappy I am at my job. I have always been unhappy there, but now I am terrified that I too will run out of time before I will have the chance to fulfill my dreams.

I know I have it in me to leave and to go after my dreams, but then I get slapped with the reality check of not having a job in this economy and gambling with my finances, which usually tends to just discourage me even more.

What should I do? Stay in a job that provides security but unhappiness, or go after my dreams and possibly become broke but extremely happy and fulfilled?

— Afraid to Gamble

Dear Afraid to Gamble,

I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Losing loved ones is not easy, and an event such as the one you have just experienced often times will change our mindset and even outlook on life.

You have every right to have fear for the unknown. After all, you know what life is like with this job you have had for the past seven years. You are comfortable, you know what your hours are, how much money you will be receiving on your paycheck, the location, and the everyday routine and how it affects your personal life. The job is your comfort zone.

Although it may be your comfort zone, you need to do a little self evaluation on what’s more important in your life to you. Is it making money? Stability? Feeding your family? Feeding your soul?

Now is a perfect time for some self reflection. Think like there is no tomorrow. Would you be happy if what you did today was how you spent your last day here on earth or would you be a little disappointed because you weren’t doing what you truly wanted to do? Flash forward 30 years from now; looking back on your life will you regret how you are currently living?

Life is too short to have regrets, for we only have one shot to make this lifetime the best one we can possibly have. Worrying about tomorrow is pointless because we don’t have any control on whether we will have a tomorrow one way or the other. So why worry? The same thing goes with worrying about things that might happen 20 years from now. How do you know you are even going to be around in 20 years? That’s the point — no one does and no can predict the future or tomorrow. The only thing we all can do is live for today, the present, the current, the right now.

They always say that in life sometimes what you should do first are the things you have to do, so later on you can do the things you want to do. Pertain this to your situation and take it as obviously you are miserable at your job and you want out, but you somehow have to make sure you are still bringing food to the table and providing a roof over your head for your family. So instead of quitting your job cold turkey and going straight to starting your own business, why not keep your job while starting to build your business? The more you work on your business, the more it will grow; the more it grows, then the more hours you can start cutting back on your current job that makes you miserable. Then maybe you don’t need your job anymore because you can rely 100 percent on your business, you keep food on the table for your family, and you are fulfilling your dreams.

People always think you have to give up one thing or the other and choose. Why not find a balance where you can still go after your dreams, but still take care of life’s necessities at the same time? Maybe there is no final decision of if I choose: I will be happy but broke, or I will be miserable but rich. What if it’s just about balance?

Find your balance between what you have to do and what you want to do, and I guarantee that you will find a way for your soul to be fed again.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at or visit

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