It is truly a blessing to be at the point in which everything feels like it just makes sense.
I work in something that I enjoy, I have friends that support me, I feel comfortable with who I am, and all of the pieces of the puzzle seem to have found their place.
But it wasn’t always like this. Life has thrown me some rough challenges on the way here. I used to be a very lonely and insecure man, trapped in a job I hated and feeling like a waste of oxygen. I would sometimes look myself in the mirror without being able to recognize myself.
My name is Andrés Figuera Farfán. I live in Venezuela, in a city called Maracay, just one hour away from the Caribbean Sea.
Venezuela is a country that’s in the middle of an economic crisis. Hyperinflation, high rates of insecurity, and shortages of all kinds are pretty common scenarios. It’s almost incredible to hear a story from someone living inside this chaos and finding their spot in life.
So what happened? Well, I’ll tell you exactly how I went from feeling miserable to feeling fulfillment in life.
In the Search for Meaning
The quest to find my spot started at a relatively young age when the circumstances led me to that.
I needed to help my family, so I took the first job that I found as soon as I finished high school, and I hated it from day one.
I started working in a small store with a cellphone technician from Monday to Friday. I would clean or attend to customers, sometimes my boss would teach me how to repair cellphones, but my heart was never in line with that job.
My workdays varied from boring to overwhelming, so my energy levels were at an all-time low. I used to compare my life with the people around me. It felt as if everyone was the protagonist of their story and I was just an extra in the story of my life.
Being naturally insecure, it was always difficult for me to make friends. I had a few friends who meant the world to me. But unexpectedly, most of them had to leave the country to find a better life.
So there I was, feeling lost, lonely, and trapped in a job just for the money. Describing the feeling is somewhat difficult, but I would describe it as running through the cold rain with no real destination.
Until I said enough.
That wasn’t the life I wanted, sure, but feeling terrible for what was happening wasn’t going to make a difference. I used to see myself as a puppet, controlled by the circumstances around me. I didn’t know that despite everything, I had the power to change my destiny.
It was only when I was feeling completely meaningless, that I realized that I couldn’t continue to live that life.
How I Found My Spot In Life
In those moments of despair, I started asking important questions to myself:
• “Do I want to keep feeling like a victim of my circumstances or are there more possibilities?”
• “If I were to die tomorrow, would I regret having this life?”
• “Am I really lonely or am I really just scared to open up to people?”
With those questions in mind, I started paving the way to a better life. After all, I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try. I needed to realign my life.
Although I was very grateful to my boss for the opportunity, I couldn’t see myself working as a cellphone technician and enjoying it. So I decided to quit and pursue my passion: Writing.
Quitting my job was such a liberating experience, even when I needed the money badly. But I knew that it was the right thing to do, so I definitively have no regrets.
I always felt attracted to writing, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to work as a writer where I lived. So instead I decided to write on the Internet. I decided to become a freelance writer without having no idea how or why I was going to do that, but my motivation was stronger than my fears.
Making friends wasn’t easy for me, especially because big groups make me anxious. So instead I decided to approach people when they were alone and talk to them privately. I also decided to open up more, even when it’s scary.
What I’m trying to say is to always look for solutions for your problems and not problems for your solutions.
And I’m not saying that this was easy for me. I was still a pretty insecure and anxious person. But if ever wanted to feel better, I needed to do something. I was (and still am) the only one responsible for my life.
How It Feels to Be On My Spot
A few years later, I couldn’t be happier with the life I have.
Meeting new people and opening up has given me wonderful friendships. Friendships that I know will give me genuine happiness, whether they’re in the same country as me or not.
Pursuing what I love wasn’t easy at first. But after years of progress, I feel incredibly grateful for listening to my heart and quitting that job. Now I make more money than what I made on that first job. I work as a freelance writer and translator, and I couldn’t be happier with my results.
I’m also trying to write a novel with the help of my father. He realized my potential and we’re trying to shape an idea and turn it into a story. We’re still on our way there.
And all in all, overcoming those hard moments has given me an incredible level of confidence in myself and my skills.
But now that I got here, I need to stay here. And how do I do that? Simple: By being grateful.
I’m at a point where I feel surrounded by gratitude and I try to spread that gratitude whenever I can. I always try to help people as much as I can. Sometimes I volunteer at a local community dining room or donate clothes and food to a local nursing home. After all, fife is all about giving.
So yes, my country is always at the edge of collapse and there is a ridiculous amount of people immersed in pessimism. But still, I try to shine through every obstacle because life is precious and it goes very fast.
There is hope for everyone. Just follow my advice:
- Do what you love.
- Make meaningful connections with the people around you.
- Be grateful.
- Never give up.
If it worked for me, it might work for you. I promise that you have nothing to lose.