I’ve Been Watching A Lot of Oprah Lately…

…which has both fed my mind and made me even more discontent than before. I was watching an interview she gave to the COO of Facebook which aired on OWN last night and I couldn’t help but have my own personal little “Ah ha” moment. Oprah was talking about the point where she finally decided to start her own network. She said she asked herself, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” So then I asked myself, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? I would write. Though I enjoy writing my blog, Facebook status updates, silly texts and notes; it’s not what I want. I want to write fiction. I want to get lost in my characters. I spend so much of my day imagining scenarios for everyone around me that sometimes I forget that my made-up world isn’t their reality at all.
So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? Would you bake cakes all day? Would you become a pilot? A lawyer? A doctor? A teacher? What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?

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October 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . admiration, Advice. 2 comments.

Grow Up to be What?

Have you ever stood in front of the candy isle at a drug store? Just walking back and forth trying to make the right selection? I think career planning is very similar. Let me explain.
While in elementary school adults tell you to do your best and study hard because it will pay off when you are older. While in middle school they tell you to not to let your peers drag you down and to persevere through your own awkwardness. While in high school they tell you to find a passion and go with it. Then they tell you to pick a major. Hmm…a major. Something I will study intensely for four years. Something that will help define what kind of job I get. So what do we do? We pick the subject that we excelled at in high school. For me, this was English. I loved to read so it seemed like a natural step. I worked hard, I studied. As college came to a close I was told to follow my passion but to make some money doing it. Who is going to pay me to sit around and read then regurgitate what I just absorbed? Answer? Nobody outside of the academic world.
Now let’s fast forward. I am in my middle (to late) twenties. I am back to pacing the candy isle but this time I have anxiety about which to choose. It’s not as simple as it once was. If I choose sour patch kids will this set me up to support all of the kids it supplies? Will benefits be involved? What about bonus’? If I choose good old reliable snickers will I feel as if I’ve settled and sold out to have a steady income and security? Can’t I have both? Can’t I just choose it all? WHAT AM I GOING T O DO? (This is the point where I pace faster and faster with a manic look in my eyes. I’m scaring the small children around me, the clerk is worried he’s going to have to call the cops. I’m lost.)
I realize life is full of tough choices. I also realize certain doors are closed because I lack the interest and knowledge to ever pursue them. I don’t want to become a lawyer or doctor. Some options are still open but supply such a low pay scale I’m better off getting a part time job at Starbucks (at least they have benefits…)
So my thoughts today are this, how do you actually chose the right career? What is it that propels you to the next step? I understand it is hard work and dedication, but doesn’t that happen after you’ve made up your mind to pursue something? I’ve been told to follow my heart or my interest, but don’t they know that my interests change at a whim? I change hobbies like I change shirts.
So please, next time someone comes to you and says, “How do I know what to be when I grow up?” Don’t tell them to follow their heart, tell them to find something they enjoy doing enough that you don’t hate doing it every day. Help them experience many things so they can make an educated decision to pursue or not pursue. Tell them to try new things, even things they thought they for sure would hate. I’m in this stage right now, bouncing from idea to idea. I feel like I have multiple personalities. I’m ready for the adventure, I just have to guide myself toward what kind of adventure awaits me I guess.

July 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Advice. 1 comment.