So..it’s Summer ’16.
I’m 22 years old.
One Semester away from graduation…
And for some reason, these three things have been keeping me up at night for a few weeks now. I lay awake at night wondering why it seems like everyone else has their life together, and I don’t. How it seems like there are those who have graduated successfully, and have carved away a path to success that I have yet to venture down. I lay awake wondering where I went wrong in my college career to be stuck in the “sad” position that I am in…These are the thoughts that have kept me up at night.
If you know me, you know that I am a constant planner. I have two planning books; one for school and one for life. I have my daily schedules prepared to a “t”, but for some reason, my plans for beyond graduation are a bit hazy…and it is driving me crazy. I consider myself to be a successful student: I go to almost every class, I stress to success, I have great relationships with most of my teachers, and I get good grades…but for some reason, I feel incomplete…like I am missing something. I thought college was supposed to expose me to what I wanted to be…
I am here, with six months left until I graduate, and I have to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life, or at least have an idea. But, what if my idea isn’t good enough? What if what I “WANT” to do, isn’t what is deemed as appropriate? How do I mix my passions with my career?
I can’t help but think that either college was a waste of time and money, or that I chose the wrong major…
In the business college, they push “corporate corporate corporate” down your throat so hard that it seems like that’s really what you want to do with your life…til you realize at the end of senior year that it is not. Now what?
What if I have an idea, or dream, of what I want to be that is mixture of my passions? What if it is a mirror of my personality, but I am not sure how to get started? The dream of the person that I want to be is a total contradiction to my schooling…
It seems like whenever I am around older adults, they always ask me “Well, what are you plans in life?” “What do you want your career to be?” “Marketing and International Business? Wow. What are you going to do with that?”. I have come to a point where I am tired of lying. I have multiple stories that I have come up with the end those dull conversations, when what I really want to say is “Stop asking me. I don’t know. I am pretty sure I chose the wrong major, but I am not repeating these four years of college?”
So now what? What do you do when you’re feeling stuck and don’t know where to go.
How do you get back on track?
How do you find a job, or start a career that you love?
As I sit and think about what I could have done better, I can’t help but think that, at some point, I fell off of my path. I feel that I started out knowing exactly who I was and what I wanted to be. Somehow, though, something or someone took that away from me. Society? Friends? Family? Some external force caused me to change who I wanted to become…
I believe that every child starts off with what they want to be when they grow up. Sometimes what they want to be is magical or sometimes ordinary. But, never the less, their innocent, unfiltered, uncontaminated minds picked that as what they wanted to be. If this is true, why did we change our minds? Why did I change my mind?
This is what I was thinking about one night as I was having a pity party for myself:
I was feeling like a failure for not having my life planned out better.
I was feeling like I was not going anywhere.
I was feeling that I was going to be lost after graduation.
“What do you want to do with your life?”
“What do you want to do with your self?”
“You want to be successful, don’t you?”
And, as I was sinking deeper and deeper…I thought about how simple life was when I was younger…when I didn’t have to think about these things…
and that’s when it dawned on me. My passions dawned on me.
When I was younger, like elementary school aged, I wanted to be a writer. I would come home from school and write short stories and poems. I loved creating characters and story plots in my head. It allowed me to get away, or express emotions that I did not know how to express with my voice. In middle school I kept journals of poetry (and I mean multiple, multiple multiple journals). It was also around that time that I wanted be become a photographer. I remember saving up for my first digital camera and loving taking pictures of sunsets and nature…I dreamed of being a photographer for the National Geographic. Funny, right?
But somewhere between the end of middle school and the end of college, my mindset changed. Somewhere, I was told that that wasn’t enough. That I had to choose. That I couldn’t be everything. That I wasn’t going to make enough money. That I should major in Business. That my career should be in Business. That corporate was the only way for me to go. After a while, I started to believe that, and I started to want that…until now.
I have had the same, unwavering passions my whole life. Why not use those to my advantage. Why not dream of the careers that I have dreamed of in the past. Why can’t I be that writer, or photographer, or (now) that blogger?
I realized that I was so wrapped up in trying to make myself something else, a mold of another being, a copy of what I was being taught…but I’m not that. I’m a #creative. And for years I have been burying it.
…But I can no longer do that.
I don’t know how…or when…
But I am getting back to my original dream…the unfiltered dream that was manifested by an uncontaminated child who knew exactly who she was.