I Don’t Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

{photo by The Inspiring Bee}

If you found yourself revisiting this question as a grown up, you know how frustrating the process of self-discovery can be. Perhaps, you took the first job you got after college or you simply fell into the career you have now. But it doesn’t fulfill you anymore. It pays the bills, but doesn’t make your heart soar.

If you find yourself asking, “Is that all there is?”, don’t despair. No matter how old you are, you always have a second chance to grow up again.

Speaking from someone who’s had over ten jobs in the last ten years, I don’t only know it’s possible, I’ve lived it.

The problem is most people are too scared to venture out into the unknown. We develop a false sense of control, and a weak web of security. But it’s enough to keep us away from the edge. Much better to live a safe life than to risk BIG.

At the same time, we drool over full-time bloggers, successful authors and entrepreneurs. “Lucky,” we think, never believing we can do it too. Yet, it’s only our minds that limit us and our ego that keeps us from venturing out of our shells.

The Truth About Taking a Leap

It is scary and it can feel risky and dangerous. But if anyone ever told you that staying where you are is safer than taking a risk, they’re mistaken. It’s NOT moving and resisting change that’s most risky. This is especially true right now when employers are looking for people who have multiple experiences and can juggle and manage a lot of different things.

Here’s what I know.

If we have just this one life and we were all born with a purpose, then not following the voice that tells us “this isn’t what I should be doing,” not only hurts us, but it hurts the world.

In all the years I’ve been exploring my life purpose, I’ve realized that I already knew what it was all along. I didn’t need career tests, books or webinars to tell it to me. All I needed to do was revisit my childhood, listen to my inner voice and trust in that. I’ve spent more than a decade trying to find my dream job and ended up doing what I wanted to do as a kid-write.

I spent my free time as a child creating a portfolio filled with mock ups of commercials, ad campaigns, and copy for faux products. I watched Bewitched on TV and Full House and wanted to work for an ad agency like Darrin Stevens and Jesse and Joey respectively. In high school, I did a project researching copywriting because it’s something I wanted to do.

And then college came and I heard things like: “You need to get a job that makes money. There’s not much jobs like those here.” I got confused and got lost in the tediousness of accounting and marketing classes and gave up. I did end up graduating with a BA in English. But I let go of my dream of being a copywriter. It seemed too hard and an impossible endeavor.

After graduation, my career went on a crazy course from research assistant to private investigator. It gave me good fodder to write about. But it also took me that much longer to finally recover and find the destination of my childhood dreams.

So I say to you now, the you who has been unhappy with your current job, the you who knows you deserve something more, although finding your dream job is worth the wait, you don’t have to wait to find it.

  • Think about what you loved to do when you were young.
  • Revisit the past-times you couldn’t live without.
  • Recall the jobs you dreamed about doing when you were a kid.

Follow the crumb left by your childhood self and you’ll eventually get there. Your adult self will finally catch up to your little kid.

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Gratitude Even If You Don’t Like It

Water or…

waterfall. Photos by The Inspiring Bee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge (By the way, it’s free. You can sign up for it here). Just this morning I listened to Day 12: The Gratitude Heart. In it, the speaker says, “We can be grateful for a situation even if though we don’t like everything about it allows us to be thankful for the opportunity to learn something new.”

It’s something we all know logically, but rarely do we choose to live our lives this way.

There is so much abundance in your life. There is so much wealth. If you allow yourself to truly see what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t, you will let in more things to be grateful for.

In my own life, it reminds me that I control my mood and my days on this earth by what I choose to bemoan or to view as a gift.

Hearing today’s meditation I realized that you don’t have to wait for life to be perfect to be grateful. You can still be searching for the right job, the right mate, the right place and have every right to say, “Thank you!”

In fact, it would serve you (and me) to do so.

That means I can temporarily forget that we still haven’t been able to use our car (that got a little worse for the wear on the ship over here), have yet to find a comparable gym or zumba class or additional writing gigs to jump for joy over.

What I can say is that I’m grateful that the warm sun and slower paced of living has physically healed me, reduced my sugar levels and mellowed me out. In writing about it, I realize the latter is so way more important than the former.

The other things will come in time. I guess the point is to grab what’s gratitude worthy now and be mindful of it. Be mindful of all the things you’re loving in your life because they won’t always be there.

No matter what you’re going through, I hope you can find something fabulous about your life, search for it in the clouds, in a field of flowers, in your child’s smile, hold them close, embrace it and say, “Thank you!”

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You Have Permission to Just Be

{flickr photo}

Like reptiles we shed our soft baby skins and soft, playful spirits when we leave childhood. We embrace a tougher skin and more brittle insides that we think come with adulthood.

“We’re grown-ups now,” we say to ourselves. That means no more lounging around, letting our souls dream, and watching the day roll on by the way we used to as kids.

We allow ourselves to harden the way flowers do when they’re on the their way to die. And we forget that life is about growing, not sinking into ourselves.

And why shouldn’t we?

Life gives us more than enough reason to. It takes away our loved ones, our dreams, our hope. And it does so in such an insidious, unexpected way, how can we not relinquish the playfulness and whimsy that characterized our youth, and grab onto what’s left: fear, discouragement, disappointment?

It is, but a choice.

{The rest of my post can be read on my Beliefnet Health column, “Happy Haven.”}

 

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