I think the hardest part about following your dreams is the feeling of being lost at times.
It’s this feeling that tends to cut me down when I feel I’m finally breaking through and gaining some clarity. I guess that is to be expected when you don’t really have an exact plan. When you don’t know how to go about things and instead have more of a goal that you eventually want to reach.
Foolproof plan? Not quite.
There is never a foolproof plan on what will work out and what won’t. Some times you have to take a leap of faith and pray that if and when you hit the ground you bounce back.
What I’m getting at is it takes courage to pursue what you really want out of life. There are so many reasons that can discourage you however it’s up to you to decided if these reasons are big enough to stop you.
I’ve always said that I want my career to be something I love so much that it doesn’t feel like work. But let me tell you when reality hits and money starts becoming an issue you realise fast that following through on that saying is a lot easier said than done.
Things can change quickly
Let me paint the picture. I’m 6 months out of grad school, my roommate decides she is moving back in with her parents, I’m working part time, and having a hard time finding freelance gigs. Money is tight to say the least and I was pretty much freaking out. I was in a tail spin of “I don’t knows” and started questioning everything I once was completely sure about. If you’ve been there you know how awful this feeling is.
I ended up working four different jobs, some that helped me gain experience in the field I had chosen and the others were just for the money. I was feeling the pressure come down hard and started debating on whether I should give up my chosen field for more of a “normal” one. It was around this time I was offered a full time job, it came with medical benefits, and the pay would make a lot of my struggles disappear. It would seem as if all my troubles would be gone…or so you would think.
Tell me why, when I was just a mere “yes” away from making my life a whole lot easier I couldn’t seem to pull the trigger? Instead I automatically felt sick and literally every ounce of me started screaming “NO” as loud as possible. Not the reaction you would normally expect when receiving a job offer.
My reaction to the news took me by surprise. Logically, I knew I should be happy about this but inside I wanted to jump ship as fast as possible. I remember sitting outside on concrete stairs frantically talking on the phone weighting the pros and cons of my situation. If I took the job, I’d have medical benefits, money, a steady “normal” job. Whereas if I didn’t take the job, money would be tight for awhile. I would have to work extra hard to make a name for myself. But it would also mean I could be flexible. I could pursue what I really wanted to do.
It became clear fast what my answer was going to be. I couldn’t make myself be unhappy at a job I didn’t want just because that was the easy, safe thing to do. It’s not in my nature to settle, so basing a decision like this on the fact that it’s a quick fix wasn’t good enough for me.
You know when people speak of “defining moments” in their lives and how it helped them become who they are? Well, I think that moment was just that. Because it was in that decision, in that moment, my dreams turned into actual goals. I had made up my mind what I wanted. I’d be taking the path of most resistance and it would be hard. I knew at times, I would feel lost and discouraged but I also knew that I was willing to risk everything to achieve the life I want for myself.
Still in pursuit but it’s a choice I’m happy I made
It’s normally here in the story where I give you some extremely happy ending. I’d tell you how everything worked out just like it should. But I’m going to keep it real and say I’m still in pursuit of my goals and the life I envision for myself. What I can say that I’m happy with the choice I had made because I believe it was the right one.
My journey to my goal is not entirely figured out. I don’t expect it will be, after all isn’t that the exciting part of life? Never knowing what will happen? The point is I chose to listen to my instincts. I trusted in myself, and took a chance because it will be worth it.