It's okay to feel like there has to be something more out there. Like maybe the thing you are doing right now, the thing you thought you were meant to do, the thing you were taught, the thing you worked for, is actually not the thing for you at all.
I've always wondered, marveled really, at the people who have the ability to stay in one job for so many years. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I admire it as someone overcome by wanderlust and the desire for change every single day. I can barely stay in one place for a couple weeks, much less 30 years! And now that I'm in the work force, I wonder with more and more urgency every day, how I am going to break the cycle.
By age 4, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And every day since then, I've worked towards that goal. I thought I was doing everything right. I went to school, I enjoyed learning, I excelled in language arts, I tried really really hard. High school came along and even while I was busy rebelling against my parents and my teachers and the status quo, when it came time to buckle down I still OVER studied, OVER practiced, OVER analyzed every single detail. So that by the end of high school, there I was applying to colleges, anxiously awaiting offer letters and ultimately, applying for the loans that would get me through the next four years.
I thought college would teach me everything there was to know. I thought I would come out the other side a more polished, more dedicated writer. I would learn how to interview people, how to craft stories, how to investigate and find the truth. I would learn how to do things that mattered in the world. Things that made a difference.
And I loved college, I loved every minute of it. I loved the discussions and the freedom and the empowerment, I loved the friends I met and the memories I made and yes, even the parties I went to. I know some people say college just isn't for them. I never felt that way, every minute being in school felt right to me. In fact, if it hadn't cost me an arm, a leg and the name of my firstborn child, I would probably still be there, soaking it all up, reveling in all its academic glory.
But the fact of the matter is that I couldn't, I had to grow up. I, along with 5,000 of my peers, was regurgitated back out into the world post-graduation and for many of us, or at least for me, it wasn't quite as friendly as I'd hoped. And as it turns out, I begun to realize that all that time, energy and dedication I put into college, all that hard work, simultaneously produced an aversion to all the things I loved. I was so busy doing the things I thought I had to do, that I forgot how to do the things I loved to do. I no longer enjoyed reading or writing. Instead, it felt like a chore. I didn't want to do it anymore.
Sometimes, looking back, I feel like I never even had a say in my future at all. I did what I thought was right, what society told me I SHOULD do, I went to school, I got good grades, I participated in sports and in all the right academic clubs. But I didn't think about all the other avenues I could take, all the other dreams I could follow that didn't end with 60,000$ worth of debt and an uncertainty about the future.
I felt like I was constantly working towards the next best thing, then the next best thing, then the next. And never stopping to be satisfied or happy with where I was. First it was getting into college, then it was doing well in college, then it was graduating college. And then it was finding a job, but that job was awful, so then it became finding another job. And finally, I found a job I genuinely love.
But still, this nagging feeling that there has to be something more out there! That I'm not doing something right, that I'm not quite where I need to be yet. And intermittently through all of this, the overwhelming feeling that somehow, somewhere, I needed to find the time to throw myself back into writing. To stop making excuses and start crafting that novel I've been putting off, or learn how to produce a podcast or finally submit that short story I put sweat, tears and love into, to an actual publisher.
So, it took work, and a couple of months of dragging my feet, but here is the next of many posts to come. And I hope to stick with it, stick it out, love the journey for what it is....a journey. After all, life is such a beautiful thing to waste isn't it? And for goodness sakes, if my heart is telling me to go after something, and my brain is in agreement, well then shouldn't I just go for it? Because whats really holding me back is just myself. And the fear of starting. But truly, there is nothing to be scared of. In fact, I rediscovered my favorite things. Reading a really good book with a drink in hand on the beach, or spending my evenings in the summer sun with a glass of wine and my laptop, cranking out a couple lines here and there. Those are my things, and I love them, but they don't have to be yours. Go out and do the things your soul craves!
My point is, that even if you see other people out there day after day doing the same thing they've been doing for the past 15 years. Content to be doing those same things, that doesn't have to be you! In fact, please please don't let that be you. Listen to the inner you that screams out for something more. That refuses to settle for other people's versions of themselves, society's version of themselves.
And if there's a little voice inside that tells you to follow the path less traveled, don't be afraid of that. In fact, please nourish that voice and do the things that cultivate it and help it to grow and get stronger. Because that is what life is about, that is where learning happens, that is how great things are started.
So don't ignore it. For your sake and mine. Craft something beautiful that is yours and put it out into the universe.
The universe will thank you for it, I promise.