I feel scared, nervous, freaked out, hopeful, and like I’m back to square one. A teenager fresh out of high school with no clue as to what to do with my life, let alone what I would have the capability to do.
I have spent my life thinking I am an artist or someone who desires to do art for a living even though I have always said I never really enjoyed it. Such a strange dichotomy of thoughts in one mind. To have always just accepted this is what I should do. To be told you’re good at something, and you like it, therefore pursue it. But when I was doing art or involved in it, it wasn’t the art itself I cared about. It was working with people, organizing the lives of the people for which I worked, and making a difference and feeling like I made a change in someone’s life or that my life had purpose and meaning. That’s what made me the happiest and it’s only now that I’m truly recognizing this in myself. I had said it countless times but for some reason I never listened to myself while speaking these words.
During these past few months, a chapter in my life is coming to an end. And it served its purpose while doing it, but now I feel as though I’m trying to break free from the restraints that were put on me… (that I put on myself). I’m starting to realize that my life has gone a completely different direction than I ever intended. One thing moves into the next and then one day you open your eyes and question how in the world did I get here? How do I get back? Can I get back? What do I even want out of life, out of myself? Will I ever accomplish anything in life that truly makes me feel like my life is worth living?
So I have been forcing myself out of my comfort zone (holed up in a corner somewhere with my eyes shut and my fingers in my ears singing comforting peaceful mantras that drown out the oppressive noises from outside). I seem to have the greatest experiences in my life when I’m not always taking the safe easy way. At least so far that is the case. I have been working on my health for the past 7 years and also in the last couple taken up running, which I use to hate. I want to overcome these things in my life that always hold me back from really experiencing everything out of life and really enjoying it to its fullest. So last year I was so afraid to try a 5k. There are way too many people, I’m not a great runner, what if I fail or look stupid. This year I decided at around 11:30 pm the night of the cut off restriction (nothing like being a procrastinator to make life interesting) to sign up for a color 5k. The kind that looks like the 4th of July and chalk drawings and India and adults being the noisy kids at the back of the class. It seemed like a great place to start this new chapter in my life. Comfort zones be damned. It’s painful and difficult and everything inside me says run away.
Signing up for 5k, check. Before that, I knew I needed to branch out and meet people so I did the safe thing (which is still uncomfortable to me) and signed up at a few social sites. One is a friend site to meet local women who want to make friends. Simple as that. I have met two people so far off of there and hope to meet more. The other was an international penpal site. I have been lucky with it unlike others on that site. I have met some really great people who have opened my eyes to life and made me excited to travel again. I miss it so much. Which brings me to my other goal to check off my list…
Meeting people, check. TRAVEL!!!!! So huge for me. I always wanted to as a kid. It was my dream in life to travel the world. I used to wait for the National Geographic magazine to show up every month. I would read the articles, stare at the photos and feel like I was there experiencing it for myself. I would dream of going to all those strange exotic unknown places. Then in high school I got to go to Russia. SO AWESOME!!! Last country I visited. SO SAD!!! But it gave me a taste of what was out there. So now, I am signing up for my passport, meeting people overseas in hopes of starting friendships but also having connections and getting to visit them and experience their countries first hand. Now for the next part….
Travel, almost check. Which is highly dependent on this. WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE!!?!?!?!?!?!?! How do I get a job when I’ve been out of any professional field for years? Where do I go from here? How do I afford going back to school? Will I fail? What in the world do I study? Who do you ask? (GOOGLE!!) Yup, I googled it. Seems like the logical place to find answers, what do I do with my life. I found a site that asked really provocative questions.
1. What do I absolutely love in life?
2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?
3. What would I stand for if I knew no one would judge me?
4. If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?
5. What would I do if I had one billion dollars?
6. Who do I admire most in the world?
I looked at these questions and wrote them down. I answered and even though I realized art wasn’t on the list, it wasn’t until this past weekend when I went to visit a gallery that I really had the epiphany that art was not my destiny. I talked to this woman, an artist, an art quilt maker full of excitement and joy and passion over her choice in life. I realized that… WOW!! I want that, but not THAT!! I want that passion for what I do, but not to do what she does. She asked me what I liked doing, what art I really enjoyed. And I couldn’t really answer her. Nothing came to mind. I feel like I have tried everything there is to try(except possibly glass blowing). But nothing stuck out to me like, yes, that is what I LOVE doing. I just wanted to get out of there, because I knew I was leaving it behind. As I walked out of the building, I felt symbolically I was leaving my past life behind. Everything I ever thought I would do with my life was being left inside that building. The thing is I still love art and being around it. I just don’t want to do it for a living. I went to this incredible event this past Friday at an art museum. Also eye opening. I realized that this is the life I want to have, enjoying food, travel, art, life, music. Living life to its fullest.
So that brings me to this last point. I asked myself what I enjoyed doing. I like helping people find their dreams. Facilitating others to open their lives to possibilities. I like organizing, raising money for people and projects that make a difference. I want to be able to use my creativity too. How do you get a degree in that? I happened to be researching MBA’s and Marketing degrees and signed up for information from a few universities. Side note: I have also been trying to read more. Something I used to love to do but haven’t done it for the past few months. My mind has been too all over the place to focus on words on a page. However, I was at the bookstore and picked up two books. One was Sherlock Holmes , the other was Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience. All this to say, one of the universities (which I didn’t pay much attention to at the time) was Walden University. And as I contacted them and they replied, I checked their site and saw a degree in an M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership – “The nonprofit sector requires leaders and managers who are creative, skilled, and strategic in creating and maintaining organizations that successfully address their missions.” WHAT?!?!?!?! There is a degree in that? Specifically what I want to do???
Find what I want to do (I think for now) check Is it a sign? I don’t know but it seems to perfect to be random. But then the money aspect reared it’s ugly head. So right now I feel this is what I need to pursue, I just need an income to do so.
That is where I am headed next on this journey. CATCH 22, find a job.
This is my first blog entry on this site and while there might be run on sentences, punctuation errors, and typos I just am writing to keep myself sane. 🙂 Please be lenient with me.