Thursday, October 30, 2008

What if a career isn't my passion?

I have quite a few blogs that I enjoy reading. In fact, the list is growing so quickly, that I'm having trouble keeping up with them! At random points during the day, I'll think to myself, "Did I read that one this morning?" Anyway, I try to keep this little notebook with me where I write down quotes and ideas that are interesting to me or that resonate with me because of the things happening in my life. A lot of them come from these blogs I read, but they also come from conversations I've had or even overheard.

One I have been thinking about lately is:

I think sometimes we try too hard to fit our lives
into the shapes of the stories we know.

(This came from one of my new favorite blogs, Flotsam. Though I am not experiencing anything like this woman, her life, words and little girl are inspirational to me.)

I touched on this subject a little bit in my first post, but I think about this a lot. Somehow, in my mind, being successful has always been connected with a career. But this does not apply to just any career. Somehow there is this arbitrary scale in my mind of which careers or jobs are worthy of respect and which are not. I don't consider this scale fair by any means, but it is a judgment I hold none-the-less.

Lately, I have been trying very hard to let go of these judgments. I don't "fit" into the "shape" of this "story," so why am I trying so hard to make myself? Why does my "passion" have to be a career? If I don't have a career that I consider worthy of respect on this scale, does that mean that I am not "living up to my potential?" Why can't I be considered successful for the whole shape of my life, and not just a career?

Recently I have discovered that, for me, my passion does not have to be a career or job and I can still be living up to my potential. Yet I still judge myself by these arbitrary standards. I guess old habits, thoughts and ideals are hard to break and I'll just have to keep working on it. As my Dad always says, "You have to do the best you can with what you've got, every day."

One thing I am sure of is that my family & the people I love, and being there for & taking care of them are my passion. Unfortunately, this passion doesn't pay the rent, student loans, utility bills etc. I haven't had a paying job yet where I have actually used the degree I worked so hard for. Sometimes that irritates me because I worked so hard and because I'll being paying those student loan bills for a long time to come, but at the same time it doesn't bother me at all. The sacrifices I made that affected any potential career I might have had in that field were more than worth it in my mind.

I am 25 years old and closely approaching 26. At times I think I'm so young! I have so much time to figure out all of this stuff. But at the same time there is so much pressure to know what you want to do and start doing it right out of college. Everyone hiring wants experience and this is completely understandable. But if all your experience is in something you're very good at, but don't enjoy or want to continue doing, what do you do then?

I guess the best I can do is stop trying to live up to standards that just don't fit for me, try to replace those judgments with standards that apply to my life and make me happy, and like my Dad says, "Do the best with what I've got, every day."

No comments :