Bear with me on this one… It’s going to be a rant, but I promise there is a point. And it’s a point that I feel pretty strongly about making sure you understand.
When it comes to my “life plan” I have always been around 89% clueless. I know that I want to be happy (vague, right?), that I want to feel fulfilled with every single thing that I do, that I want to take care of my mind, slow myself down, gain some serious knowledge. It’s the mental aspects of life that I’ve always had goals with. I’ve known what I wanted short term and long term in that aspect.
But something that I’ve never (literally ever) known… is what I wanted to do with “adulthood”.
I did, however, know what I did not want.
You see, I’ve always thought kind of differently than everyone else when it comes to “life planning”. I’ve always focused on planning out how I want to feel at certain stages in my life, not what I want to be doing. This means that I never had any idea about a future family or a career. I figured that would all come into play when I was mentally in the place that I needed to be.
And so far… my strategy hasn’t led me astray. I don’t feel lost, clueless, or confused. Instead, I feel GOOD.
Do you want to know why?
Because instead of draining the life out of myself trying to establish a family plan and a career during my prime “not a girl, not yet a woman” years as Britney would say… I was able to establish myself mentally. I was able to get myself where I need to be now in order to now achieve these things without worry, defeat, or disappointment.
Prioritizing going to school for something I dislike or working a dead-end/soul-sucking job over my own happiness and satisfaction was not something that I ever did. Why should I have? If you’re not there mentally, you’re not there at all.
I’ve always known that I would never go into finance, insurance, or anything of that sort. That I would never work in the dreaded cubicle or lifeless office. It isn’t for me and it never will be. I need life, creation, and vibes that I can thrive on. Not cold, simple, and dull places that will stifle me.
But that doesn’t mean that others see it that way…
To this day, I have family members that tell me I need to be smart. That I need to go into a career that will pay the bills, keep me stable, provide me with insurance and retirement plans. I’ve been told that I need to find THAT job in order to provide for myself and my future family, in a way that my family couldn’t provide for me growing up.
Which to me… is BS.
I grew up in a big house, with a big yard, constant Disney trips, all the toys, food, and clothes I could ever imagine. So how does one feel that I was not provided for?
The thing is, I was provided for excessively. I was given every single thing that I asked for. Which, I believe, is partially the reason that my family occasionally struggled in other areas financially.
Now let me tell you, my mom has always had her shit together (100% in my eyes). She has an amazing office job in insurance that she is extremely passionate about and that takes care of her very well. My father, however, never had a stable career until the past couple of years. He spent a majority of my young adulthood chasing after money making opportunities that he hated.
Which is where I believe the difference lies.
My mom is passionate about her work, and therefore worked extremely hard to get where she is at now. She is passionate and it consistently shows in her work. Which is why it continues to benefit her so well. But my father was not passionate about his work which is why he struggled. And also why he wants “better” for me.
But “better” doesn’t necessarily mean a “stable” job that will pay the bills tenfold every month and allow for annual Disney passes. “Better” is finding something that you’re passionate about that will provide for you while making sure that you are happy, fulfilled, and don’t dread waking up every day to put in the work.
So, no. It was not going to happen. I was never going to be in a cubicle or stale office or in any type of financial business or anything else of that sort. Simply because I don’t thrive in that type of environment and it doesn’t get me excited. So, it’s not “better” for me.
But the problem is, this way of thinking put me a few steps “behind” everyone else.
I hate that term. “Behind”. Who am I to compare lives and timelines that have completely different situations and circumstances?
Anyways, another way to put it is that while my friends were completing their accounting and finance degrees, I was taking random classes every semester. My mind was one big jumble and I was changing career paths every 6 months trying to decide what was my best fit because I felt pressured to find my “thing”. What a waste of time, money, and most importantly… energy and spirit.
A lot of people who get a degree, get it because it will benefit them when they start looking for a job in their chosen field.
I did get a degree… but it didn’t benefit me in the same way that it benefits others. It taught me what I don’t want. I learned that I want NOTHING to do with anything that I studied. No medical field, no teaching, no social work.
Because *key point here*… I don’t get passionate about any of it.
This past year was the year of enlightenment for me.
I came to the realization that my career needs to be something that will let my light shine through. A career that will allow me to express my personality, my creativity, my expression, my out of the box ideas.
And that is what I am here doing. Chasing after my out of the box ideas.
What I’m here to tell you… is that this is perfectly okay.
Don’t think you need to find the perfect degree, a fancy internship during college, and your dream job right after graduation.
For a majority of people, it doesn’t work out that way anyways.
I have friends pursuing their degrees, who have absolutely NO idea whether they’ve chosen the right field. They doubt their degree choice, wish they could switch it up, and end up confused as ever while looking into grad school.
This isn’t true for everyone though. I have one friend who has her degree along with experience in amazing internships and opportunities throughout her college experience, is planning out her grad school options, and basically has an entire 5 (maybe even 10) year plan centered solely around her education and career. And that is AMAZING.
For me, I never wanted it to work out that way. I wanted to row my own boat, plant my own seed, follow my own arrow. And I’m doing it. I don’t need a 5 year plan. Or even a 2 year plan. Of course, I have my “adulthood” goals and ways that I intend to go about those goals. But they’re not “typical” goals that you hear people talk about very often. They’re more centered around expression and creativity.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay to think out of the box ideas, to chase them, to have a different plan, to not want to get dragged down into the “typical” life plan that so many strive for.
I’m not saying that office jobs or careers of that sort are bad. Not at all. I applaud people that go through school, that have their life planned out, that work a dream office job.
What I’m saying… is that it’s OKAY to create your own path. It’s OKAY to not want to do what people consider “normal”. It’s OKAY to feel “behind”.
AND it is OKAY to want to ignore every word I’m saying and go to school for 8 years in order to have your very own office. If that is where you thrive, then you need to go for it.
Because the truth is, if you’re doing what YOU want to do then you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing. Aka your own shit. That is the key here.
But the problem is, I think people with out of the box ideas doubt a lot more.
We doubt our plans and our goals. We question how others will see us for choosing an out of the box career over something that can provide stability and certainty. Our plans get compared to the plans of others and evaluated on a certain metric of success that is often times extremely unrealistic or unfair.
Metrics are a huge aspect of how we evaluate our perceived successes or failures. An amazing author, blogger, and entrepreneur discusses this concept in his counterintuitive self-help book that I am obsessed with. Seriously, you NEED to read it. In one section of the book, he goes deep into metrics and values + why these things affect the way that we perceive everything in our lives.
So, if you are doing something that you feel passionate about, but your metric of success is based on how someone in the corporate world views your ideas… It wouldn’t be shocking if you considered yourself a failure. Because someone in the corporate world might tell you, “Go get a real job!” And then, if your metric of success is based on their opinions, you’re going to think that what you are achieving, working hard on, and investing in… isn’t “real”. So that process of thinking and evaluating is not fair to you and it damages you far more than taking a chance on an out of the box idea ever will.
So we have to get past this and create new metrics. We have to create new markers that will determine our successes or failures. Markers that will not have anything to do with the success of failure of someone else.
We need to learn that it’s okay to have out of the box ideas and to go after them instead of going after a “life plan” that was 1) most likely put in place for you by someone else 2) embedded into your head by society 3) sacrifices your own joy.
Here’s why rowing your own boat is the best thing you can do for yourself:
1. Doing your own shit ensures success.
This is my metric. If I’m not doing what I want to do, or following a life plan that someone else drug me into… then I am unsuccessful.
2. It keeps you going and motivated day after day.
My goal in life is to be able to wake up every single morning and look forward to the day of work ahead of me. Whatever work that may be, I want to be so passionate about it that it wakes me up, keeps me up, and gets me excited.
Every. Damn. Day.
3. Your satisfaction in life will double triple quadruple…
Doing what you love = feeling satisfied. And I’ve learned that if you’re satisfied in one aspect of your life, it’s easier to make sure that you’re satisfied in all aspects.
Maxed out satisfaction, if you will.
4. It’ll keep you inspired and inspire others.
If you’re not inspired every day that you sit down to work, how do you expect to get things done… and get them done well?
That is another reason why I could never thrive in an office or corporate setting. I have too many ideas to get stuck doing the same work day after day. I need new and exciting opportunities coming at me at all times or I will not feel inspired, and not do my best work.
5. You’ll be doing what you are passionate about and therefore, what you need to do.
Passion is everything. I’ve discussed this before. And it really is as simple as that. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then you’re doing the right thing.
So go forget about your “plan” and chase the ideas/dreams/hopes/goals that make you the happiest.
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