I often get overwhelmed because of my many interests or things I want to try. But then I think about it. Trying something is quite different from doing or committing to doing it for a long period of time. Someday, my career will be something I’ve tried, tested, and found to be exactly where I need to be – doing what I love. I don’t have a ton of requirements other than that: doing what I love and doing something to impact many.
I’m also not about dropping everything I’m doing just to pursue one dream or idea that I love. I get ideas, I weigh them, maybe even try them, but I know it’s impossible for me to do everything at once or even everything I love!
For example, a couple weeks ago in a bad fit of depression, I found that dancing to hip hop music was therapeutic for me and decided I needed to pursue my dreams to be a really good hip hop dancer. I was stoked. Determined and on fire, I looked up dance classes in the Twin Cities area and realized that all things come at a cost – a good dozens of dollars that I either don’t have or that will only last me a short time. No, I didn’t “give up” on this “dream” of mine because of some funds, but I did realize that 1) I’m a pretty clumsy person to begin with, and 2) I just don’t have the time or money to be enrolled in the classes for as long as it takes. It’s still something I’d like to try one day soon, but realistically, I will not be that figure on the next “Just Dance” Wii game.
But back to career and writing-related topics: I have recently been told that I am wasting my time in my current job as a PCA. This specific, much-older-than-I friend told me that I should start my own business and become a writing coach, assuming that I wasn’t doing a thing in regards to my writing dreams.
However, I am. I have this blog. I am writing more magazine-based articles to query for and seek publication. I am working on becoming a contributing writer to one or more webzines, and I am in the application process of at least writing/social-media-related internship!
To me, that is way more than I was doing a year ago as I returned my graduation gown and rejoiced the first day I didn’t have to go back to school.
But where do I want to end up one day?
The more I read about book publishing, I want to intern at a publishing house, be an editor, and one day work my way up (because to be honest, I don’t know how the process works) to become a literary agent. Writing coaching sounds great, but I don’t feel I have enough knowledge/experience to don that name quite yet.
But why literary agent? Because I LOVE books, I love reading, and I believe I have a good eye. I would rather interact with and help others’ writing than publish my own books.
The other side of the coin is non-profit ministry and church planting work. I’ve already dabbled in both and loved it, but I haven’t had a heavy writing-based position in either. One day that is what I want to offer to a ministry that shows others the love of Christ – my writing skills.
Thus, I believe I have been (somewhat) able to narrow down my passions, interests, and dreams into cohesive goals and/or aspirations that could actually come true! It will just take commitment, focus, and determination. It may change, and I may discover other things I am better at.
Some of my interests include: books/writing/poetry/memoirs, editing/copywriting/freelancing, design, travel/Italy/Europe, DIY projects, knitting, coffee/being a barista, hip hop music/dancing, ministry (pro-life, church/church planting, art and faith, writing-based), eating healthy…. (I could truly go on and on).
But which of those am I truly passionate about to pursue to the next level? Sometimes I think my 3.5 years in college only taught me how to narrow down or eliminate things that I like and things that won’t work out. For example, I LOVED theater and acting when I started at Northwestern, and after many disappointing auditions and a lot of frustrating back-stage work, I realized that I wasn’t ever going to act at the Guthrie one day.
Here’s the thing: I am only 22. I have time. I have time to decide what I want to do, what I’m passionate about, and what will become my hobbies rather than my professional work. It’s healthy to have both! Besides, I’m always changing and discovering new things! And as for the things I haven’t “eliminated” yet, maybe one day I will open a quaint bookstore with my darling husband, being a barista included. Maybe I will be a literary agent toting two toddlers and a cat, writing essays on the side. Maybe I will go live in Europe again.
Who knows. I’m trying to push past the anxiety and enjoy everything I do, living 100% in each moment and doing it one step at a time. That’s the best advice I’ve ever heard on this subject.
Do you ever get overwhelmed by all your desires and interests? What has helped or did help you narrow it down?