do you ever feel unqualified or inadequately prepared for doing more or going to the next level in your career? i do. right now, in fact! i've been battling these feelings for a while now, and with a bright new year ahead of me, i've been seriously questioning what i'm doing with my life and if i can even consider doing something wildly different with the skills and education i currently have on my resume.
the thing is, i start to freak out a little bit when i cast my mind over my career thus far. even when i go all the way back to high school, i can't remember having any focus or clear idea of what i might want to do with my life. at one point, i loved my time in musical theatre so much that i thought i'd go on to Broadway and become a star, but i don't think i really ever wanted it that much. at least not realistically. it seemed like fun until i realized how exhausting that line of work could be, and the competition was something fierce. i'm competitive to a point, but beyond that i just want everyone to have a nice time.
when i was really little, i used to make my own "books" out of colored construction paper and markers. i'd make up stories in my favorite genre: young princess lost in the woods who casually meets her animal soul-friends and possibly a prince here and there (thanks Disney!). i grew to love books and reading and writing so much that i figured one day i'd be an author. a part of that dream is still with me, but i feel so far off track from who i am as a writer that it's not something i entertain on a daily basis. [good book alert: after reading On Writing by Stephen King recently, i want to say fuck it to all my insecurities and doubts and pick fiction writing back up...maybe without so many "princess in the woods" storylines].
don't even get me started on my major(s) in college.
no, my main "career" focus for the past seven years has been what can help pay the bills. i'll throw my hands up at you because i'm an independent woman, but i still have $30k+ in student loans to pay off, and i live in one of the most expensive cities with one of the most ridiculous rental markets. i'm also an anxious millennial struggling to "find my passion" [god, i hate that phrase, i don't even know why i just wrote that. or why i'm keeping it in here] without going into default. so basically i'm one part, woo! let's, you know, just quit the 9-5er and fucking live life man, and another part just quietly repeating, bills, bills, bills...[yes, that's the second Destiny's Child reference in case you're counting.]
needless to say, i feel stuck. also, i feel like kicking myself for not participating in workshops or online courses or seeking out continuing education programs over the last few years to keep learning and expanding my skills, or just to try a new track like the business of fashion because i love the idea of creating my own clothing line but i can't draw, or sew, and know next to nothing about the fashion world, other than the fact that i pick out my own clothes.
enough of that self-berating, though. what i do know is that it's certainly not too late, and i would still like to pursue continuing ed and learn even if only for the sake of learning and using my brain in ways outside of my daily get up, go to work, come home, go to bed routine.
and in the meantime, i'm going to keep reminding myself all the time that IT IS OKAY that i am 29 and still have no idea what i want to "do" with my life, and also that i've never really known. and IT IS JUST FINE that i like a lot of different things that might not have bearing on each other but that make me happy and excited and inspired.
i think the secret to career fulfillment is to do something that you enjoy, even if it might not make you a lot of money, or if you have to do something else in conjunction with it, or if it takes you a lot of trial and error to figure out what "it" is, or if "it" is actually more than one thing. it's about keeping things interesting, challenging yourself, and finding the joy in what you do.
it's like Stephen King said, "...if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."