When I Grow Up

I’m 32 years old, and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

But I may have a solid lead…

The typical professions that every kid responds with have made the list at some point or other in my life: doctor, veterinarian, scientist, teacher, artist…

None of those worked out.

When I went to college the first time out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I got to my junior year and finally had to pick something. I took one nutrition class, which I loved. I thought that dietetics would be the perfect fit. Then I looked at the requirements for the major and quickly changed my mind.

The chemistry requirements were hard core, and that scared me. The thought of taking (and surviving) biochemistry was daunting. The next best thing was health education, which only required a couple semesters of human anatomy and physiology, which I forfeited a whole summer to complete.

But once I graduated and got a real job, I wasn’t happy. I had the opportunity to work with kids, which I enjoyed, but other than that it was stress 24/7. I went to work feeling sick, and left work feeling sick. I only lasted a year.

I then found a job in research, which I’ve been doing for years now. My day is spent analyzing and fixing data, which is not too exciting to say the least.

After five years of what seemed like torture, I decided that I liked computers enough to maybe become a web designer. I pursued a second degree in computer studies, and finished a year ago.

I’m still at my research job.

I discovered that I HATE programming, which you really need to be good at to be a superstar in the web design world. Or an extremely talented artist. Which I’m not (see list above).

So early this year, I decided on a whim that I would pursue a master degree. I enrolled in my first semester of an education program. I was doing pretty well, but still had a gut feeling that it wasn’t the right path for me.

Then Mark got sick in February and there was way too much stress to continue so I had to withdraw.

That may have turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I’ve been feeling really lost. These past ten years have been a roller coaster of meaningless jobs and stressful life events. One of the biggest was when my father passed away, which rocked my world in a very bad way (I’ll save that for another day..it’s a long story). My confidence has taken a serious blow to the gut.

I just want to be happy and do what makes me happy. I want to be me.

Well, a few months ago I started this blog. And I started writing again. And I’m really, really, really enjoying it.

I think I’m on to something here.

When I was in elementary school, I could write. I could write very well. I won quite a few awards for my writing. I could have gone places with my writing.

But I stopped.

I didn’t follow through. Fear got in the way.

Writing became something I hated, and I would avoid it as much as possible.

But people still told me (and still do) that I have a special gift in my writing.

I feel like I can express my emotions, feelings, and thoughts freely when I write. I constantly worry about being judged, so I often keep my thoughts and opinions to myself and don’t speak my mind.

When I put those words on paper (or on my blog), I don’t have that overwhelming fear.

I look forward to writing. My blog posts become massive topics in my mind that I’m constantly thinking about. I get an exhilarating thrill when I hit the “Publish” button. I check my stats on an hourly basis. I’ve become obsessed. Just ask Mark.

For once I’m really passionate about what I’m doing. The fact that I’m spending hours on end every week writing without getting paid is proof, I think, that I may have stumbled on to my calling.

I’m also very passionate about photography and love finding new angles and perspectives for composing my pictures. Especially the ones that I post on this blog. I’ve also won awards (county fair ribbons, if that counts) for my photographs, and it’s something I could spend hours doing on end without getting bored.

As I spend more time writing and photographing, my patience for my “real” job has been down-spiraling. I’m at the point where I need to write and photograph. It’s what fulfills me.

So, now to figure out how I can turn my passion into a career. Not just a job, but a life calling. I truly believe I can move people with my writing, and it’s something I need to do.

I have also come to realize that I need to live life to the fullest after almost losing Mark, and that I want to spend quality time with my family. I feel that writing will enable me to do that.

Now I just need to make this a reality. I’m not sure yet what direction I will head in, but at least I’m pretty sure I’m on the right path now. Instead of wandering, I have some direction now, and it feels great.

Gasp…I think I might be growing up.


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6 thoughts on “When I Grow Up

  1. I can so relate to this post! For years and years I have also felt so lost as well… That is until I found my passion with health and fitness. I wish you luck and good fortune with your passion!

    • Thanks! I’m so happy you found your passion! I would love to pair writing and photography with health in some way. Now I need to figure it out how to do it!

  2. Love the post! I am (tee hee) 52 and I have been some shape or form of a vegetarian/pescetarian since I was 16. I work out for about two hours 4-5 days a week and then mountain bike on Sunday mornings. Have I discovered the “secret” to life and happiness? Not entirely–but that’s the fun in this wild and weird sort of day. I have found for myself that happiness lies not necessarily in “arriving” at the destination, but learning to slow down and bask as I adventure my way through the journey. I have energy. I have enthusiasm (much of the time–ha ha) and I have the joy of watching my life unfold. Be easy on yourself. Approach every day with the gusto that you would a vacation and savor what you already have as you search the horizon for even more… Sounds like you are on a phenomenal track! Nice to read! Congrats and have fun with it!

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE your advice about approaching each day like a vacation. I need to remember to appreciate the moment and not focus so much on the destination. I’ll get there eventually:) Thanks so much!

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