I’ll never forget a particular meeting a group of peers and I had with the head of student affairs at my alma mater… During this meeting, she told us that roughly 80%-85% of people are unhappy with their careers. Many of us were in shock after hearing this. I thought to myself, “Wow. The remaining 15%-20% have it made. I want to end up in that group, not the 80%-85% group.” Years later, I found myself slowly drifting closer and closer towards the 80%-85% group. Once I found myself fully submerged—I needed more than a white flag to save me.
Practicality lured me down this path. Armed with good intentions, I thought I could make it work. Honestly, I did. But how can you when you’re committing yourself to something that fails to hold your heart captive, no matter how hard or what you try? I listened to the “wisdom” about going into a career (technology) that would provide a good living. I was told that my dreams and what I wanted (a career in the arts/being a renaissance man) was lofty, unrealistic, and that I wouldn’t/couldn’t make a living doing it. So (unwillingly) I bought into to it. It was a good lie for a few years. But each time I got still, reality brought truth back home.
As I moved further away from my dreams, the more they haunted me. I called this the true gift and curse about dreams, talents, and natural abilities. The more you deny them, the stronger they become. If you allow your dreams to die, a portion of you will die along with them. As I found myself heading for crisis, my dreams were still very much alive. I, however, was going deeper and deeper into denial. I found myself saying, “There has to be another way. There has to be. Otherwise I want out.”
Ever been in a situation that felt like a dream that you weren’t supposed to be in? You know, when everything (including the people) seems so unreal and untouchable and you don’t quite fit? That’s how I felt. It was the dream, a fantasy, that I should’ve awakened from sooner. A fantasy that would eventually turn into a nightmare. When the fantasy ended, so did my livelihood.
I was forced to get really real. I had to find my way back to myself and all that I denied along the way. Silly of me to believe the hype and allow external factors to influence decisions about my well-being and career. Foolish of me to doubt myself and my talents and let my self-esteem and confidence suffer as a consequence. How silly… So silly.
After years of neglecting yourself, you have to get back to you and heed your calling. And that’s what I’ve been doing. While I know I’ve got a long way to go, it’s not as long now that I’ve fully embraced me and all that I have to offer.
More to come!