I think everyone starts out wanting to be something when they grow up. When I was very young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I then realized I was allergic to cats and some dogs, so that could never happen. What a rude awakening for a little kid! That was the last time for quite a few years that I’d “decide” on a career for myself. Then, in the fifth grade, I decided I wanted to be a writer and illustrate my own stories. I was a bookworm as a child and began to write my own stories and draw pictures to go along with them, so this idea was only fitting. I continued throughout my school years, excelling in art class and writing. From middle school onwards, on the weekends, I babysat and really enjoyed being around kids. So, when it came time to choose what I wanted to go to college for, I chose elementary education. This decision didn’t really sit well with me. Then, the day of my freshman orientation, I changed my mind and decided to go with studying business. That’s when everything changed for me.
I decided that day that I wanted to own my own clothing store. I wanted to be my own boss and have the flexibility to go to my future kid’s athletic and school events. Heck, I was only eighteen, but I had my mind set on it. Fast forward four and a half years and I still have my mind set on this idea, but now I really want to continue blogging as well.
I went through college studying, interning, and working, knowing that I wanted to own my own business, but I was stopped in my tracks rather quickly. How could I afford to buy enough stock and a business license among other things? I constantly told myself that one day I’d have my own store and a blog that’s great, but not today because I can’t afford it.
I then decided I needed to concentrate on a subject in school. What would I be good at and what could I start off with to save money for my future store? I landed in human resource management and loved it. I did two internships and worked part-time in HR, learning more in every opportunity I received. I still love it! However, I began taking classes in entrepreneurship to complete an entrepreneurship certificate and fell in love with the idea of being an entrepreneur even more than working in HR.
I knew then that I had a passion for entrepreneurship and that I could do it day-in and day-out, but with the pressure of “where are you working at after you graduate?” types of questions, I completely felt like I had to work in HR; that I needed to put my big dream to the back burner because I needed a job that was “normal” for a 22-year-old college graduate.
With all of the uncertainty that was my last semester of college, I genuinely had no idea what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Part of me was scared I’d get stuck in a company where I pushed paper and hated going in every day. The other part of me was scared of what people would think about me if I decided to start my own store and write my blog. I was scared they would think I was lazy and completely unmotivated because I knew I couldn’t get my store up-and-running so quickly and that I wouldn’t make money blogging for a long time. Gary and I still didn’t know if we were moving or staying, so I had an excuse to every question about my future for a little while.
Once we knew we were moving 100%, Gary and I talked about me looking for a job in HR. I had a pit in my stomach just thinking about it. It wasn’t that I was unqualified (I have a competitive level of experience in HR for my age) – I was just afraid of getting stuck in a corporate lifestyle. I’ve never been one to root my career security and lifelong dreams in another company. A job working for someone else doesn’t motivate me. Climbing the corporate latter doesn’t motivate me. I knew that I had to make a decision, but I kept putting it off.
On our honeymoon, Gary and I finally discussed what I was going to do work-wise. We talked about the pros and cons. To be blunt, the only positive to me finding a job in HR was having a dual income for our family. I knew I wouldn’t be happy, but I also knew that if I had to do it, I could and definitely would make the best of it. Gary kept pushing me to do what I wanted to do. He supported my decision 110%.
In my mind, I kept going back and forth. Do I pursue a job in the corporate world or do I wing it and go after my dreams? You already know the answer, but I’ll tell you anyways: I decided to pursue my dreams.
Since I decided to chase my dreams four months ago, I can’t even tell you about all the changes in my life. I’ve realized that I’m a much more positive person. I no longer get anxiety on Sunday nights because I know now that I don’t have to go into a job I dislike. I eat so much better because I have time to cook every single night. I truly enjoy my life because I am able to do the activities that I love. The list goes on and this is why I decided to go after my dreams. My quality of life has improved 100%!
Today, I want to encourage you if you’re in a position I was/still am in. You’re not alone in wanting something better for yourself, not to mention your sanity and quality of life.
01. If you feel stuck in a job you dislike, I really encourage you, if possible, to look for a new one. Life is too short to go to work hating what you’re doing. I know there are exceptions and that we all have bills to pay, but if you are miserable, you need to do something about it.
02. If you have a dream or a goal that you can’t stop thinking about, I implore you to go after it! If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable quitting your job and doing it full-time (which I know a lot of us can’t do), take baby steps. Little by little, go after your dream – this is what I’m doing now.
03. If you truly love something like blogging, I really encourage you to keep writing. Write as much as you can. Keep doing what you love. The blogging community needs what you and you alone have to offer.
04. Don’t listen to the judgments of others. A lot of people feel envious towards those who follow their dreams because they’re not willing to sacrifice extra money or material goods. Just know that you’re doing something that you love and other people’s opinions don’t matter.
05. I know this is weird, but think about your life at retirement age. Will you look back on your life and regret not doing that one thing that you always wanted to do? Or, will you look back on your life and be so happy that you did that one thing you always wanted to do?