When I was around eleven years old, I began being introduced to the idea of a career. What do I, a prepubescent girl, want to spend most of my life doing? It seemed like a daunting decision and being the ball of stress I have always been, I overthought it. Teacher, doctor, firefighter, police officer, these were the most common answers.
At that age I had just become tall enough to ride certain roller coasters. My dream then was to engineer roller coasters. I was pretty excited about this idea until I discovered I would need to study advanced math for many years to accomplish my goal. Who knew?
Since that age my interest have, not surprisingly, changed. Here I am now, 20 years old and a Junior in College, trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Especially now that I am paying for an education to ultimately land me a paying career, it’s a significant decision.
I began college thinking I wanted to be somewhere in the medical field. I majored in Biology. Throughout high school, my strongest subjects were math and science. It just made sense that I would study one of the two post high school. Plus, the medical field would always have jobs and they pay well. Logical choice.
I realized two and a half terms in that I made my decision for all the wrong reasons. If I wanted to be a physician or nurse, I should have chosen in because I like helping people. Instead I based a lifelong decision on money and perceived strengths and weaknesses.
I began to panic as I realized my growing apathy for my field of study. What else was I good at? Certainly I was not creative or artistic. I sucked at art. At least, I had told myself that since I was around thirteen. At thirteen I sold myself short. I told myself that I couldn’t be good at making beautiful things. My only talent was in mathematics and science. I put myself in a box and limited myself to only a handful of fields I could study. It was stifling.
I started looking at what I really cared about. Sure money is important, but I realized that I would never be happy making it my top priority. I wanted to enjoy my work. I wanted to be passionate about it. I have since discovered how much I enjoy creating things. I love the beauty of art and nature. I get excited about digital design. I look forward to putting together creative projects. Taking a thought provoking photograph thrills me.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. I certainly was mine. No one told me that I could not be an artist or that I had to make at least 75 grand per year except myself. I limited myself and never evaluated what I am passionate about. I’m grateful to be barely in my twenties and already figuring that out.
I still may change my mind about what I want to do, but that is alright. I kind of hope I have a few different careers.
When I grow up I want to be happy.