Life After Entry - Lesson 5: "Do You"

I've always been surrounded by people who knew early on what they wanted out of life-career wise anyways. When I look at my sister, cousins, my best friends, and even old boyfriends- a majority of them knew what they wanted to do. And whether I told them upfront or not- it was always an admirable quality I saw in them.

I on the other hand, did not possess such a quality. In elementary school I wanted to be an actress. In junior high -a singer. In high school- a model and in college I changed my major four times- from public relations, to education, no wait-to journalism, then to education, then to English.

My advisor knew me by first name, and whenever someone asked me what I wanted to do- I had a different answer. My sister even told me that, when people would ask her what I wanted to do, because I had switched so many times, her response was either, "I don't know," or "You have to ask her." It got to the point where my parents didn't even know what I wanted to do, and to be truthful-neither did I.

After graduation, with a degree and diploma under my belt I thought I finally had it all figured it. But I didn't. And when people asked me what I was gonna do now, that I had a graduated I gave them different answers- for some I said "teach", for others I said "journalism".

And then something happened where this all came into focus for me.

My sister, who, as I've said has always known what she wanted to do ever since she was very little, passed the two toughest tests of her career. And it took time,effort, hard work and focus. And one day, after celebrating her accomplishments I got her alone to pick her brain.
"How did you know that u wanted to do this?" I asked her. "I mean since you were young."

"You just know," she said. "I knew what I liked and I just followed through no matter what. I didn't listen to what anyone else had to say. I knew that it didn't matter because I would be doing all the work to get where I need to, not them. So why do I care what they think about what I want to do. And I know it will all pay off one day. I just kept following through. I had faith."

I listened to her response and let it simmer in my mind for a couple of days after. And while it was great advice it still didn't solve my problem. Maybe I was expecting a cookie cutter answer that didn't exist yet. Or maybe I was looking for her to solve MY problem with HER answer. Either way I was left still unsure of what direction I was supposed to go.

The problem was, I didn't know what I had a passion for. I had gone back and forth so many times with what I thought were "passions" only to get no where. So what in the hell was I gonna do with myself?

And then last Sunday, I went to church. And by coincidence(maybe), the sermon was simple- mind YOUR business/Do you. And as I sat there prestigiously taking notes focusing on dotting my I's and crossing my T's, the more the pastor said the more it began to seep in. She wasn't saying mind your business in the sense that you're thinking, she was saying mind YOUR business that is yours. Focus and pay much attention YOUR own gifts, YOUR own talents, YOUR passions and not someone else's. To not focus on what others want to do with their life and career but what YOU want. Not on what people tell you you're good at but what you think you're good at. And to not worry about whether you have it all together of what you want. (Didn't I tell u this was a coincidence? Talk about timing).

Following church, and for the rest of the day- I couldn't get this sermon out of my head. And that's when I realized why I was changing my career path so many times and why if I didn't make a change-I'd never make a decision.

Between advisers, family, and friends I'd always depended on other to tell me what I should be doing, or what I am good at and not taking the time to answer these questions for myself. Instead me thinking for myself and not caring what others had to say(like my sister said earlier), was preventing me from figuring it out for myself. And all along- the reason I had gotten so confused and caught up was because it wasn't me deciding what I wanted to do- I was letting everyone else!

The next morning, I got up early- with a notepad and pen, went quietly down into the den and that's where I sat for hours writing out questions and answering for MYSELF. And for once, I didn't care to know what others were gonna think when I told them my plans. I didn't want to know- because I was gonna be the one doing the work, not them. It was MY passions, not theirs, and I knew-one day, that it would all pay off. <3

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