I am only somewhat embarrassed to admit that this is partially inspired by the annoying one in Twilight’s (played by the beautiful and brilliant Anna Kendrick) graduation speech. It got me thinking though; how many professions have I professed my commitment to? I’ve definitely not always wanted what I want now.
Age 4: Tooth fairy. Legit. My inability to walk without tripping probably hinders my chances though.
Age 7- The ginger one in Totally Spies. Because she was the smart one and had the best hair.
Age 10- A Vet. My faint-inducing fear of blood prevented this particular pursuit.
Age 13- An Interior Designer. Basically brought on by my ikea obsession and being allowed to decorate my new room.
Age 16- Publishing, Newspapers, The Immortal Print. I didn’t have a specific job role selected, just an industry.
Age 19- An editor
As you can see what I’ve wanted has changed quite, er, drastically over the last fifteen years. It might just change that much in the next fifteen years, and that’s completely okay. I don’t think neglecting ‘wants’ just because I started out with a different goal is necessary, in fact I don’t even think it’s healthy.
In about five minutes I’m going to think that at nineteen I was a naive kid with the world at my fingertips. I can do anything I want (except perhaps that tooth fairy thing) and I think limiting yourself is redundant. I’m open to the things that might interrupt this goal of mine. I’m open to changes in the plan, little hiccups and wonderful once-in-a-lifetime things that are far more important than any job. I’m open to jumping a step as well as adding more. If I stay fixated and so blindly determined on this one job title what will I be missing out on? Travelling? Networking? Life? I don’t want to miss out!
Some days I’m so completely determined on what I’m doing with my life. Some days I want to give it all up for a nomadic existence wandering lavish landscapes and some days I settle for being a bum with a Netflix account. Just because I know what I want doesn’t mean I don’t have days where I doubt it. I doubt if I’ll ever get to this shiny pedestal of achievement I’ve set for myself, or if I should even bother trying. But the next day and with the help of a few cups of coffee, I’m usually grit-teeth determined again. The last fifteen years of turbulent career choices teaches us that this is okay.
It’s okay to change our minds and be reckless and a bum and a traveller and to screw up and to get lost and find yourself somewhere else and like it. It’s okay to like another profession, or person, or lifestyle more than the one you previously wanted. Fifteen or more years of changing our minds shows us that what makes us happy changes, and accepting that is how we make ourselves happy. It doesn’t make you a failure or fickle or anything else remotely negative. If we all had to stick to the job role we picked at 12, there would be a helluva lot of rockstars and vets that faint at the sight of blood.
This is all supposed to inspire spontaneity or determination in making yourself happy. That’s what you really want to be when you grow up. I truly believe editing will make me happy, but so might a million other things. Its supposed to encourage you to strive or leap or jump or whatever cheesy metaphor you want to use for getting what you want. Don’t limit yourself.