One of the most common questions you were asked as a child was most likely, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At the age of 4, adults think it's cute to see what future aspirations you have at such a young age. However, by the age of 18 you are suppose to know the answer to this question so you can set forth on a path towards your future career. No pressure!
At the age of 4, my answer to this question was Teacher. Over the years of growth, and watching J. Lo fall in love with Matthew McConaughey one too many times, I landed on Wedding/Event Planner by the age of 18. This plan followed me through college despite my attempt at changing majors to Photography for a semester. - No one told me that the years of doodling hearts and flowers wouldn't get me through the prerequisite drawing classes. - Yet, fresh out of college I had no idea where to turn to for a job. This landed me in a career as a nanny while I sorted through what to do. With time I found a job as an assistant to a Wedding Coordinator...perfect, or so I thought! While I enjoyed the experience I quickly realized two things. First, I did not want to spend my life working weekends. I really wish J. Lo had reminded me of the obvious, but easily forgotten fact that most events take place on the weekend. Second, I hate the stress of making someone's perfect day perfect! Now, J.Lo definitely showed me this one, but frankly she was better at handling the stress than I was. After being left with these realizations, I resorted to Plan B and worked my way into events outside of weddings. When I found myself working for a nightclub as their Marketing Director, which included planning their events, I began to question the path my life was headed down. It took one week of my boss requiring I spend my days selecting Halloween costumes at Fascinations, a local sex shop, with the "models" who would be working the event. Shortly after, I left this job and found my way into Sales for a large chain of gyms in Colorado. Again, I was left with knowing this was not the right spot for me because, frankly, I hated convincing people to buy stuff. Especially a gym membership that was over $100. I just wanted to send them down the street to 24Hour Fitness where they could get a membership for half the cost. This ultimately led me back to my reliable job as a nanny. A career that I loved, but felt guilty to be settling into. There was, and is, such a stigma around that career not being a good enough path to stay in. Through my own insecurities and desire to chase after more, I eventually landed in a career as a Personal Trainer. While again, I loved this position it too had it's downfalls. Due to the need for consistency, health insurance, and the desire to combine many passions, I eventually became a High School Physical Education Teacher. Don't worry there won't be a test later on how many jobs I've held! In all transparency, there have even been more. At one point, I worked as a Nanny, Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Marketing Director for a healthy food/meal prep business all at once. Glad to be past those days!
Now on paper my path looks like a mess. Many jobs don't fully tie together and this leaves me looking just a little indecisive. - Side note...if you ever need help making a messy resume look cohesive or how best to explain many job changes in an interview let me know. I have become an expert over the years. :) - What a piece of paper fails to show is how each one of these jobs and every decision led to the next. Even if I dig back into my college days, decisions were made that shaped my future occupation and path. For example, my decision to start CrossFit led to a passion in fitness I never knew I had. This played a large role in my path and still effects decisions I make today.
What I am getting at is that in the midst of finding jobs and figuring out our path it all can seem messy. We can feel like we are screwing it all up because we did not have a straight path from 4 years old until working our way up the corporate ladder. If you stop though and take a look at the journey your life has gone down, in work and in life, my guess is that everything has served a purpose. It may not have remained in your journey, but it was there for a reason. These are the seasons of your life. It's important to not beat yourself up over something not going the way you thought it would or not liking where you are currently are in your career, or in life. Instead step back and analyze why you might be where you are. Then own it! Embrace the struggles, the times of unknown and the wrong turns because each of those have molded and shaped you. Heck, I am still trying to figure out what God wants from my life at 30. What I do know is that the journey thus far has been hard and confusing, but has made be appreciate each destination that much more. I look forward to what's to come! And just remember, old things have to die off so new things can bloom!