Push, Pull

Lately, I've been thinking about things we want to do versus things we are supposed to do.
And I mean in a grand scheme. Not in terms of we want to eat ice cream, but we're supposed to eat dark greens.

This same theme has been recurring throughout different aspects of my daily life. I heard a dear blogger friend of mine refer to what career path she would have taken if she had it to do over, it has been a recurring theme on a few TV shows I've been watching, and it has been something that I long have struggled with.

I remember feeling so panic-stricken in high school because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. And the idea of following suit with every one else freaked me out. On many levels. The idea of locking myself into something for four years & then spend the rest of my life doing it freaked me out. I had done a work study with MBNA my senior year in high school - and corporate life scared the living piss out of me. I'm sorry, but nothing - and I mean nothing is scarier than corporate America. So, I knew that sitting behind a desk for 40 years was out of the question. I was constantly plagued with what it was I should be doing, what I wanted to do, what I was supposed to be doing (i.e. my "calling").

My grand desire - my ultimate life goal would have been to become a photographer with National Geographic (hardy-har-har - like that would ever happen). So, I settled on becoming a Marine Biologist. I spoke with a teacher at my high school who had worked within the field & he basically told me that the jobs were hard to get, funding was always a problem. In other words: pick something else. And then the realization that I would have to move away from a cancer that I was dating at the time - and I can call it a cancer now because I'm not in it - stopped me from pursuing the Marine thing.

I knew that I had something itching, screaming, fighting to get out. But whether or not I was ready to handle it, or just didn't have the extra support and confidence I needed to listen to these screams that were inside of me, I don't know. I just know that I was afraid. I was hiding. I was afraid of thinking that these things I wanted could be mine. I was afraid to show people how passionate I felt about issues, I was afraid to let people see how other people & their struggles would bring me to my knees. That kind of stuff wasn't cool.

I've lived aimlessly. I've wandered with the tides, but never roaming too far. I've tried many different jobs, I've had tons of life experience, I've been in & out of college. And never knew what it was exactly that I had to offer, where I would fit, because everything (almost) lit my fire.
Here I am, approaching my third decade and trying to pick up where I left off at 17. I now feel ready to listen to what I've been hearing inside my head for years. Sometimes, it's freakishly scary. And other times, it's frighteningly exciting. I can't wait to see what the road is ahead.

But the questions begin to arise about what I want vs. what is meant for me. Am I forcing something that I want, but not necessarily what is meant to be? And how do we listen for it? How do we know when we're pushing a bunch of useless boulders uphill with no progress or we're actually moving those mountains? Why is it so hard to stop, to listen, to hear, to see what the signs are that are right smack in front of our nose?
And then the trap of all traps: measuring ourselves against others - our peers.

I wish I knew the answers to the questions. I wish I had peace of mind.
I hope it's not too late for me - or any others out there. Who do feel a push, to give in to the pull, and find where it is they should be and......get there.

4 ripples in the pond:

deb said...

You're approaching your third decade! How old are you Tabba? Now I feel old, guess it explains why I think your dad is so cute.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm meant to do, maybe I'm already doing it and I just don't realize it.

You're not alone though in trying to figure it out.

Oh, The Joys said...

I have always been told that for career success, you should follow your passion/heart and if you do that, the money will follow.

The counselor's advice was crap. If you LOVED marine biology, then it would follow that you would likely always be the best candidate for jobs and funding.

Slackermommy said...

I'm constantly trying to figure things out. There is so much I want to do and such little time. I'm working on living in the moment because I'm wishing my life away.

Joker The Lurcher said...

i wanted to be a vet but i couldn't do maths so my stepmum said "you'll have to be a lawyer - you don't need maths for that!" which was rubbish advice as you do need maths but i have not been too bad as a lawyer.... at one job interview i was asked what path i saw my career following. i said i only wanted a job and had given up on a career years before and funnily enough i got the job.

so i suppose i am saying earn money how it is easiest and do the stuff that fulfills you anyway and if you can get paid for it so much the better!