Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finding My Way Back

I'll never forget a particular meeting a group of peers and I had with the head of student affairs at my alma mater... During this meeting, she told us that roughly 80%-85% of people are unhappy with their careers.  Many of us were in shock after hearing this.  I thought to myself, "Wow. The remaining 15%-20% have it made. I want to end up in that group, not the 80%-85% group."  Years later, I found myself slowly drifting closer and closer towards the 80%-85% group.  Once I found myself fully submergedI needed more than a white flag to save me.

Practicality lured me down this path.  Armed with good intentions, I thought I could make it work.  Honestly, I did.  But how can you when you're committing yourself to something that fails to hold your heart captive, no matter how hard or what you try?  I listened to the "wisdom" about going into a career (technology) that would provide a good living.  I was told that my dreams and what I wanted (a career in the arts/being a renaissance man) was lofty, unrealistic, and that I wouldn't/couldn't make  a living doing it.  So (unwillingly) I bought into to it.  It was a good lie for a few years.  But each time I got still, reality brought truth back home.

As I moved further away from my dreams, the more they haunted me.  I called this the true gift and curse about dreams, talents, and natural abilities.  The more you deny them, the stronger they become.  If you allow your dreams to die, a portion of you will die along with them.  As I found myself heading for crisis, my dreams were still very much alive.  I, however, was going deeper and deeper into denial.  I found myself saying, "There has to be another way.  There has to be.  Otherwise I want out."

Ever been in a situation that felt like a dream that you weren't supposed to be in?  You know, when everything (including the people) seems so unreal and untouchable and you don't quite fit?  That's how I felt.  It was the dream, a fantasy, that I should've awakened from sooner.  A fantasy that would eventually turn into a nightmare.  When the fantasy ended, so did my livelihood.

I was forced to get really real.  I had to find my way back to myself and all that I denied along the way.  Silly of me to believe the hype and allow external factors to influence decisions about my well-being and career.  Foolish of me to doubt myself and my talents and let my self-esteem and confidence suffer as a consequence.  How silly... So silly.

After years of neglecting yourself, you have to get back to you and heed your calling.  And that's what I've been doing.  While I know I've got a long way to go, it's not as long now that I've fully embraced me and all that I have to offer.

More to come!

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