Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lessons :: What if Your Dream Isn't a Job?

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We've been taught by society how to live our lives since birth.

Your parents put you in pre-school first, right? Then you start elementary school, and go on to middle and high. After that, you're supposed to attend college, get a job, marriage and kids. And then you work work work until you retire... and die.

That sounds pretty fucking boring, if you ask me.

I've always wanted an exciting life. I've always wanted to do big things, go big places. I've always wanted to be fulfilled and satisfied at the end of my days, knowing that I'd spent every moment on something worthy of my time. I've always wanted my years to be bursting at the seams with stories so that I could write them down, pass them on. I've always wanted to love and laugh and live. Loudly, of course.

But when we stray from the path that's been expected of us -- when we do something different, or challenging, or out of order -- it's looked upon as bad. People get confused. We feel guilty.

These "weird" things could be stuff like:
Moving away from the small town you've always known.
Going to college for a degree you enjoy, instead of something more profitable.
Getting pregnant before marriage, and deciding to keep and raise the baby.
Leaving a secure, corporate career to start your own creative business.
Valuing people and passion more than profession.

Sound familiar?

Charlie of the Female Photographer Association writes, "I grew up financially poor. My mum worked herself to the bone to support us. I learned money was a source of stress, worry. That it was ultra-important to get a 'good job' and stick to it and basically, become a slave to the 9-5 because that is what kept you safe. I also learned almost nothing about how to handle money. So in my twenties I blew whatever money I had, because I was afraid of it. I didn't understand that money could be an amazing pleasure, even though I was always desperate to have more of it."

We're taught that our paycheck is so important that it scares us. It stops us from making decisions that could actually make us happier and maybe even bring in more money. It stops us from doing what we WANT to do and pushes us to do what we think we SHOULD. But do you really imagine yourself on your deathbed thinking, "I'm so glad that I conformed to society and didn't follow my heart"?

I hope not.

I hope that, instead, you see yourself being glad that you decided to be yourself.

I hope that you're never afraid to ask for help, or guidance, or coaching, or advice.

I hope that you'd rather try and fail and learn and try again than not try at all.

I hope that you go for your dream -- even if it's not a dream job.

*Photo found here.
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