Monday, October 13, 2014

Big Dreams from Small Beginnings: Part 2

You probably remember that I kind of left you hanging at the end of part one. I hinted to being unhappy in my current circumstances in life, so an explanation of "why" is needed, of course.

If I were to sit down and come up with an equation that results in the "American dream," it would roughly look something like this:

Honor Roll + Extracurricular Activities + Scholarships + College + Perfect Internship + Steady Job + Health Insurance + Marriage at a Semi-Early Age + Children + Beautiful House + White Picket Fence = Fulfillment

I don't write that to be cynical, or even mildly sarcastic. I write it, because that is the system that we have all, at some point or another, believed to be the golden pathway to a happy life. Hey, I will even be the first to admit that there is some truth behind it. I have accomplished many of those factors, and I'm proud of the accomplishments. And...I still do want to accomplish some of the remaining factors. My point is though, that there is no perfect combination to achieving contentment in your life. These things can be interchangeable. Not everyone is meant to go to college. Not everyone wants to get married. Children are out of the question for some people. What I'm trying to say is...you have to formulate your OWN equation.

For me, the above equation falls apart around the steady job component. By the end of college, I had myself "believing" that I wanted to be a Social Studies teacher. It took me all of a month or two to realize that is definitely not something I am being called to do...at this point in my life anyway. Therefore, that is a path that was never pursued, and probably never will be.

After graduation, I stayed in Tallahassee to work the part-time job I had held through college until I could "find something else." It was a starter job that many would have loved to have. I worked as a administrative secretary for a state government agency. But...a part-time job doesn't pay the bills, or provide that coveted health insurance I mentioned earlier. So, in a bit of a panic, I began to apply to whatever full-time, typical office job that I was halfway qualified for. A few weeks later, I was offered a position as a Research Assistant at the same agency I was already working for. And of course, I snatched it up. Three months into the job...I was miserable.

I stayed in that position for almost two years, because I am not the type of person who is going to up and quit because I "don't like it." I didn't have any type of financial cushion to fall back on. I didn't have any type of direction for what I would do if I wasn't in that job. There were aspects of the job that I liked...my co-workers were amazing, and I do enjoy the organization aspect of office work. But, for lack of a better word, I stayed because I was "stuck."

A few months ago, out of desperation for something new and different, I accepted a job outside of state government as a customer service representative at a local company. For a few weeks, it satisfied that feeling of discontent with my job that I had been suffering. However...almost five months into the new job, I am feeling much like I was at the last one. I love the people and I enjoy staying busy with the work...but the 8AM to 5PM office life makes me feel like I am suffocating. And...I'm still stuck.

At this point, I've realized one major thing about the "career" aspect of my life: I want my job to consist of the things that I love. I want to write, and create, and travel, and inspire others to do the same. And even thought I'm only 25-years-old, I still have this fear that it's too late for me to make that dream a reality. I'm afraid that I'm going to wake up one morning, another 25-years from now, and think...Miranda, why didn't you publish that novel? or Why did you waste your life doing things that did not help you grow and develop into the person you were supposed to be?

Those are the types of questions that this blog, that this journey, is supposed to help avoid. With a lot of drive, encouragement, and motivation...that goal will easily be met. We all have stories to tell, and we also have the stories that we want to be able to tell. I have shared my past, and given you an idea of what I want in the future. Now I have to ask, what is your story? Where are you now? How did you get there? Where do you dream of being?

Take some time to think about those things. You may surprise yourself with the answers.

-Miranda

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