This week’s weekly poll question (Would you rather have no idea what you want to do with your life OR know exactly what you want to do but are too scared to go after it?) was a tough one to answer. In the end, I chose the latter because I’ve been there, done that, and know I would push the fear away eventually.
It’s seriously agonizing though, being too afraid to pursue a career I knew I’d enjoy. Every day, I sat at work extremely unhappy knowing that I didn’t belong there. I even introduced myself by saying, “This is what I do during the day, but I really want to be a writer.” Truth was, I wasn’t doing anything to actually become a writer. This went on for years until I finally said, “Enough!” and created an exit strategy, which included writing for free and taking evening classes. Best career move I ever made… but it was the toughest one to make. It’s not a situation I ever want to put myself in ever again.
My friends and I recently had a conversation about what we would want to do for a living if we lost our current jobs, and I had absolutely no answer, which is beyond frightening to me (and even more disturbing considering what I do for a living). As such, I’ve thought about this subject, oh, almost every day and still have no clue. I have plenty of transferable skills and talents but I truly don’t know what kinds of companies I would want to work for or in what industries. I don’t even know what job titles appeal to me, despite having scanned the online classifieds. I like what I do (writing with a purpose), where I do it (close enough to home) and when (can’t beat the hours!), and it’s hard to imagine finding another Trifecta like that. The very idea of not knowing what I would want to do makes me feel very scared, anxious and uncomfortable.
At the very end of the day, if I found myself unemployed (knock on wood that I don’t), I think I’d just move and start completely over. New job, career, city, life… I’d have an adventure. All things happen for a reason, even if the reason isn’t clear at first. But you start discovering your path by making one solid decision and then going from there. For me, the real danger isn’t just not knowing what to do but not doing anything at all to help find the way.