Silence the “what ifs”

Have you ever stared at your office wall and just stopped for a moment to wonder how you got there? Do you wonder if this was always how it was supposed to be? Did the months and years pass by in a blink of the eye and now you’re thinking about all of those intentions and dreams that got lost along the way? If not, then I’m happy that you’ve discovered what you’re fated for. If yes, then this is for you.

From our youth we’re taught that we need to decide almost immediately what we want to be when we grow up. Then, as we get a bit older we’re told to “be realistic” about our choices. We go to school for a degree that seems reasonable and gives us the feeling that we could have a stable future. We fall into jobs that we realize we’re “good” at- it’s comfortable and our career paths are clear with it. Comfortable, stable, and reasonable-  sure. But does it truly satisfy you or are you left wondering every so often if there is something more out there?

If you were given the chance to explore your interests and passions, what would you do?

Over the last year I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. I completed my degree in human resources and fought for positions in the field so I could make use of this degree. I’ve been in good situations, I’ve been in terrible ones, and I’ve been in unstable ones. I’ve worked ridiculous amount of hours, weekends, and holidays and I’ve been unemployed for months. After all these changes and my fight to make use of this degree, I had to stop and ask myself, “why?”

I took a degree in business because I wanted to be done with school in a reasonable amount of time, especially since I was working and could only take a few classes a semester. I had experience in administrative and business so taking a degree I had some experience and knowledge in seemed comfortable and I felt I could easily transition into that role. I also felt that it could offer me a stable future for a career. Comfortable, stable, and reasonable strikes again! Is this field all of those things? Perhaps. Is it going to fulfill my life in a way that will make me never wonder what else is out there? Not quite.

I got into this mentality that I needed to go this way because that would allow me to have a decent life and it was something I could count on. After working various roles in this type of work, I realized that it’s not what I thought it would be. All my good intentions of making a difference, protecting my employees, and giving people hope for a better future with a company were out of my reach. Quite honestly, most of the things I’ve done in the field have been quite boring. I haven’t gotten my hands in anything I intended to and even if I did, I’m not sure if anyone would have an open enough mind to make a change for the better.

I gave it a shot but I’m left wondering why? I know what really interests me and what my passions are so why didn’t I go after it from the beginning? Several reasons, really: society tells me that you can’t get a job without experience in it; some of these passions will not make an income unless I was one of the lucky ones; it does not easily allow me to get my life together for an established future. I’m not sure if those excuses are enough for me anymore.

I don’t want to live my life without getting a chance to explore what’s buried deep inside of me. I believe that we need to be true to ourselves and that we should work relentlessly towards the things we honestly want. I’d rather discover what is rather than live my life full of “what ifs.” If it turns out something I was passionate about isn’t right for me, then that’s fine. At least I tried, learned, and I can move on to something that is. I’d rather try, fight, and fail than be old and gray, urging my grandchildren to take the chances I never did. It will be a rough road, full of uncertainty, but it will be my choice. I will not fit into anyone else’s mold of what I should be.

Do not let your heart’s desire be silenced by what you think society expects you to be. The only expectation you should care about is the one you have of yourself. If you’re currently longing to discover what more could be out there for you then this is something you need to consider and pursue. I’m not telling you to go into work tomorrow and hand in your two weeks but I’m suggesting for you to take back your life and dreams. Start creating a plan of action. Follow through. And if you do, I hope you find what you’re searching for and that you never have to question if there’s something more out there again.

2 thoughts on “Silence the “what ifs”

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