When I was a little girl, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Rich.
I wanted to be a doctor or maybe a lawyer and be married to someone equally successful. Someone I would likely meet while in college. I wanted a big beautiful house, 2.5 kids, and the latest model luxury car. All by 25. I mean I was a smart girl. Precocious even.
By the time I was a teenager I held a steady place at the top of my classes, graduating 5th from my high class with little to no effort. I was easily accepted into any college I applied to. Somewhere in the midst of my being a shoe in for successful future, life began to happen.
I lost my dad at 16. A disagreement on where I should attend college led me to sit out a semester and start college in the spring instead of the fall. I must have changed my major nearly every semester.
I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I knew and still know so many people that need psychological help. I was a depressed child and I wanted to work with children facing anxiety, depression, and abuse. Then again everyone kept telling me, you're smart, you should be a doctor. I love reading the things you write, you should go into journalism. Be a nurse. There's always a shortage of nursing and they make pretty good money.
Honestly no one I knew was all that successful. The ones that had a life even close to the one I planned to live were teachers and I definitely didn't want to be a teacher. Nurses were needed everywhere and I wouldn't have to worry about finding a job. Nurses made pretty good money, so I started with a major in nursing. That also appeased my family. They were excited about me becoming a nurse.
By the 3rd semester I had changed my major to psychology. Everybody's a psychology major right? I was no exception. Yes I still had a passion for writing but I didn't want to feel like it was a job. Something I had to do even when I didn't feel like it, which happens often. And what would people say? You're going to school to write? Don't you already know how to write? Writers don't make any money. Haven't you heard of a starving artists?
I went from one college to another as a psychology major. After going through academic probation and suspension and having multiple issues with financial aid, I ultimately left college. I worked two months at a lawnmower factory and a couple months after my 24th birthday I enrolled in a nursing program at the local tech school.
Fast forward 8 years, they were right, I've never had trouble finding a nursing job. Although, I feel unfulfilled at times and usually have to drag myself in to work. Whatever job I have usually gets old quickly and I start looking for the next. I've been in and out of school attempting to further my nursing career before changing my major back to psychology.
Honestly I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I love writing and have completed 3 books in the past few years. I love it and if I could have any amount of success doing something that I actually get excited about, I will have achieved enormous success.
Sometimes I want to quit the mundane rat race and do what I love. Then I have to remember that love doesn't pay the bills. Loving something isn't always enough. On the other hand, I have a job making more than I ever have yet I have moved back in with my mother. A place I fought to escape for half my life. If someone would have told me when I was 16 that at 30 I would be living at home with my mom I would have slapped them silly if not taken them to have a mental evaluation.
This isn't the life I pictured. I strongly believe that failing to plan in my case was a plan for failure. I didn't know in particular what I wanted only what I did not want. I realize that it's not too late. I still have time to achieve the success that I dreamed of having. The realization that life wouldn't be a fairy tale took the wind out of me.
I've spent too much time being disappointed and downtrodden and far too little time pursuing my goals. Too much time regretting and not enough time correcting. I vow to never settle again. To push through to my dreams and annihilate any force that attempts to disrupt me.
I challenge each of you to do the same. In the words of Kanye West, "You can still be who you wish you is." Go after if and don't stop.