Before I take this topic head on, I wanted to share the new piece that greets you when you visit the home page to my blog:
The what-ifs, ands, buts, and whys start when you’re only learning to talk. They’re seemingly irritating, at times just redundant and unnecessary, but those who continue to question the world and all of its inexplicable phenomena are those who will forever grow, forever live on, and forever inspire.
I am not afraid to speak my mind, to question the things I do not know or have trouble understanding. I do not coward at the consequence of curiosity, for it did kill the cat, but what is this life worth if you cannot live on even after you are really gone? Take the risk everyone else is hesitant to take and discover things no one else yet has.
A majority of my audience is about my age, but finding your purpose does not come with an expiration date. Everything you do in this life will have an effect on someone else’s even after you are gone. Maybe you’re a terrible person who’s purpose was to cause pain and havoc to inspire the next Martin Luther King Jr. or to spark emotions so bold you birth another brilliant artist like Ray Charles. Maybe you’re a great person…or maybe you’re just a decent one. Regardless…
Ask yourself these questions, because your responses will open your eyes just enough to understand my stance with this piece:
-What is happiness to you?
-Are you happy?
-But are you really?
-What are you passionate about?
-Why are you afraid to turn that into a career?
-Why are you afraid to fail?
If you answered them all with “I don’t know”, then it’s time we figure it out.
I am NOT the God or a god, I am not a psychologist, a counselor, life coach, preacher, or parent. I am not even an insanely advanced intellectual with secrets to the world that I can share with you. So keep this in mind, but also remember each and every one of us goes through our own maze in life; we reach dead ends, stumble over lifted ground and mole holes, we face plant and eat dirt after tripping over our own two feet sometimes, but the diversity of our journies provide us all with something valuable to give to the world: our stories, our experience, and our advice.
That is all I can give.
So here it is:
1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, screw typing.
2.Write down all the things YOU enjoy doing/ all the things that make you happy. (Your passions)
3. Circle all the items on your list that YOU wouldn’t mind turning into a career one day, whether it was in your plans prior to this or not.
4. Make a separate list of the career options your parents or someone else lined up for you, and the options society pressured you into believing you had to have because it was a “safe and secure” choice.
5. Stare at the lists and analyze how drastically they vary if they vary much at all.
6. Write down where you see yourself in 5-10 years. Studio in NY? Tour? Travel? Retirement? Then write down where everyone else is expecting to see you in 5-10 years. Still in school? 3 kids and a position at a prestigious law firm? Married?
The point of these lists is to visually see how different YOUR life will be/ is because of the variables you allow others to control. It is entirely understandable we do not want to be looked down on for failing if we took the road less traveled, and of course, we wouldn’t want to disappoint the people who raised us and so intricately designed the plan that is now destined to be our future. But until you realize whom your life belongs to, you’re trapped living someone else’s.
I do not believe we will come back in a different body, with a fresh setting, and a new chance, but that is merely my belief. You possibly believe we work our way up and down this ladder of social hierarchy depending on the decisions we make in each life, but regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree, one life, or a thousand, we want to make each count.
I know a single dad who works two jobs, I know a father of 4 who grocery shops, works, etc. off of 2-5 hours of sleep most nights. I know mothers trying to play both parents, raise respectable people, and sacrifice things as crucial as their basic health to go the extra mile of bettering their children’s lives. I’ve shaken hands with 15-year-olds with gray hairs, bags under their eyes, and book bags half their weight slung across their backs who smile and greet you and ask about YOUR day when not one person has offered to even listen to how their days going, let alone carry their books or something.
POINT BEING: we are toe to toe each day with miserable people who wake up and go to bed each day and night with regret and questions. “What if…?How come…? Why…?”
What if you would have gone to the school of YOUR dreams and not theirs?
What if you would have taken that offer across the globe?
How come you’re not proud of what you do for a living?
How come following everyone else’s wishes and demands didn’t make you happy?
Why didn’t you do what YOU wanted to do?
Why are you so afraid to fail?
Finding your passion in this world is a journey one cannot simply be guided by the hand to complete. You have to roll up your own sleeves, wipe your own tears, listen to your own cries, and dust yourself off. Pressure is everywhere: to buy this product, take this class, attend this school, wear these brands, but why in the good Lord’s name would you want to live the rest of your life in conformity? We now live in a world with more freedoms than ever before, and though we are a long way from perfect, we can still grab each day by the throat and make what we want of it…WE HAVE THAT POWER, WE ARE REGAINING OUR NATURAL BORN FREEDOMS.
If you have never played the clarinet before, there is a high chance you’re going to sound like garbage before you sound good, and the same percentages can be used for every step we take in this life. If you’ve never been to college, if you’ve never taken that exam, flown that plane, driven on a freeway, moved across state, traveled the world, told Billy how you feel, or corrected the teacher’s mistake, then of course we won’t know what’s going to happen, how to exactly handle the situation/ respond to it, or know how hard it actually is, but we learned to walk, talk, read, and write. Human beings are amazing creatures with so much to offer one another. We have so many capabilities and powers that we discover every waking second, and to let them rot in the back of the fridge because you’re afraid to try “it” is one of the most upsetting experiences. In other words, letting an opportunity go to waste is like letting fruit fully decay; now you can’t enjoy the fruit. At least if you took the opportunity…even if you failed…you got experience, you gained knowledge, you now have some of the world’s most scarce advice.
We learn from the mistakes of others, so when we make new mistakes, we’ve just created a gateway for others. So, do not make the same mistakes of missed opportunities, following someone else’s dreams, and living a life that isn’t your own. Try accepting more opportunity and living a life you chose, and any mistake you make from there on will be one worth while.