One of the phrases I absolutely hate to hear people say is "Life short." I live with the expectation that life will be long and that I have the responsibility of not being miserable or limited in my plans. At least if it did turn out to be short, I have plenty to do.
Something I realize is that people often complain about everything wrong in their lives but in the same breath, they refuse to make any decisions to act on the hope of something better.
I hear several people talk about wanting to win the lottery, but they don't play the lottery. People complain about their jobs or how much they make but they won't apply for new positions or take on additional training.
Sometimes I find myself complaining and then I have to ask myself "what are you going to do about it?" Then, without fail, I start hearing Diana Ross in my head singing, "Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you?"
Well, to be honest my current answer is I don't like what life has shown me but I do know where I'm going to. Professionally this year, it hit me that although I'm great at my full time job managing a clothing business, I no longer feel challenged by it or that I am making a difference.
I have developed more and more interest in public service, but from the aspect of community involvement, sharing ideas, and supporting local businesses and charities that I care about. I want to grow by helping others to grow by discussing current events, personal development, and through daily reflection of myself and the world I live in. I love communication and media.
When I was in third grade, my teacher Mrs. Daniel's would give me time during class to report fake news (not Trump's version) that I made up at home during my free time. I used to watch this local reporter, Teresa Hamilton, on the news and wanted to do that.
By eighth grade I was writing for our middle school newspaper, and by senior year I was on the photojournalism team. I'm talented at photography.
I'm skilled at writing. I thrive at talking and I am a master at getting dressed (no need to bore my listeners).
So why am I currently devoting at least 40 hours of my week to a position and company that doesn't capitalize on any of those things, especially when my desired lifestyle is being infringed upon by those obligations?
The short answer? It is my fault. Sometimes we forget that some things are for a season and are only meant to be a bridge to the next place you are planted. You get to a point of having to squeeze in your true interests rather than building your entire day around them.
Much like an undergraduate may not know what they want to major in the first year of , a professional may not know they are in the wrong career sector until they are a few jobs in.
Getting your way in life starts with making a decision. The problem with some of us is we are taught that we only get one choice or one chance, when in fact, it takes multiple choices and multiple chances before we know what works.
The other problem is once we know what isn't working we have to find the courage to move in another direction. The only way to effectively do that is to believe you have to try because you have to know.
When you know that something currently isn't suiting you or you are no longer compatible, you must confront it and finish it so that you can effectively move forward with no baggage or reasons to wonder about staying put.
Dancing with the Stars former cohost Tom Bergeron said in a recent interview on The Stuttering John Podcast that, "We're done. We're done. That train has left the station" when asked about wanting to return.
When you get to the point of willingly letting go in order to make room for your next dream you can actually free up time in your life for more enjoyment in how you spend your time. You don't feel like you are missing anything.
No one wants to "side hustle" forever, especially me. The decision has been made to work harder on me than I work on my job until my job becomes the person I identify with within.
This is not to mean losing focus where I am, but rather being more intent with how I prioritize my energy and taking steps towards transition. We have to know, not wonder, where we are going or else life becomes regularly beating back frustration.
We then must become very careful about adding in too many "but"s that give us excuses to back out or doubt ourselves. We have to know the right people will show up to help and see what we need them to see.
Do you like the things that life is showing you? Do you know what you're hoping for and where you're going? Or are you just roaming and winging it every second of the day? Are you allowing your imagination to drive you into excitement for what may come?
Henry David Thoreau said, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." Well, don't you think you have to have to decide on a dream to start the direction? The future is closer than it appears.
Start hoping. Get started. You're waiting on you.