What do you want to be when you grow up? Fireman. Teacher. Veterinarian. Football player. Astronaut. Singer. No, not singer, “ only a few makes are successful singing ”.
As soon as we start school, we learn that we have to choose a profession. We learn that, eventually, we’ll have to choose what we want to do for the rest of our life. We learn, that to win at life, we’ll have to get great grades, go to college, study hard, be accepted at University, study harder, graduate, and then… And then what? Have a career.
A career seems to be the ultimate life goal, the ultimate path to be successful, make money and be happy. This five letters word that everyone is frantically trying to spell all the time. But, what if HAPPY was spelled slightly differently from one person to another?
I never really thought in terms of happiness when I was younger. I was thinking more in terms of, I don’t know, practicality? I thought that it was quite simple, what I was good at was going to be my career path. That’s it. At a certain point, during my bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing, I could see myself as head of the marketing department of a huge and highly fashionable clothing company, because, this is what you do with that kind of degree, right? This thought was making me slightly nauseous. But, it’s normal, when you think about your ultimate career goal, right?
Nah, I don’t think so.
See, I never felt excited about fashion marketing. I floated through the three years of my bachelor without a care in the world. Sure, my grades were good enough, but it certainly wasn’t because I was putting all my energy, all my efforts into it. It’s just because I am good at retaining information and spitting it out on a piece of paper. It wasn’t sprouting from a heartfelt, genuine place. It was just me, finishing a degree to jump into a career and earn an income to live a good life. Like everyone else.
(But I am not everyone else.)
I think that career is a very tricky term. It is cold and plain and lifeless and beige. And I want fireworks and warmth and magic and brightness. I want to make a difference. I want passion and excitement. I want to feel it. I don’t want a career, I want a PURPOSE.
Maybe these are words they should talk about more in school ; passion and purpose instead of success and career. Can you believe that, in Australia, it is quite common for high school graduates to take a year off before college to try to find what they want to do? Where I grew up, people who do that are “ weirdos ” and “ hippies ” and “ dropouts ”. Because, everyone knows that if you stop studying, you’ll get caught up in a “ below average ” job and never go back to school. Right?
Would that be so terrible?
I think we should stop putting pressure on kids and on ourselves to find the perfect american-dream-like career path, because IT IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO HAPPINESS. It might work wonderfully for some, but it should not be the mold in which we throw everyone. It is ok to take a narrow turn on the way. It is ok to go back to school past thirty. It is ok to pursue multiple passions and interests. The key to happiness doesn’t automatically hide in an office with a window-with-a-view in an important building in an important city. It doesn’t necessarily hide in a six figures salary and a huge lake house.
Not being allowed to work for the past few years has been a true turning point for me. It has allowed me to stop letting my body float through life without destination, only moved by what my environment was pushing me towards and start LIVING. Truly living. I found passion, excitement, magic, brightness… and so much more. I shoveled deep into my heart to dig up what really makes my soul vibrate. And that’s what I want to do with my life. Not a career.
So, if you find yourself stuck into the tornado that life is and feel like you have no grip, no anchorage, ask yourself this question : Am I happy? If the answer is no, do whatever it takes to change that. It doesn’t matter what people might say. What matters is what YOU think of YOURSELF in this moment. Life is short and it is meant to be lived OUT LOUD, as the wonderfully magical human beings we all are.
I really want to know, what are you passionate about? What lights your soul on fire?