So - what do you want to be when you grow up? I'm not being snarky here, I promise. I really want to know. Because that question HAUNTS me.
My whole life I've been so jealous of people who had, from where I sat, clear talent. To me, if you had a god-given talent, you had a clear path in front of you. My sister (hi Chris!) was artistic from birth. Paintings she did at 4-years-old are still better than the ones I do today. And she went to art school and became this kick-ass, amazing fashion designer. She's REALLY good at what she does, and from what I can tell, seems to like it (maybe not the hours, but the work she seems to love). My brother was totally brainy and smart, and excelled at school, going on to Harvard Business School and starting his own business. Me - well, I was just kind of ok at a lot of stuff and didn't really gravitate in any particular direction. Except maybe towards anything weird that my parents would worry insanely about. Archaeology. Peace Corps. Living out of my car while driving aimlessly about the US. (Yeah, I wore patchouli. What's it to you?)
So now I'm an Account Manager at a social media company. Ummm...great? No, no, I should be fair. There are a lot of elements of my job that I really like and that play to my talents, and I do work for an awesome company with fantastic people. Now, is this job I have been at for years my dream? Do I wake up excited to get to work? Maybe not, but I'm here and its stable and its a good job and I'm reasonably happy and I can pay the bills and have health insurance......
This is the part where you call me out. ;-)
So what do I want to do? I like to spend time with friends. Write. Swim. Garden. Eat. Travel. Be healthy. I guess when I say I don't know what I want, that's a little wrong. I mean, I'd love to make a career as a writer. But not writing for the sake of it. I was a freelance writer for years and churned out boring stuff for other people - but it certainly didn't excite me. And in fact, made me do less of my own writing as a result. The writing I want to do? Novels, stuff like this blog....who knows what else. But certainly that's not a realistic career path to pursue! You can't do that for a LIVING!
Or can I?
I look at people like my good friend Elizabeth, who granted has an amazing, clear talent that she's been able to make into a career. But its not something that she hasn't worked her ass off for either. Heck, the lady has been touring with an infant for the past year! She's amazing! Then there's Martha, who has made a career out of metalwork since college. From working with other jewelers to working for blacksmiths to learn other aspects of metal, and now having her own studio - wow. And my friend Alex is completely passionate about design and usability and social media and not only does it for a day job, but also spends all his free time coordinating and attending events, blogging, keeping up on the industry - and yet he still finds time to kick back for beer and amazing meals with his lovely wife.
So first off - sorry for calling you guys out on the fly. But you AMAZE me and inspire me. So you'll have to deal with it. Maybe my talents aren't as clear as my sister's are, or as clear as any of these folks. But maybe I also haven't spent a ton of time figuring out what my talents and my passions are and where they intersect. Don't get me wrong - I've spent lots of time complaining about not having clear talents. But I'm not sure I've actually really stopped to try and figure out what I am best at and enjoy the most, and explore what I can actually make happen with those things. So this blog is one step forward. And I'm taking a writing seminar geared at finishing my book. I planted veggies.