Thursday, April 29, 2010

I want to be a Cowgirl

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.

Game on.


  1. Well one thing you are clearly extremely talented at is writing! I love your voice in these posts. You've had a blog for like 5 minutes and it is already one of my favorites. Honestly, to be articulate is one talent I am screaming and kicking I don't have!

  2. I agree with Catherine. You are a GREAT writer. Maybe a job as professional blogger, eh? There are times that I am with you on not having a clear talent. It's funny that you blogged about this because during our quiet time at the camp out I made a list of things I've always wanted to be/do. I've had this top 5 list since I started college. I'll share it with you, but you can't laugh. ;) 1. the next Katie Couric, 2. work at Sea World 3. FBI Agent and go undercover as a Mob wife 4. Soap Opera actress (i don't all) 5. PR for the Yankees. I had to add a 6th because I truly love my current job (personal trainer), even though it was not in my original plan. Gosh, sorry that was so long. I could go on, but I'll stop. You get the point!

  3. Did you pluck these thoughts from my mind?! We're sisters in this feeling of being lost in a sea of possibilities, unable to discover the one thing that makes us forget time and quiets the noise. Or maybe that's just me... but you totally spoke to me here, Beth. The beautiful thing is that you DO know that you love to write for yourself, and you do it well. I think you're there. Follow it wherever it takes you.

  4. Great post Beth. I have to admit though, that I struggle with the same issues. Daily. I've been lucky to find a career that I love, but I'm constantly poking and prodding the walls of it to satiate my curiosity.

    I take on too many projects and then feel guilty when I choose to abandon one or allow it to wither way as my energy has shifted elsewhere.

    I have great respect for people who hone a single interest and build amazing careers, create outstanding pieces of art or achieve total happiness, but that isn't my path. Jaco of all trades, master of none, yes? Yes.

    Focusing on what makes you happy and keeps you interested is what life is about. I'm glad it's driven you to create this blog. In turn your writing has obviously sparked several of us to dig a bit deeper, so you've already accomplished a lot with your early steps.

    Plus fresh veggies are good.

  5. Wow Beth. I actually feel the exact same way you do. I've had a nice career, but I feel like I'm just now starting on the same journey as you are. How do I dig deep and really create something that matters, that I'm passionate about, rather than just resting on my laurels. And how do I shift my focus from the fear of failing/succeeded/just being okay etc. to the excitement of discovery.
    And this blog...I have a feeling this blog is going to help me do exactly that. Girl, you said it before. Game on!