(Disclaimer: I don't often write super personal posts like this about my feelings, my dreams, and my insecurities. Please be kind.)
In many, many ways, I am so lucky. I have a family who supports me in any crazy thing I do, an amazing guy who loves me and accepts me for all my wackiness, a faith that has gotten me through so much, a house that may be tiny but is safe and comfortable and cute and all mine, a car that works, and a job. I have more than most people on this planet can ever hope to have. I am fully aware of this and eternally grateful. Nevertheless, I constantly feel as if I'm wasting my life, wasting my younger years, wasting whatever talent I may have, wasting a degree that both my family and I sacrificed so much for me to able to get.
I have dreams and things I want to do and visions for how I want my life to be, but I feel like I haven't figured out how to make it happen yet. I'm constantly plugging away: writing, working, creating, applying for opportunities, but the breaks seem few and far between. A lot of times, I feel too old, like I missed the boat and there's no way to get on it.
A few months back, I commented on a post by Grease + Glamour about people who won't give up on their dreams. She took the time to respond to my comment and in many ways, her response has been the fuel to my fire to keep going, to not give up, to keep trying to do this....
I have a degree in the arts (technical theatre major with a minor in art history, specifically). I've always been artistic, so it was always assumed I would get a degree in something along those lines. I came up through school during the boom, when we were taught we could be anything we wanted to be. The popular wisdom at the time was to get a degree in something that interests you; the fact that you have a degree and the skills you learned along the way will be enough to get you a job, even if you have a medieval studies degree with a minor in French, it'll be fine. Except the market crashed and it wasn't fine. I had a few good jobs right out of college, but then I got injured on the job in 2008 and all of a sudden, I found myself unemployed in one of the worst job markets in history. And it sucked. In a lot of ways, I never really recovered. I've worked in theme park entertainment for the past few years. It's work, mostly in my field, but I make terrible money and I'm not even remotely passionate about it. I try to market the skills that I've picked up along the way to new opportunities, but thus far, no dice.
After I lost my job, I started an Etsy shop. It was the start of a dream of being self employed and being able to spend all day doing what I love. I love getting to see the weddings of brides and grooms that I've worked with on orders. I've put a lot into trying to make my shop something that I could potentially quit my day job on. While it may never happen like that, handmade and self employment have become my passion.
|Boutonnière from my shop, Fuzzy Rose|
My new project has become this blog. I'm constantly working to improve it and it has come so far in the past year, but there is still so far to go! (My current project, getting a self-hosted domain, is long overdue. Any recommendations?) Despite all the progress that I've made, I still feel as I'm missing something major. Is there some training that I'm missing? Just pure luck? What do you do when you try so many things and can't find that success? The drudgery of the day closes in on me and I know that I need to make a change, but how?
I don't have the answers right now, but as I constantly strive towards bettering myself, my hope is that I will find at least a few of them along the way. I worry sometimes that I'm not ambitious enough, since my goals seem to be contentment and peace. Do people like me find their path?
I don't often write such personal posts and in many ways this was just stream of consciousness, so this is a little uncomfortable for me and I hope it doesn't come across as complaining. I hope that something that I have to say strikes a chord with someone else, as it is not an easy path we've chosen! Gentle feedback is also welcome! I'll be back tomorrow with a Travel Tuesday post!