Desperately Seeking Direction

NaBloPoMo November 2013

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

There are quite a few things I wouldn't mind changing about myself if I could, but I'm not going to waste the chance on something like the size of my feet or my obsessive compulsive type personality.  If my feet were smaller I'd buy a pair of oxfords that actually look decent with skinny jeans and if I weren't so OCD I'd stop wasting energy on anxiety over things like socks on the floor and dishes sitting overnight in the sink.  That would be nice, but I'd rather pick something a little more life changing.  If I had to pick just one, I'd say it's my lack of direction.  Even as a kid I had none.  Not that you are really supposed to as a child but when other kids were saying they wanted to be a a firemen or a princess I said nothing.

What do you want to be?  It's taken me years just to figure out what I'd want to dress up as for Halloween should I ever decide to again.  For the record, a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader because I used to be a cheerleader, the outfit is adorable and I'll never get to be one in real life.  I've always been aimless and clueless floating through life doing everything that I thought I was supposed to be doing but not really knowing why.  I got good grades in high school and then applied to college because that's what you are supposed to do.  I went to college, worked hard to get good grades and picked a major because that's what you are supposed to do.  I  graduated college and found a "real" job because that's what you are supposed to do. 

The only time I took any risk at all was when I quit said job after 8 years with nothing lined up.  One morning I woke up and decided that I could no longer do it anymore and put in my two weeks notice.  That job was literally crushing my soul.  Quitting is not what you are supposed to do when you are living alone with no one else to depend on, have bills to pay and have no clue where your next paycheck will come from.  Desperate times called for desperate measures and in that moment I did what I needed to do not what I was supposed to do.  It worked out though.  I was able to stay on at the company part time with hours I decided on and supplement my income with acting and modeling for 1 1/2 years.  Money was tight and rejection and failure stared me in the face every single day after but I look back on those days with a sense of pride and fondness.  It was a bold move to take the scary path but worth it because I was my own boss and I was out there pursuing my passion.  It was exhilarating.  I knew then, as I know now that had I not done that I would have had to live with the regret of not knowing.  I  took that chance so that I wouldn't have to. I wanted to be an actress and model and I was for that brief moment in time but then it was time to get back to reality.

Then what?  I continued on doing what you are supposed to do by finding a very stable predictable job with excellent benefits.  Do I have a passion for it?  No.  Do I hate it? No.  Does it pay the bills and keep me traveling and in a position to have some of the things I want in life? Yes.

There are so many careers out there.  Marketing, Real Estate, Sales, Manager.  I would love it if there was SOMETHING that I was actually interested in pursuing.  Ideally, something that could potentially pay well and a little bit more realistic then acting, modeling or author because you don't necessarily get to "pick" those as careers.  Without direction I have labeled myself as "not the career type" and there is nothing that drives me to earn more, do more or be more.  I am not an upwardly mobile professional in any way.  I am stagnant and yet I do nothing to change it because I have no direction as to what to do about it. 

noun: ambition; plural noun: ambitions
a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
"her ambition was to become a model"

By the way, I did not make up that ambition example.  It came directly from google.

I want to be that ambitious go getter or at the very least find a sense of fulfillment or drive in what I spend 40 hours a week doing but how can I find either one without direction?  That's the foundation of everything.  You can't go get it unless you know what you're going to get.  I've got all kinds of direction, passion and ambition when it comes to writing.  Perhaps it's not really fair to discount that in my assessment of myself but I have to because realistically, it's just another pipe dream until it isn't.  Not that it couldn't happen, but it's not something to be counted on.

I love it when a post takes on a life of it's own.  I didn't intend to talk about quitting my job so long ago, ambition or my secret desire to be a Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleader, but that's the beauty of writing.  It clears a path through your thoughts and you end up where you never expected when you begun.

I seek direction and if I could change one thing about myself it would be that.  The bad news is that I may never find it.  The good news is that I've come to a certain place of peace in my life that if I don't I'll be okay.  Arriving at this place of peace was a tough road and how I got here is an entirely other post.


Faith said...

Reading this I don't actually think you lack direction. I mean take example the 8 years you worked at that company and then decided it wasn't for you. That was you seeing direction because the easiest thing would have been to stay. And then you moved towards a industry that is so hard to get in. You wanted to act, you wanted to model so you did that. Now you're writing because you want to do that. You might be at a job you feel is safe but you've taken risk and right now it might just be what you need. Keep writing. You never know the day you wake up and feel that you need to do something else than work a 9-5.

Law_Fal said...

I feel like this all the time. If I could change anything about myself it would be to be more confident and brave enough to actually go out on faith & take risks.

EverythingDK said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and until today I never felt compelled to comment. TODAY this post was just everything because I too lack direction. No clue on what Im su ppose to do with my life and I'm not in a place yet where I'm at peace with that. But its nice to know that I'm not the only one out there that feels this way! Thank you for that!

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Once again you write something I could have written myself (minus the modeling and acting although I used to dream about it as well). As a kid I never had anything I dreamed about being when I grew up. I excelled in college but didn't really want to be there. Picked a major because I had to even though it was ridiculously hard for me to commit. And now I'm 7 years into a job that I like but don't love. I have all these far-fetched ideas of what I'd love to do, but they come in waves and usually fizzle out. Still waiting for my calling to slap me in the face. It feels good to know we aren't alone ya know?

Whitney @ EHFAR said...

I've been there numerous times where I quit a job without having another one lined up. I knew that some my call it stupid or careless, but it was worth the risk! My well-being was more important than being "abused" at my job and being taken advantaged of and bullied by upper management (even though I was following their policy). Other times, there was no room for advancement, so there was no reason for me to waste my time. With all the jobs I've had, I've never been passionate about it. I hated telling people where I worked, because a lot of times, my education and experience didn't equate to my job. Also, people tend to associate a job with your self-worth or how they define you. I don't believe that at all.

I always wanted to be an actress up until I was 21 years old. That was my plan. It was that or nothing. My interests and desires changed dozens of times since then. However, I think it is okay that people are unsure about what to do with their life. Sometimes I feel like I am bopping along sometimes, because I have and do things that aren't considered "normal."

Karla said...

Gosh I felt like I was reading my own writing. I kind of went through the motions in high school, college... always excelled and did great. I did what I was supposed to do. And I hated every single second of it. And then, I was on the search for a job and it has been incredibly difficult to find a teaching job when all schools are doing is letting their teachers go due to major budget cuts. Now, I nanny. And nannying has given me some flexibility and down time to figure out what I really want to do. Now I just need the balls to go out and do it. Ha.

Cece, I absolutely loved this. You are one heck of a writer. Really.

Whitney Cypert said...

Sometimes I swear you and I are the same person. Everything you just said is me. Except that I am not at peace with it at all. It is something I have struggled with forever! I guess that's why I changed my major 3 times and still havent decided what I want to do or need to do. I just kind of go with the flow and do what I'm supposed to like you said. Thanks for sharing this, I desperately needed to know that there was someone else out there experiencing the same! : )

Catherine Gacad said...

like you, i decided one day that i was going to quit my job with nothing else lined up. i hated it and knew i couldn't do it anymore and also knew that i would be fine in the end. it always does work out if you follow your heart. also, while i'm not passionate about my career, it is 'good enough' and i think that's totally fine as well. it pays the bills and allows me to have a great non-work life.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

uncertainty scares me but when it comes to protecting my soul...i would do it in a heartbeat...i wonder if ambition can develop and grow over time...i hope so for my sake because sometimes i feel like i am lacking in some areas!!!

Lauren said...

Until the modeling part, I could have written this! I went into college with one major, finished with another. Never quite found my niche. Now I work in an industry I like but am scared to see what else is out there and what else I could do. I think that finding direction is a great thing to focus on!

(Also I am dumb and now realizing that I have been here before so please ignore my comment in my email. I did say I have been away from blog world for a few days ;))

ffprncez said...

I also share your lack of direction. It has really halted me from taking chances and putting myself out there. There are SO many different things that I could see myself doing, but nothing ever sticks or I get distracted and change my mind....AGAIN. I do think you have an idea of what you want to do though. You like to write and you are working on your novel, so that is something. If I could change one thing in myself it would be how afraid I am of taking chances.

TayKat said...

This is an incredibly honest and thoughtful post. You're definitely not alone! I'm so envious that you had the guts to leave a job to pursue a dream. You're ability to take risks is something I always dream of!!

To add to your position on direction... a lot of people have direction, but realize the path isn't for them when they arrive. This is me and boy does it stink to find out you despise what you worked so hard to attain.

Christine said...

Love your honesty in this post! I think you speak on behalf of just about all of us! But just to throw this out there, I don't think that just because you feel directionless in your career means you lack ambition or direction in life. I think that for the VAST majority of people, even those that seem as though they must have had tons of ambition and direction to reach their current career, in the end a job is a job, you know? Some people like their's better than others, but most people don't live to work, instead we are all working to live. Maybe your ambition lies in your marriage or your relationships with friends and family, maybe it lies in your writing, or volunteer work, or whatever else you value most in your life. Ya know?

Deidre said...

I feel a little bit the same way. While I feel a deep drive to protect the environment, I'm not sure that it should be my career...I mean, let's face it - I've been trying and haven't been succeeding. I used to have a lot of ambition, but it wasn't ambition necessarily to GET me somewhere, it was just ambition to do the best I can...and I feel like i've even lost that.

Janna Renee said...

I feel like you and I are in a very similar situation! I want 'more' and a career, but nothing seems right yet! Grrr...