Earlier in the week I posted a topic on my Facebook page asking “If you could’ve had any career in the world, what would it have been?” I’ve always fantasized about being a writer, specifically a fiction novelist. I imagine myself being able to go anywhere with my laptop and just write. I would spend the day at the beach writing or traveling to foreign countries, sitting in a coffee shop taping away at some amazing tale. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? Now let’s be honest, I’m sure most writers would tell you that it’s not quite that glamorous, and that writing anywhere probably leads to a lot of distractions and encourages writers block. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming of a creative existence and being paid for it. I even started a novel over ten years ago, fully outlined the story and got about four chapters in, before I decided I don’t write very well. What I mean by that is I haven’t developed my creative writing skills, so even though I might be able to write, I am not convinced you would find the story interesting enough to read. The truth is it doesn’t really matter if it was well written or if anyone would want to read it, what matters is finishing it, just to say I did.
My Facebook post got quite a few responses, some serious and a few silly (mostly from my nieces). But surprisingly only about three people said they were in the career of their dreams. One friend even said she went back to school to become a nurse, her dream job, when she was 50. It surprised me that so many people did not follow a path to their dream job. I suppose life gets in the way, we are all raised to hurry up go to school and start a career, so we can take care of ourselves. But how many people really knew what they wanted to do when they first went to college at 18. And what if you didn’t go to college right away? Maybe you got a pretty good job out of high school, then you bought a car and rented apartment, so before you knew it you were trapped in that job because you couldn’t quit working to pursue your dreams. I consider myself very lucky that I sort of just fell into an awesome career and a job I really love. I’ve worked at the same place for 20 years and I still love it. I don’t mind going to the office and I love my coworkers. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be pretty awesome to make my own schedule, not work if I don’t feel like it, and leave for vacation on a whim with my laptop in hand, ready to write the next great American novel.
But guess what? You know what I’m doing right now? I’m writing. I’m writing in my backyard and laying in the sun. I might not be getting paid to do it, and I might not be in an exciting locale, but it still makes me feel accomplished and really happy. So if you aren’t doing what you love, find a way to incorporate a little bit of your dream job into your life. Carve out a little bit of time to pursue those dreams, it’s so fulfilling and can really change how you look at your life.