On September 1, 2013 I decided the answer to the question; “What’s Next?”
Since that time I’ve continued to work 40-50 hours a week at my day job – ever striving to do the best work I can because that’s just who I am.
When I get home at night, I dive into my “What’s Next?” projects. I spend hours writing, editing video and photos, seeking out new opportunities, building a small handmade business, learning new skills, and traveling places far and wide to seek inspiration. Fill all that in on top of having a wonderful dog to care for, spending quality time with my wonderful husband, taking care of our house, cooking, and attempting to keep my health at bare minimum level to continue functioning. Oh and sleep – something I’m continually trying to get more of.
It’s not easy and don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that following your dreams will be glamorous.
But even now, before I can plant any kind of “success” flag in the ground, I can tell you it’s worth it and I wouldn’t change it. I'd rather be working hard towards making my dreams happen every day of my life than coasting along and never reaching for those dreams.
I wouldn’t change the five years I spent throwing myself into studying international security. I wouldn’t change the past seven years of my day job career in emergency management, my experience being deployed to support Hurricane Sandy, or all the frustrations that come with the red tape of bureaucracy in government service.
All of these experiences have led me to where I am now: turning 30 and working as hard as I can to see my vision for “What’s Next?” come true.
Through all that time I’ve acquired new skills, courage, and found myself coming back to long time passions like videography and sewing. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that I don’t have to follow any rulebook, map, or standard. There’s no reason to not pursue anything one wants as life is far to short to live based upon a single construct or way of doing things. If there’s anything I’m constantly reminding myself of as I enter this new decade – it’s to never get stuck on any single way of thinking. “Right” is a relative term as far as choices and decisions go.
I know I’m not alone out there and that’s why I wanted to share this part of my journey with you. It’s okay to realize that what you’ve spent the last decade (or more) of your life working towards isn’t the path you want to continue down. At the same time, not all of us want to sell all our possessions and move into a parent’s basement to start fresh - and that's totally okay! Sometimes, getting where you want to go in life simply requires ridiculous amounts of hard work, persistence, and a belief that you can build something better for yourself and your family.
So today, I enter my 30's while in the trenches of "What's next?" - and I'm positive it's going to be my most fantastic decade yet.