Everyone has to get there sometime. You know, figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. I never questioned it as a child in school when the teachers kept asking “so what do you want to be, Amanda?” You pick what sounds fun without the constraints of adult questions like “can I make money at that?”
But as an adult, I shake my head at how limiting, and how stressful that question can be to kids like me who were soaking everything up like a sponge. I could tell you for days what I didn’t want to be growing up, but couldn’t begin to think of what I actually wanted to spend my life doing because there were so many choices! And what if I picked the wrong thing?
You don’t know what you could be doing, what you should be doing, until you’ve got some time under your belt, a colorful display of big fat mistakes, a healthy dose of awe and excitement, and – most importantly – the stories of people you’ve helped by giving of yourself, your talents, your time.
Here’s one thing – the thing – that I’ve learned that has helped me beyond anything else. That is this: you are on a journey. The footsteps behind you have led you where you are today. The experiences so far on your journey have helped shape you into the person you are to make you uniquely you. YOU have a special set of talents that no one else has and are meant to do something great.
You are not, however, locked into a fixed direction with your next step. Take your talents and your passions and your experiences and think about how you can use those to make the biggest impact on the world. Surround yourself with people who build you up, challenge you, and make you a better person. Listen to your inner voice more instead of to the people around you whose opinions of you don’t define who you are.
If you need some more inspiration, I’ll leave you with you from one of my favorite movies, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” – Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay