Tuesday, November 18, 2014
How I Realized I Had Realized My Dreams Without Even Realizing It
When I started at University at the tender age of 18, I was a determined kid. I had gotten into a school my guidance counselor had told me would be "shooting too high," and had decided I was going to become a marketing executive. I was on the path to make big bucks doing something I thought I'd love. (To that point, I had no practical experience in marketing, but it sounded like a good plan to me.)
Then, something devastating happened. Part way through school, I got slapped in the face with tuition costs, a family who made too much money for me to qualify for a cent of financial aid, but a family that was simultaneously incapable of helping me pay for school. This was not part of the plan. I did the only thing I could do: I withdrew.
I felt like a failure. I was a college drop out. I wouldn't have a big career with big money or a big house. I didn't know what I'd have. At that point, I had nothing.
I always say that in retrospect, it was an amazing thing. I reevaluated what I could afford to study, and discovered a field I loved in languages. I wake up every morning looking forward to going to work, even on the days when I know my job will be a challenge. I absolutely love doing what I do.
But there's still an tinge of resentment that I couldn't pursue the education I was brought up to think was normal and a given.
While I was still in school as a non-traditional student, our family hit a little bit of a rough patch as I took some time off work to finish my degree and take care of my children. I was hustling to find creative ways to save and earn. When I discovered those avenues of revenue, I'd get excited and want to tell everyone about them. No one in my personal life cared. But I had to share them with someone, thus a blog was born.
I've been at it for three years, but wasn't until a couple of months ago that something hit me. I was writing an advertorial post for a service I loved. I was tweeting it. I was pinning it. I got it up on Google+. Other people viewed it. Other people shared it. That's when I realized: I'm in marketing.
Sure, I don't have that expensive degree. I don't make a six-digit income from blog advertising. But I've built a platform to reach people that others want to utilize. It's not that big of deal; other bloggers do it everyday, and many have done it much faster than I. But for me, what started as an outlet and a way to help others morphed into the achievement of a dream I had long ago abandoned.
Our passions have a funny way of creeping up throughout our lives. Our lives have a funny way of giving us what we desire. Though the path may wind and twist and layer over with fog, there are moments of beautiful serendipity along the way. If there's a dream you've abandoned, do not mourn it. If there's some resentment you're holding onto, let it go. You may still get that thing you want out of life. It just may come in an unexpected form a little bit further down the road.