I received an email last week from one of my readers about being at a serious crossroads in her life, mainly in relation to her job. Her guttural descriptions regarding specifics facets of her life, those by which she felt so devastated and so confused- her relationship, her job, her hobbies- had me feeling so gutted; the pleasure of knowing that my blog was ‘bringing out someone’s inner feelings’ was totally inconsequential to me. I spent days mulling over what would be the most poignant response, until it hit me that I am not her therapist, nor do I know her on any level. Her long, descriptive email was in fact the best and most courageous first step she could possibly take in finding a new career, one that would be most suitable to her. It was in this moment that I realized that courage is comprised of so many different steps and parts; the innate courage she felt in writing me for my advice helped her answer so many of her own questions without her even knowing it; she was her own fountain of adroit information.
If we choose one particular topic- let’s say jobs- finding our place within them is rather tricky. I grew up in America, so the endemic that is choosing a University or a major/path by the age of 17 has become the norm, though it sounds quite premature. This decision is a big and formative one; the unfortunate truth is that most 16/17/18 year olds are too guileless in nature or too inexperienced in life to make a decision that will send them down the path that will be their career. Many countries send their 18-22 year olds to the army, and many people around the world take time to earn their keep, or to travel in order to find out who they are more deeply, before delving into the wonderful world of studies. It is no wonder that the aforementioned mendacious trap sucks people in and has them questioning their own abilities, talents, worth and desires by the mere age of 28- the age of this particular reader.
Rumination, in culmination with time, should be the two factors we consider when choosing a career path, a new job or even a university. But, as society has a serpentine-like way of making decisions for us, and as ‘man plans and god laughs’, the best we can do is to be courageous enough to harness and hone in on our talents and passions at as young an age as possible, solidifying ourselves to be as formed and strong in our beliefs as we can when the time comes to make career or job decisions, at any stage. Accepting the inability to “fight the system” leaves us with no option other than finding ourselves and our passions, to the best of our ever-changing ability. And, ignoring any clammer that may surround us from loved ones or friends, regarding our personal hobbies or talents or job choices will only thrust us further into highlighting these strengths, and will then serve us well if we are lost in choosing a new career, picking a major, or simply helping us in times of trouble.
As life can be intransigent, uncompromising at times, we have to find our own ways to ‘out serpentine the serpentine’; if our jobs leave us depressed and pulling out our hair, then we must muster up the courage to figure out which of our hobbies or talents may serve as replacements, whether temporarily or on even a more permanent basis. And, we have to accept that we must start over, at the beginning, at zero: life does not grant us the access to be the CMO of a large company if we decided yesterday that marketing is our new our path- we must work work work and then earn earn earn! We shan’t be afraid to dig deeper than the words written on our degree, for we are comprised of so many talents and passions and these may even replace what we originally planned for our lives. Courage takes steps, so start at ground zero and keep pushing… for the best awaits.