A friend of mine sent me the link to this article; why we don’t pursue our passions and how to move past that. I’ve kept the article open in its own tab on my laptop, have gone back and read it a few times. My friend recently resigned from a company where she’s worked for fifteen years. She wasn’t happy, has an idea of what she’d like to do professionally but no firm plans; she’s taking the first step by enrolling in a certification program in a field she’s interested in. She’s afraid, mostly of the financial impact, but trusts she made the right decision. I support her wholeheartedly, told her how excited I am for her, look forward to watching what comes next. She’s moving forward, toward something new. She doesn’t know what, I certainly don’t know, but I know she’s going to be okay.
After talking to my friend, reading and re-reading the seven reasons listed for not pursuing our passions I realize I am guilty of all of them; I’m stuck. I don’t know what it is I’m supposed to be pursuing, I’m afraid of failure, not being able to support myself, regretting my choices. Career-wise I’ve been working in the same industry for 30 plus years, I could probably do the same work for the next fifteen but I’m bored, uninspired, don’t want to.
“Picture yourself walking up a mountain,” my friend told me. “It’s dark and you only have a flashlight. You can’t see anything in front of you beyond the light of your flashlight but you’re going up. You have to.” The idea sounds invigorating, challenging, something I’d jump at. Yet, I’m stuck. I’m at the bottom of the mountain and haven’t moved. I’ve been networking, have made some connections, need to follow up on others. Maybe I’ve at least turned the flashlight on. Now I need to point it out, up, away and see what illuminates.
I’ve been known to be impulsive, known to make decisions without all pertinent information, known to take risks. For some reason, I want the answer first, want to know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. The author of the article says it’s all within us, all within me, I just need to trust and take the first step. I need to believe if I stumble as I make my way up that mountain, or wander off the path, I’ll find my way back and land solid on two feet. If I believe it for my friend why can’t I believe it for myself?