When I was little, I feel like I ran through the gamut of professions while I was trying to decide what I was going to be when I grew up.
I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a real-estate agent. I wanted to be writer.
At present, I am NONE of those (except the fact that I did start to write this blog). I wouldn’t call myself fickle…I’d just say that life (and fear) got in the way of my dreams. I decided against real estate because the paycheck wasn’t guaranteed and I didn’t want to live check to check. I decided against law because I wanted to be a corporate lawyer and I realized that some of the cases I took might mean my winning at the expense of doing what I felt was morally right. Sure I’d have money to burn, but that didn’t mean anything if I couldn’t sleep at night.
I did get a Master’s degree in an allied health profession, but I know I can’t honestly say I’m living my dream. While I do get to help people every day, and while I can say my work makes an impact on people’s lives, I have known since I started my program that this wasn’t the “end all be all” for me. Many people have tried to convince me to stay on my current path (telling me there aren’t many minorities in my profession, that I could make lots of money if I find my own niche) but I know as sure as I know my name that this isn’t my life’s passion.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do (most of the time). It’s just that I look at my scrub colors and always find myself wishing I was wearing another color. I’m in medicine, but I want to be at the top of the medical totem pole.
People I went to school with are surprised that I am practicing in this field. My dad told me that sometimes you do what you HAVE to do instead of what you want to do. Accepting that and the fact that the bills don’t pay themselves I took a job. Still, I am working on a plan that will allow me to live my dream.
I know so many people who are living their dreams. Some of them went on a direct path. Some of them had to take a road less traveled due to life circumstances. At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters how you get to your goal. I think it’s the fact that you get there that matters most.
I maintain that God answers prayer. He might not answer in my time, but He always answers. I have been steadily praying about finding the path to living my passion. Today a woman told me a story about how she took baby steps to get to her dream of being a lawyer. In that story, I think God gave me my answer.
The woman was working full time in another field. She’d picked it because it was what her everyone in her family had always done, but she’d always wanted to be a lawyer. She sustained an injury that required her taking time off at work to recuperate. In that time she was presented with an opportunity allowed her to dabble in some legal work. She enjoyed it a lot. As she still had some time off she decided to take advantage of it and become a paralegal. Once she completed her program and spent time in the courtroom, she realized that being a lawyer was still her real dream. She spoke to a friend about it who gave her some great advice.
She told him all the things that would be working against her and her dream of becoming a lawyer, the biggest of which were that she had kids and she was getting older. He said “in three years from now all of those things will still be true. You can decide to go for your dream and be where you want to be in three years time or don’t do anything about it and you’ll still be talking about where you want to be”.
She went for it, and told me she didn’t have a single regret about it. I want to be able to say the same.