Life-changing events happen to all of us. Sometimes these events are unexpected and unfair, while others are moments of joy and excitement. Some of are chosen and some are not. Either way, they affect us from that moment forward, for better or worse, however we decide to handle and interpret them.
I wanted to write a post about my recent life-changing event (don’t worry – this is a happy one). But first, let’s go back in time a bit so you can see how this all progressed.
Remember in school, when all your teachers would ask you “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.
Well, funny enough, all my answers ended up being things I would not be able to do. A couple of examples being marine biologist or zookeeper. I’m sure you’re wondering why I couldn’t do those things as they seem like viable careers – but an asthmatic who is allergic to pretty much everything doesn’t fair well with the whole scuba-diving for long periods and animal/plant aspects of those jobs.
So I didn’t think too much about it again until it was time to go to college. When I had to declare a major, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I ended up putting psychology down as my major in my first year (I feel like a lot of people put that down). It was interesting to me, but in all honestly, I knew it wasn’t going to pan out. Knowing that I would need to get my master’s and doctorate to practice didn’t really motivate me.
So in my sophomore year, I was taking a lot of general classes since I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to do. Then one class caught my fancy. It was a Journalism & Mass Communications class about advertising. I suddenly started paying (more) attention in class and realized – this was it. Advertising. I loved the creativity behind it paired with all the different disciplines – from research and concepts to developing copy and design. Perfect. So I switched majors to creative advertising.
I know this is getting long, but bear with me, I swear the good parts are coming up.
So I worked on campaigns throughout the rest of my college career focusing more on the concept and copywriting aspects of the field (Photoshop and I were not the best of friends). Eventually, in our senior capstone, I ventured into the role of Account Manager to see what that was all about. I certainly enjoyed the planning part of it and working with all the different “departments” such as PR, creative, media, etc. I wasn’t so thrilled about the manager part of it, but it was a great experience and I had a lot of fun.
So when it came time to graduate and get out in the “real” world as they say, I ended up as a graduate intern on the account service side of the business at a local agency. From there I worked my way up the proverbial ladder, learning as much as I could along the way. But while I worked hard at it (I mean really hard – since I hadn’t taken any management classes), I felt like I wasn’t completely fulfilled. I’ve always thought of myself as “middle-brained”. But I tend (I think) to gravitate more towards the creative side – specifically towards concepting and writing (and proofreading). Things that I’ve always loved to do. And also the things that made me want to be in the industry!
So, it seemed pretty clear (after a lot of self-evaluation and questions). Do what I intended to do in the first place – creative writing. But clear doesn’t come with easy. I’ve been in the industry for over six years now on the account side (with a little creative writing here are there). How do I go about changing my career path now?
Answer: With a lot of support. From everyone.
But foremost, from my husband. After lots of conversations (and I mean lots), he gave me the courage to resign from my current position to pursue my dream of creative writing. His love and support (and maybe a little bit of insanity for letting me do this) is incredible. (Meeting him was another positive life-changing event for me).
I also owe a lot of credit to everyone I’ve met along the way (companies and organizations included) and my family. Seeing people so passionate about what they do inspires me, which was another motivator for me to take this leap of faith.
So here I am, day three of this new chapter of my life.
And who knows. I might fail or I might succeed. But I’ll know I tried and have no regrets. And from what I’ve learned from the past six years, you get what you put in; so I’m planning on succeeding.
So to get to the point of this post and the end this long and short history of my last 6.25 years on Earth, I intentionally changed my life – for the better. I’m scared, and excited at the same time. I think that’s how you know you’re making the right decisions.
As they say, practice makes perfect – so keep an eye out for a lot more posts!