Remember... You have choices.
I feel like the last couple of months, especially, I have had difficulty finding the balance between “putting all my eggs in one basket” and paralyzing myself with too many options for my future. The truth is I am trying to navigate pursuing my passions (social change, fibers/textiles, scuba diving, environmental and water quality issues) and getting a paycheck. And that’s not mentioning all the “wants” I want in life too (travel, work/life balance, living close to the ocean, studio time and space, financial autonomy, seeing my family regularly, a man and maybe kids). Looking back at choices I have made, I find irony in that pursuing my passions, scuba diving and fiber design, separately have stunted my career path in both. Although I have a lot of life and work experience where does my unique skill set fit in? Who needs a scuba diving weaver?
Within the last two years I chose to make textiles my everyday money maker. I started this blog almost a year ago, spent this fall applying to grad school knowing that I need more experience, worked at a clothing boutique for a year-and-a-half where I have made invaluable connections, applied to and rejected from dream jobs, and applied, interviewed, and got the job at an amazing local organization. I have cracked open a lot of doors for myself, yet still have that feeling of “If I don't get this job or get into school, I am doomed.” Lately I have been having restless nights of dreaming about back-to-back job interviews and although the practice is good, I think my subconscious is going a step too far.
As I talk to people and ask about their path, people never end up exactly where they thought they would. Sometimes the “make it work choices” result from occurrences in life that are out of our control, it’s reactionary. Although I have cracked some doors open they won't all splay open in front of me at the same time. I have to take opportunities as they come, which will influence the next life decision I have to make. It is in this conundrum where I fear we can sell our passions and wants in life short. Is the “Keep doing what you love and you’ll get there!” line really true? Is it okay to be completely satisfied in a mediocre job that you have just to pay your bills at the end of the month? I think the answer to both is yes! And even better if you are working at both simultaneously.
I may be behind on a career path, but I trust in the choices I have made and look forward to future decisions. I read this great article in the New York Times that gave me a bit of ease. The lesson to learn is: “There is always another job and always another man” and, in essence, another opportunity to choose. Where I am at is okay, where I am going is okay, too. I may not get all my wants in life at the same time or at all; but I would say that at the rate I am going, I have lived in more than abundance and choose to be grateful for that.