Right now I’m reading the book “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar again and this time the book is hitting home. Do what I love. I would except for one tiny little reason: what is it?
What do I love? Not:
- Think I should love
- Love it because someone else does
- Because someone thinks I should love it
- Because it’s expected
- And the list goes on
But, what do I love? Seriously. This question very much got me thinking as to what was mine and what was filtered through my parents as well as the assumptions of what girls are supposed to like, do, and be. There were times when I expressed what I loved and/or wanted, such as career, and because it didn’t agree with Mom or Dad, the notion was shot down. My parents were well meaning and only wanted the best for me, however, they were filtering through their own ideal system of what they thought was good, bad, right or wrong.
This clash in ideal systems really wreaked havoc when it came time to choose what I wanted to be when I grew up, aka career. (Side note: I’m still figuring that out, hence reading the book a second time around.) What my parents wanted for me and what I wanted were two different worlds. What also didn’t help was that I was an honor student and therefore, I am to go to college or university. That was the “law”.
Through my teenage years I wanted to be an RCMP (police) officer with every fiber of my being, but my parents were hardcore against that idea. Two of my brothers were in the police force and in a lot of ways, that made the situation even worse as I always got “it’s no place for a woman” trumpeted in my ears every time I either brought up the subject or even thought about it. Which, was on a pretty regular basis. What’s sad is that this battle lasted for a good many years (I’m talking decades) with my parents (especially Mom) staunchly planted in the “right” position and I was stanchly planted in the “not your decision” position.
Finally, and I think through emotional tiredness, I started looking elsewhere as to what I wanted to do with my life and I better decide quick because this all should be decided by grade 11 at the latest or else the proverbial boat has been missed. Think about it, a 16 year old making a life decision. Can’t legally drink or vote, but I’m supposed to decide what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life.
What about a lawyer? Nope, parents talked about it and they decided… Okay what about clerical? I think it was my destroying 3 typewriters (computers weren’t invented yet) in one week in typing class that kacked that option. Next!
What about driving truck? I love driving, and had been doing so since I was 9. Hey, I’m a farm girl, and we learn young. I remember telling my Dad that I want to be a truck driver. He damned near blew a head gasket (hah punny). He bellowed “No daughter of mine is going to waste her education on being a truck driver!!!” Somehow I don’t think that idea went over well.
Through career poking and prodding as well as being somewhat defeated, I chose Medical Lab Technology. Parents were thrilled and can now brag about what their daughter has become. Okay good, at least that’s settled, I have a good career and I’m not being yelled at. Life is good. Or is it?
I remember vividly where I was at work in the lab when a lightning bolt of “is this all there is??” hit me. I was all of 21 years old in a parent-approved career and one fact stood out: there’s more to life than this. But, wait? Didn’t I do the right thing? Get educated, get a good job, life will be all that and a bag of chips. Right?
Actually no, life wasn’t the rainbow connection as per the grad theme song. I honestly didn’t love what I was doing and in reality, I was bored. I was doing what I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do. But what did I want to do? At this point, I had no clue. And where do I even start to begin? The only thing I knew was to start and start I did.
So flash forward 20+ years and I’m on that same quest. What do I really want to be when I grow up? I’ve tried various jobs and entrepreneurial ventures with all yielding the same answer: nope, not me. I liked something for a while, but that soon or eventually ran out. It seems as if there was something out there that was still calling me. My “feet” were still itchy.
Now what?? Well, since I’ve been reading the book, I have been reflecting on what floats my boat, so to speak and I have come up with some things:
- Learning and/or self discovery
- Chickens (Seriously, how can you not love this guy?)
Or this one?
Or these sweet things.
What I have come to discover is that whatever I do must have the following some sort of in the process:
- Learning or discovery
As I look at what I’m doing now in my life, I am doing what I love. Okay maybe not EVERYTHING is what I love or has chickens in it, but for the most part, I am doing what I love.
Running, cooking/baking, glass art, blogging, being domesting engineer all have adventure, learning, and creating in there somewhere. So does raising chickens!! Especially when it’s late fall and there’s the discovery of chicks. Or when 2 roosters decide to have a cock fight of epic proportion and I did’t get a chance to sell tickets! Gaahhhh!! (Kidding on the tickets, not kidding on the fight.)
Here’s the cool and scary thing: I am now the captain of my ship, the pilot of my life. I do and am what I want and what yearns. There is no parental or authority censorship. I’ve also done a lot of work to keep my own censorship muted and believe me, that is one continual and sometimes tough process.
I’ve given myself permission to explore just to see what’s out there. In fact I did a job search to see what’s out there for driving jobs. Not that I’m going to apply, but I let myself have a look and see. To be honest, it was exciting to have the freedom to read the ads and to explore the possibility without someone’s censorship and judgement.
This weekend I am doing something that I love, something that I’ve never done before, and in a location that I’ve not raced in yet. I am running a 100K in the desert. Does that excite, scare, and thrill me? Oh you bet! Rumor has it that I’ll learn a lot about myself during those 100 kilometers. Who knows? Maybe I might just find what that grad song was referring to.