I’ve loved doing artistic things since I was a kid, and the drive to create didn’t leave me when it was time to head off to college. Much to my parents’ dismay, I could not be swayed from a solid path toward a liberal arts degree. And along with that came all the “Would you like fries with that?” jokes, suggesting that I would end up working in fast food my entire life because of the path I’d chosen.
I almost let myself be swayed. There were a couple of times when I thought to myself, “Ok self, you’d probably make way more money if you went a different direction.” The voices that had tried to influence me for so long found a couple of cracks in my façade. And here’s what happened.
Changing the Major
Yep, I did that. (More than once.) I reasoned that since I speak Spanish and English fluently, it would be a smart choice to go into business—so I transferred to an International Business program. And that would have been fine, except for the fact that any sort of advanced work with numbers makes me break out in hives. After the first couple weeks in Business Accounting, when I realized I would have to expand beyond balancing my own checking account and be able to handle even more complicated accounts, I promptly exited the program. Nope, I do not love working with numbers.
The Back-Up…to the Back-Up
No worries. I had a perfectly acceptable back-up. Psychology. Nevermind the fact that I’m a creative empath who tends to absorb the feelings of those around me. There’s also the fact that every expression on my face will tell you exactly what I’m thinking. I have no poker face, and I get way too emotionally invested in trying to help others…which would be fine, except I don’t think shrinks are supposed to cry along with you when you emote.
Those options were out. It was back to Square One. Writing. Languages. Words. I went back to doing what I loved—which is exactly where I should have been the entire time.
What Did I Learn?
You can’t force what you love to do. If you love to write, then you should write. If you want to create futuristic skyscrapers, you should be an architect. If you have a gift for poaching the perfect egg and you love the art of fine cuisine, you should follow your dream of being a chef.
The point is this: I did NOT end up living out my days working at a fast-food restaurant in order to support my affinity for bossing words around. Nope. I have hustled and worked hard and made a place where I can make very good use of multiple liberal arts degrees.
The point is also: Don’t ever give up on your dream because someone tells you it might not pay very much. Instead, find a way to make it work for you.
The point is also: What Steve Jobs said…you are gonna do the best work of your life when you love what you do!
Now get out there and hustle.