As a teenager and young adult, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to figure out what to do after high school.
See, as long as you’re in school, your life is pretty well laid out for you. Not too many life-altering decisions need to be made. You wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home and do homework, play with your friends, watch TV or play video games, and go to bed. Repeat every day (except on weekends, which include more Saturday playtime, and church activities on Sunday) from age 5-18.
Then things start to get a little more real. A large percentage of young adults will choose to attend college, that next step to a well-paying career. How do you decide where to go? What programs do they offer? How much does it cost? Then it’s once again that same cycle: wake up, eat breakfast (sometimes), go to class, maybe work a part-time job, do homework and study, possibly find some free time to hang with friends and date, and then bed. Repeat for 4-6 years (unless you further your education, then it’s possibly another 4 or more after that!)
For me, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Not even which direction to begin moving. I ended up choosing a local community college for a couple years and then eventually transferred to Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN to pursue Music. Even when I finished and received my degree it was difficult to find a job. What did I really want to do with my life? If I would have really followed my heart at the point, I probably would have pursued playing bass guitar in some bands, possibly getting some recording studio work.
But practicality and responsibility won out. I ended up at a music publishing company working with song copyrights and royalties. Zzzzz. It had its moments, but it was cubicle work and data entry. I wasn’t challenged. As it happens in almost every industry, the company was acquired/merged, jobs were downsized, and I eventually moved back to MI. I’ve bounced to several jobs since then. Some challenging my creativity, but most being administrative, finance-related jobs.
So what have I learned throughout this entire process? Probably not as much as I should have. I know we listen too much to others. We worry too much about what other people think. We are more concerned about disappointing a family member or friend than we are of disappointing ourselves. I do know that God has placed in each one of us desires and natural abilities, as well as a brain with the ability to analyze and choose the options that best fit what we sense and feel inside ourselves.
Our unique life experiences have led each and every one of us to where we are in life. This very moment. No matter what choices we’ve made (or didn’t make), they have shaped us and defined who we are.
So do we mourn those lost dreams and missed opportunities? No! Instead, let’s take a fresh look at life in our forties (or whatever age you are) and allow those dormant dreams to rise up and begin to challenge us to embark on some new adventures. Life is not over at forty. In fact, I think it’s just the start of an exciting new chapter.
What new chapter are you beginning? Is there a new adventure or dream you wish to once again start pursuing? Be bold and publicly declare it today in the comments below! How can we help and encourage each other this week and in the days ahead?