“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That dreaded question you used to get from distant relatives at family gatherings (usually at some point after they’d got the obligatory “Oooh, haven’t you grown?” out of the way).
The thing is, only a small minority of us are lucky enough to have that kind of vision from a young age, and to stick with it through education, emerging into the workforce with a job we love (and more importantly that we continue to love until we retire).
Slowly coming together
I wanted to be an artist of some kind – probably a photographer – but once the reality of making a living kicked in, I let photography become a hobby and went to get a “proper job”. I had various “proper jobs”, but always seemed to get bored or frustrated with them (or the company or my manager) after a couple of years. In the end, I quit a perfectly good job with a reputable organisation and set off to travel the world. I got almost half way round and then ended up staying in Indonesia, where I now work as my own boss doing hours that suit me.
For many people, this sounds like a dream come true. For me, it just somehow happened. When I set out on my trip I was never planning to settle down on a tropical island, but I love the way of life I have now. Perhaps sometimes your dreams have a way of finding you even when you’re not looking for them.
In contrast to me, my sister studied Japanese at university, and she was very good at it. She won competitions at a national level and had plans to go and live in Japan working as a translator. She was totally focused on this dream.
Then one summer she went to Turkey on holiday, fell in love with the country, and her vision for her life changed completely. She forced herself to finish her last year at uni but her heart was really in another place and she had no doubts that she was going to move to Turkey as soon as she could. She taught herself the language and has now been settled there for a few years, and is in fact working as a translator – just not in the language she had originally intended!
Did she face disapproval from me and other close family members? Did we think it was silly of her to let go of something she was so good at and change her plans completely on the basis of one week spent in another country? Well honestly, yes we did. But she proved us wrong; it turns out this was her petsyclopedia – her unique silliness – that drove the passion within her.
Let life lead the way
So whether you’re like me – bumbling along with no real goal in mind, or like my sister – focused on her perfectly planned career, you actually never know what might be just around the corner in life.
Whether you feel things slowly coming together or you have a sudden ‘wow’ moment where everything becomes clear, don’t be afraid to follow your passion however silly it might seem. This is what petsyclopedia is all about.
You might face ridicule from colleagues, friends and family at your sudden change of heart or seemingly ridiculous plans. But if you know deep down inside that it’s what you should be doing, then you have to trust your instincts and make it happen.
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