Let's start with childhood. We didn't have a lot of money when I was young and, for the most part, I was supposed to find my socialization and fulfillment in the church's youth group. My dad was a minister and there was little interest in involving me in any activity that didn't relate. I could have piano lessons as maybe I would eventually help out in church. Maybe I could have gotten voice lessons as that would probably have been deemed useful too.
Outside of that, including the time I asked if I could try gymnastics, I got the standard, "You won't stick with it." As if that is the only point. As if you try something new, you have to love it enough to do it the rest of your life. The truth was I wouldn't have, I just was struggling and looking for something to dive into as a distraction. I took a different tack with my kids. "Try as many activities as you like. All I ask is you put 100% into it while you're doing it." That wasn't the perfect way to handle it either I would learn.
Money was tight, so if they were goofing off in class they caught hell from me. I took it personally. It was hard to find the money to pay for these activities, so I wanted to see them give it their all while there. When it was done, though, I didn't care of they walked away and never did it again. What I came to feel was that I didn't always let them just be kids. My failing. BUT I never expected them to get anything out of it other than a new experience. And that I did right.
Now to careers. I was brought up that if you picked a career, you did it until the day you died. Well, that's not quite right. I was brought up as a woman in that era to get an education and pick a career, but if I got married and had kids, I should become a stay at home mum supporting my husband. And if I did still work, I should never, EVER, make more money than he did. This push was common in that era, but I'm not sure our society has yet fully let go of that notion even today.
What I have come to learn as I over time and through interviewing is we are always learning and growing and expanding. It's okay to make a shift, to turn left. Life offers so many amazing opportunities, why limit ourselves to one? Maybe we want to stick with career until we have our pension, then head in whole new directions. That's great. Maybe we just can't stomach going to the same job and doing the same thing for another minute. We're ready to leap in a new direction. That's okay too.
It's a new year. For 2022, I want each of you to give yourself permission to think of your future in terms of possibilities. Love your job, great! How can you expand it and continue to grow in new directions while working it? Hate it? Then what is calling you? Time to let your heart speak on new directions.
More than anything, try at least a little to embrace the idea that change is good. It's normal and can lead you down new and wonderful roads. You got this!