I was playing with my big brother in the garage as our dad was doing something (probably yard work or more likely fixing something I broke). I heard the purr of a mighty diesel engine and looked up to see the coolest machine 3-year-old Thomas had ever seen. As the truck drove past our driveway I saw two men hanging on the back of the truck. It was at that moment I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
My dream career, the part to my whole, my biggest life goal at the age of three was to become a garbage man. Specifically, the guy that gets to ride on the back of the gigantic truck as it traveled up and down the city’s trash allies. Every day would be like a trip to Six Flags as the wind rushed through my hair and the truck “sped,” down the road. No matter the cost, no matter the obstacles in my way I was going to be a trash man.
Except for the times when I am awake at two in the morning, stressed to the max studying for a final, I am thankful that my childhood dream never came true. That my ambitions were lifted a little higher than being a trash man. (If you are a trash man I hope the job is as good as it seemed to me at the age of three and I thank you for doing such an important duty)
As my I grew older my dreams went from trash man to doctor to janitor to rapper to baseball player, essentially picking any job that aroused my interest at the time. But one thing stayed stagnant through all the change, and that was that I always wanted to do what I was passionate about at the time. I never dreamed to have some high roller job, yes some of those career fields were quiet lucrative but others were far from that. I only focused on my dreams and what would fill me with joy as I imagined doing that thing every single day.
I currently find myself in college, a pivotal point in my life where these next few years can define what I do and where I go FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. So I naturally have a great deal of anxiety when it comes to picking my future career field. I have ideas and a list of possible directions that I want to go but I am unable to cement a plan and execute it.
The most common advice on picking a major/ career field I hear is go where the money is; be an engineer or doctor, or do something realistic where you can easily get a job straight out of college. But what if that isn’t my passion, what if I’m not skilled at that? Going to a tier one engineering college I know hundreds of people that followed this advice, struggled with their classes freshman year, and are now in limbo with no idea what to with their life. Left with nothing but a terrible GPA and knowing that they want to do anything but engineering.
Being an engineer or doctor may be a straightforward way to get a high paying job after college but its not the route everyone should take. If you are like me and have the unique and nerdy mindset that makes a great engineer by all means peruse that and develop new technologies. But if you are not good at math or much rather be reading or taking photos don’t try to make yourself be an engineer. Follow your heart, be guided by your passion, and do what you love. Sure you may not have a straight forward job after graduation or you may not make a lot of money. But if you are doing what you are passionate about, if you do something that you would do for free but just happen to get payed for it. Then you will naturally give it your all. And with this amount effort you will become a master at your job. Therefore, people will start to pay you good money to do something that you would do for free.
So I challenge you to ignore the naysayers, to follower your dreams and give it your all. Because happiness is doing what you love, not doing something lucrative. And if you work hard enough the money will come. Now I am not saying go to the registrar and change you major or quit your job today to follow your dream of being a princess/ singer/ scientist/ writer/ mom. But what I am saying is don’t ignore your dreams, pursue them with intention and make a plan, be sensible yet passionate. As always; make good choices, share if you liked what I said, comment if you have something to add, and I’ll see you on Thursday.