Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Quotable

This weekend, I had lunch with a friend and our chat inevitably moved towards disenchantment with our careers. I say inevitably because it is an ongoing conversation I have been having with most of my friends over the last 5 years or so. Our shiny, happy "I can change the world" selves have been dulled by the realization that we may have chosen the wrong careers.

It may sound normal. I mean, who doesn't have bad days (or months) at work that make them want to change jobs? But I've come to realize that it's not just bad days at work. It is a feeling that the choice we made as kids declaring "I want to be a ________ when I grow up" may have been the first step in a series of mistakes--very expensive, loan accumulating, gray hair inducing mistakes.

During our conversation, my friend told me about a new opportunity she is applying for in an effort to get back to what she really wanted to do all along--policy making. As we talked through it, she told me about how she decided to wind down her practice and apply. She was talking to another friend who recently left her lucrative job to go work at a non-profit organization for a fraction of her former salary. The conversation with her friend started with her saying "You're going to think I am crazy, but..." My friend listened and at the end of the announcement, she said "I don't think you're crazy. You're my hero." Her friend's "crazy" decision inspired her to apply for the new policy making opportunity. Her inner fire was reignited by her friend's willingness to set fear aside for career fulfillment.

It turns out fire spreads quickly. In listening to her talk about why she had to make a change, my inner spirit was rekindled. My life has become more and more about "existing." I feel largely like I am on autopilot most of the time (except weekends when I work on things I am passionate about). I work, I go home, I pay bills, I get frustrated with the state of my life and am inspired to think about the direction I want to go in to get back to truly be excited about each new day and to make a difference. Then, the next day, I go back to autopilot. Gotta make the donuts.

In all of that, the pull to serve others keeps coming up. It's not like I don't serve people in my current job but there is a bigger difference for me to make. I've been through a lot in this life and in looking at everything, it is pretty clear what I am supposed to be doing. I just needed my fire to be reignited. Today's quote is dedicated to the friends who've helped to do that.

I hope you are reignited or helping to reignite someone if you are already following your bliss/passion. Happy Monday!

*Today's photo was taken at Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks. I was really sick when it was taken and climbing to the place where I could get this photo was a major accomplishment. It was a turning point for me and reminded me that all things are possible with faith. It robs fear of a place to dig in its heels.

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