When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina princess when I grew up. Flash forward and I’m definitely what little Katie would have called an adult (although I think that’s up for debate), but I’m definitely not a ballerina princess.
Going into college I expected that I would figure out what I was meant to do, what my purpose was, and be ready to burst into my chosen career as soon as I had my field relevant degree in hand. Spoiler alert: I did not. I had always had lots of interests, but I figured college would help me narrow it down to one that stood out above all others. Spoiler alert: it did not. Instead, I got really good at rambling incoherently whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to do. I ended up with a job right before graduation and could then confidently answer at least for the near term. At the same time though, I knew that the job I had wasn’t my calling. It was meant to be a fun, gap year type experience during which I could try a job I’d always been fascinated by, and have more time to figure out what my magical purpose was.
My time in that job was cut short and I had to suddenly return home, where I had to job hunt while paralyzed by my lack of purpose. I envy the people who have a good answer to “what do you want to do?” I don’t know what I want to do. I like and am interested in a lot of different things, but nothing to such an extent that I’m ready to dedicate my life to it.
A few months ago, my brain doctor asked me that dreaded question, what do you want to do? I wasn’t sure how to answer until she prompted me to list anything and everything I was interested in maybe being. Novelist, actress, singer, interior decorator, wedding dress designer, film/ theatre director, fashion designer, wedding planner, film/ theatre costume designer, photographer, teacher, professor, travel writer, librarian, wildlife photographer, travel photographer, Disney imagineer, life coach, publisher, blogger, book reviewer, book editor, zoo keeper, chef, restaurateur, artist, party planner, archaeologist, diplomat…
You get the idea.
I stammered a lot, making excuses for why I knew I wouldn’t be able to do everything. But after watching her read over the list a couple times, she said the best possible thing: I think you could do all this.
It was a strange experience realizing that not choosing just one thing is a valid option, but it echoed something my mum has been telling me: most people don’t stay in the same job until they retire anymore. In college, everything was so focused on specializing and figuring out just one thing you’re good at, that I’d sort of been brainwashed into that method of thinking. Maybe my interest in singing isn’t a passion like it is for Taylor Swift, or my interest in animals isn’t going to lead to a decades long career like Jane Goodall. But what I really want to be when I grow up is a Renaissance Woman. Someone who is good at a lot of different things, and does a lot of different things.
Of course, I still panic thinking about the future and how I’m supposed to accomplish all the things I want to do, but that’s probably never going to change.
Stay magical readers!