I've always been a big believer in doing what makes you happy. In more recent years, that belief system kind of faltered due to my need to live up to people's expectations. The expectation of being in your mid-twenties and having your shit figured out. It's funny because these expectations weren't placed on me by my family, friends, or fiancé. It was just an expectation that I figured was universal, but really one I had just placed on myself.
I found myself going to school for a Master's degree that my heart wasn't in, and then working a job with that degree. Teaching seemed like a safe bet. We will always need teachers. So, that's what I went for. I wanted that 9-5 life, salary, and benefits because that's what all the "big kids" were doing. Yet, I was never fully fulfilled creatively, emotionally, or spiritually. Sure, there were great moments with my students. I mean there are tons of cute four and five-year-olds out there. I guess you have to be a "kid person."
In my time as a teacher, I never quit writing and I found a love for helping others gain a healthy, fit, balanced lifestyle through social media. Somehow, those accounts grew, as did my love for it. I decided to study for my personal training certification and after a grueling six months of wedding planning, working a full-time job, keeping up with blogging, and studying, I finally took the test and passed. It was a huge milestone for me because I knew that certification was my way out. So much rode on that one test in a tiny cubicle where I tried my best to do exercises to answer the questions correctly. Try extending and flexing in a two foot space. Not an easy feat.
I remember waiting for the results with knots in my stomach. If I didn't pass then I would have to study more, stay at my unfulfilling job, and pay more money. Ugh. The testing monitor looked at me, while holding my test results, and asked me, "How do you think you did?" I could barely get out my "The best I could answer." Then he handed me the paper that said "PASS." I burst into tears, butterflies erupted in my stomach, I broke out in goosebumps, I was cold and hot at the same time. It felt absolutely magical and it felt like freedom.
Two days later, I quit my job at the school with no other job to go to. Simply relying on my online training business and the hope that I would land a job at a gym. The same day I quit, I had an interview at a gym and they hired me. It was as if everything was falling into place, and I still feel that way.
I realize that when you trust yourself and you work your ass off, good things happen. Yes, I'm totally anxious and sometimes I ask, "Did I make the right decision?" Then I shake it off because the amount of happiness and fulfillment I have in my life right now is incredible. The amount of support I have from my family, friends, and my fiancé is unreal. I am so fortunate to have people around me who truly support my happiness.
I don't feel like I have ever made a wrong turn in life. I know that every decision and every step has led me to where I am now. I went to college for a writing degree and I absolutely loved college. It reassured me that writing is a part of me and will always be with me. No, it didn't land me a job, but it landed me a blog or two where I have met so many people. I went back to school for a teaching degree, racked up some student loans, found out the 9-5 job wasn't for me, but I also learned patience (it comes with dealing with youngins). Yes, I'm twenty-six years old and I still don't have it all figured out. But I have myself figured out. That's what is most important.
I have many beautiful things in the works that are going to take a lot of time, thought, creativity, sweat, tears, and a lot of faith. I'm thinking bigger and better blogs, reaching people in new ways, training people and showing them how to be their best selves, writing books, etc. I'm a dreamer. What can I say? The wonderful thing about it all is that in it all, I am so happy. I don't feel like it's a job, and that is all I have ever wanted. To have a career that doesn't feel like work. It just feels right.
You are NEVER too old or too far in something to start over.