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We’ve been told from a young age that we can be anything we want to be in life.
Somehow though, even in this ever-evolving world, we sometimes feel that it’s a fight to stay true to those words—and to ourselves. The question “what do you want to be?” can be a difficult one to answer. As a person with many passions, it’s hard to pick just one thing. Turns out, that’s OK.
The New Normal
I’ve been a lot of things in my life thus far: an assistant, a cashier, a nanny, a lifeguard. I’m a writer by trade, but it isn’t my only passion (or my only job). Looking at my resume filled with present and past work experiences I’m left wondering: Why do I have to choose to be just one thing, to do just one job? That’s a question that seemingly no one has a good answer for aside from “that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
But is it? For some, the idea of following one path—commuting to the same job, in the same office, at the same desk until retirement is soul-crushing. Let alone doing the same kind of tasks and assignments day in, day out. Am I supposed to sacrifice my personal happiness to fit the norm, and to pay the bills?
Simply put, dedicating a lifetime to just one path isn’t for everyone. And even if you think it is for you, and you feel “#blessed” to be living out what you believe to be your life’s calling, find solace in the fact that it’s OK if you change your mind at some point and decide to switch gears. Not every decision you make is your “final” path, so it’s OK if you find yourself heading back to school, taking a second job, freelancing on the side, or trying something new.
It’s not uncommon to have two, three, even four jobs or side gigs to pay the bills. So why should it be any different when we’re paying our “emotional bills”? If you have passions you want to pursue and bills you have to pay, why not do both? We’re living in a time where anything is possible. We’re told to dream big. So if you want to be—and do—more don’t let anything stop you. You can do it all.
Hustle for Your Passions
If you’re thinking there’s no way to fit what makes you happy and what makes you money onto the same path—or to even have those paths interconnect—think again.
There’s a good chance your yoga instructor has another job. For many yogis, it’s quite difficult to make a living solely as a teacher. Maybe her mindfulness and open heart led her to care for animals as a veterinary technician. Your favorite blogger? Maybe by day he is a paralegal or works as a receptionist. And those beacons of hope to all millennials, the Instafamous icons—their career paths may not have been traditional. They’re an array of things: writers, public speakers, philanthropists, photographers, models, and world travelers (and before they were those things, maybe they were baristas). Where we are now will not necessarily be where we are in the future.
Doing it all—paying the bills and living your passions—undoubtedly requires three important things: drive, determination, and hustle. Maybe you have to punch in that 9 to 5 timecard to pay your rent, but that freelance graphic design gig you have on the side is what keeps you going.
It’s OK to forge ahead on multiple paths through life as you make your way to your end goal. Wear as many hats as you want to, and can. You’ll be well rounded, and hey, it may even make you more marketable to future employers.
In the wise words of Rumi: “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
What are your paths in life?
Maggie Peikon is a New York native, writer, and sufferer of insatiable wanderlust. An avid endorphin seeker she has a constant need to be moving, seeking adventure in all she does. She is a lover of travel, daydreaming, fitness, thunderstorms, and her dog, Finley. Despite the fact that she has to take medication daily due to a thyroidectomy, Maggie still believes that laughter will always be the best medicine. Follow her musings on Instagram and Twitter.