For a while—as in since last week, when I graduated. I’ve felt so out of whack and I know I’m getting back on the right track, but what is that track?
After taking this Food Science course and diving into this Foods and Nutrition Program (my third go at it, really), I know what I don’t want–to finish it. I’ve known that for a few weeks, and I’ve been thinking about my options (but you guys know I’ve been pretty busy).
While nothing is set in stone, I think I’m starting to wrap my head around a rough idea of where I’d like to head and of the kind of future I want to create for myself.
A year ago, I was sure I was going to be in Journalism school in september. Since then, I’ve realized I want to do more than write. I love to write. I will be a writer. I will keep pitching stories, blogging, and writing my heart out. I don’t need a master’s degree to do that.
A month ago, I was pretty certain I was going to be a dietitian. I knew I wanted to help people lead healthier lifestyles and I liked the idea of helping athletes and people working through eating disorders.
Today, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m forming a picture of what it’s going to look like without needing a label. No offence to anyone who has known what they’ve wanted to be since they were 5 and have come out of it with a great professional degree or something like that, but that hasn’t been working for me. I’m done sticking to the conventional just for the sake of feeling secure. At my graduation, the speaker mentioned something about how times have changed. Making money is tough. Finding “a job” is tough. He told us to take every opportunity. Things can seem overwhelming, but when you look at it as a world full of opportunities instead of feeling overwhelmed, you see that there is so much freaking potential that you can’t help but get excited.
I really never thought that I’d be so confused about what I want to do with myself. If you don’t know me or you can’t get vibes from my blog, I’m a stubborn person. I know where I’m headed, or at least I like to pretend I do. So this is a big shift for me, but it’s one that I know is going to lead me to a happier career and life at the end of it all.
I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day of your life.” It’s also true that by deciding that I’m going to work towards a happy holistic life instead of just securing a career, I’m just embracing all the awesome that I’m entitled to in a new way. I did it with my body–I don’t have to force myself to lose weight or to have perfect abs before I can be happy. In the same way, I don’t have to make sure the tI’ve got a set career path and plan that is stable before I can start living. Cuz FYI, life is flying by and I think the point is kind of to enjoy this whole process, right? Thanks for that realization, recovery!
So enough with the big thinking and rambling…what the heck am I going to do next?
I started to figure this out by thinking about my options and by talking it through with a lot of helpful listening ears. I started to look for examples of people living the kinds of lives–active, inspiring, engaging–that I want to and to take notes or to ask questions of what they’re doing. The truth is, they’re just following their bliss. That seems to be the key.
Right now, what’s making my heart sing most is:
- teaching fitness
- blogging and writing in general
- rounding up cheesy quotes
- reading, especially about nutrition, eating disorder recovery, and self help
- working with my life coach
Things I considered for the coming year:
- working as a fitness professional
- going back to Western and taking some more kin courses and finishing my writing certificate
- looking for a job somewhere exciting (mountains, anyone?)
- applying to teacher’s college in the states or australia
- applying for my masters in kin or in sports nutrition somewhere
- pursuing the registered holistic nutritionist designation from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
- going somewhere to get my 200 hour yoga teacher training
- going on an NOLS trip – throwing myself into the wilderness, essentially
- signing up for a program at Rhodes College, where my life coach went
- taking violin lessons and getting far enough so that I can teach little kiddies how to play – I was pretty close, but my theory could use some work!
And to be totally honest, I want to do them all. Luckily I had a good reminder come my way from my mother:
I also came to a big realization: if you’re meant to do something, YOU WILL. It doesn’t matter when. There isn’t that pressure. If you have to force yourself to do something, why are you doing it (career, but also training, etc.)? The things on that list that I really truly want to do will get done. The ones that don’t really matter won’t. It’s as simple as that.
So what’s my next step?
With a disclaimer that I am 100% allowed to change my mind, my plan is to work away at an independent study in sports sociology this fall while I do the registered holistic nutrition program (in London) on a part time basis and work as much as I can in fitness. I want to teach spin and bootcamp and I’d like to keep training with triathlon club. I’m going to think about doing an energy exchange at Yoga Shack, but if I’m too busy, I’ll keep yoga as purely something I do for the sake of doing. I’m going to see how things go and where I can work in fitness and my motto is to take opportunities that call out to me but say no to the ones that just don’t feel right (if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no). I’m going to keep blogging about all of the healthy living I do and I’m going to keep on writing (freelancing, volunteering at the Gazette, etc.). I’m hoping that when I’m done with the RHN program in two years, I can do one of the coaching programs at Rhodes. I know I want to help people and I think the programs would work together to give me the kind of training and experience I need to make positive change. I also think they’ll give me the information I want to write the kinds of articles and blogs that will do the same. I also know that it sounds a little hippie to say that I’m going to be a freelance writer, holistic nutritionist and life coach who also teaches fitness, but that’s what I’m feeling right now.
So if you were hoping I’d have a simple answer in the form of “When I grow up, I’m going to ______________,” no such luck!
I know that giving myself this end vision — I picture that life coach writer nutritionist fitness instructor, I see her as a slightly older, stronger, only more awesome version of myself — and making it as vivid as I can (she lives in a house in the mountains and has two chocolate labs and drives a nissan murano, btw) is motivating. I have a yoga instructor who often says to leave the picture in the mirror out of it and to see where you want to go and then make it happen, and I’m definitely feeling the application here.
When you can see it, you can feel it, and you can connect to it. And when I see that version of me, I feel so full of energy, happy, and all that good stuff. If you think I’m crazy, I’m telling you: you’re missing out. That’s kind of why I want to be some form of a coach–to help people connect to this feeling of being motivated and energized and pulled by the positive things in life. After recovery from my eating disorder, I know how rough things can get. This is like a second shot at life, and I feel like I need to spread the word and shout it from the rooftops even if some people look at me like I’m a new age hippie or something. I swear–I’m not high on anything (my friend summed up how people sometimes look at us pretty well)–except life itself. Yeah, I just said that!
So that was a whole lot of words and a whole lot of cheese, but it needed to be said! You better believe there’s a bucket list coming and a vision board in the works. I’ve been jotting down random things I want to do before I die on napkins and business cards and in random notes on my phone. This is all good. It keeps me thinking about the positive things that I want to do. Think big. Dream big. Be bold. All that good stuff.
For a really long time, my life was about living small and about listening to Ed. It was about food, calories, workouts, and all that stuff. Then it hit me, slowly, but hard: this is all there is. I’m going to die some day. Like that’s pretty morbid, but it’s true. There’s no point in doing something that doesn’t make me happy. There’s no point in not doing what I want to do or in at least trying to figure out what that is. This could be a post in itself, so I’m going to sum things up:
Hence this blog. Hence my whole outlook and approach to life.
Have you ever changed your mind about school or your career?
What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?
If you’re working, are you doing the job you thought you would when you were younger?
Do you ever think of yourself in 10 years? What’s it look like?