Thursday, March 14, 2013

Follow your dreams, find your niche

I'm living proof you can follow your dreams, however specific and seemingly large, and achieve them. That if there's something deep inside you want to do or feel you're called to do, you can overcome obstacles and do it. Just as with hobbies, you can figure out your niche, your passion and what's in your heart.

I remember thinking, even before I learned to actively count the blessings in my life, that I must be really lucky. When I started working at newspapers, I once thought to myself, "Gosh, how cool would it be to be a police reporter." So, I aimed for it and did it.

Years later, on a different career path (after a 2nd degree, which I would have completed in a different way now that I'm committed to living frugally to avoid the debt), I thought, "I would just LOVE to work for the U.S. Geological Survey." I found a way to do that too.

And then I thought, "Wow, I'd love to have a job where I got to go to sea as part of my work." Worked that out as well.

After that, "I wish I could stay at home with my kiddo." Brady's father and I found a way to do that too and it was better than all the other "jobs" combined. I even thought that I wanted to be a cake decorator like my Mom had been and was able to do that twice in my life.

This is not to say I'm so great, cuz I'm not. And in retrospect I wasn't even "lucky." I just had the ability - the gift, really - to envision these things I wanted to do and somehow see no barrier in trying to do them. I pursued the path that would lead to them, researched a lot, worked hard, took advantage of any and all opportunities, and just went for it.

And even with what seem like barriers - young children at home, finances, location, age, marital status, etc. - with time and thought and prayer and research, I'll bet those barriers aren't as big as you think and you can find a way to overcome them.

I really believe anyone can do that. 

Though I have to admit, not all dreams work out the way you think and they don't always last. Being a police reporter was hard on my soul and I cried a lot. People do all sorts of horrible things to each other. Going to sea was as glorious as it sounds, but it's hard work and long hours, and when I got pregnant, I chose a different path. Cake decorating really is a blast, but it doesn't pay well and often is only part time.

Staying home with Brady was all I had dreamed and I was blessed to do it for four years.

But now, I feel as though I have found the best niche of all. I run all Internet aspects of our small family business and I write this blog. I work with my husband. I'm self-employed. My kiddo gets to go with me to work in the summer. There are trade-offs, but lots of benefits too.

If there's something you've been wanting to do, make a plan of how you might achieve it, start talking to those who do it and research all you can. If you don't pursue the things that pull at your heart, that you feel compelled or called to do, I think one day you will wonder about it. It may be that once you achieve it or look into it, it isn't for you after all.

But if you follow your heart and your path - as much as the practical reality of life lets you - I think you will eventually come to exactly where you are supposed to be, even if it's not what you originally thought.

And even if you do reach those dreams, I think it's a good idea to still have one or two "out there" to work toward. I have two: 1) become a published author at some point and 2) get Brady to adulthood relatively unscathed. Big goals, but I believe I can do them (thought not alone, only with lots of help from my husband, my family and the Lord above).

Here are some photos of those "dream" jobs. Lucky me :)


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