I have been ruminating a lot lately on what to do with myself, my life, my career lately. I started writing a personal manifesto recently and though I have only finished it up to 40 items, it is clear to me that I want to do much more with my life, experience much more, live a full and happy life. It is also clear that I don't want to spend my time trying to figure out it anymore. What is it exactly? Well if I pull back the layers, take away the pieces then the only thing in my life that I am dissatisfied with is my career or lack there of. I have realized more and more recently that my personality may not lend itself to just doing one thing for the rest of my life. I don't care about having a career in the traditionally defined sense but I do want something other than my running to do (which would also pay the bills, as running definitely does not). I could see myself having many and more manifestations as a writer, photographer, baker, nutritionist, massage therapist, trainer, cafe owner.
I was reading an article today on The Art of Non-Conformity and the author talks about playing a little game. He writes:
"If time and money were no object, what would I do today?” This is a fun game to play, and it’s even better when you realize that you wouldn’t change much about your plan."
If I ask myself that question on any given day the answer would be: "run, cook, bake, run, run, run, cook, bake". The weekends are my favorite because I spend my time just doing that. I wouldn't change a thing about my plan. I feel free, I feel levity, I feel no stress.
But during the week that is a different story. I have to pay the bills somehow and frankly, I would like to do that in a way that interests me, challenges me and incorporates all of me. I have asked myself time and time again "what must I do?" and now I realize that I have been and am ruled by fear.
It’s backwards, but it seems that fear of not realizing your potential keeps you from doing anything to achieve it. It’s easier to live with the uncertainty than to try and come face to face with the fact that maybe, just maybe, you didn’t have what it takes.But at some point you have to make a choice. You have to decide that it’s more important to do what you must(even if you don’t know what that is), than to let uncertainty rule your mind. (Source: Illuminated Minds)
I don't decide, I don't act because I am afraid of failing. Again. You see, I feel like I have "tried on" several things, several careers that I thought were "it", thought were an expression of my passions. I went to grad school and got my Masters in Library Science. I went to a holistic natural chef program and got my Natural Chef certification. Now, as I ruminate on where to next, I have become afraid of investing in another dead end. Don't get my wrong, I don't regret my degrees and education, but I also don't want to further educate myself merely as a distraction for a time. Expensive distractions.
Recently, I applied to and got into another Bauman College program I am interested in, the Nutrition Educator program, which would eventually lead to doing the Nutrition Consultant program and I would be a certified nutrition consultant when it was all said and done. I am interested in nutrition sure and it would be awesome to have a clinical level of certification. But I go back to the question above and the answer is not this program. I desperately want it to be but I need something more dynamic, I need to be doing, I need to be creating.
No, the answer would be: go to a "real" culinary/baking school. If time and money were no object that would be the answer. Probably, San Francisco Baking Institute. Why? When I look at my manifesto and I examine my daily life, the thing I keep coming back to is eventually opening a bakery and cafe. In fact on my manifesto it is written in BIG BOLD LETTERS. With my current level of skills, it would be a big dangerous leap. I am relatively confident in my cooking skills but baking skills on the level I dream of, I am not. Thus I would love to study more, learn classic technique, work under some masters and then go forth from there into my realm of choice (gluten free baking) and ultimately, open a bakery. I mean other than running, I don't geek out over much else except food.
But I am governed by fear. I remember when I decided to go to grad school in Pittsburgh I had no fear. I barreled ahead with zest and relentless abandon. I was young, I was enthusiastic, I was willing to take out massive student loans. I did and now I feel like I pulled my one ticket for that train. I know that is not true, I am just afraid. I need to find a way not to be. Period. I need to rediscover how to live my life bodly and move forward, take risks and embrace (this part) of my life.
For now, no answer, no resolution. But a realization instead.