About 2 months before I got married, I booked an appointment at our local Entrepreneurship Center for a free mentorship meeting. I had been an entrepreneurship major in college and it had always been my dream to start a business and do music. The only issue was figuring out what that looked like. I am definitely someone bursting at the seams with exciting ideas, but like a lot of creative people, sometimes I’m guilty of “shiny object syndrome,” AKA getting bored or giving up too soon on one thing in order to do something that is obviously going to be WAY more exciting and cool than what I already started (I’m a 7 on the enneagram and an ENFJ maybe P on Myers Briggs, so this is just my cross to bear). So anyway, I thought of this business idea (I can’t completely remember what it was but it was some kind of platform for artists? I think??).
I had my notebook and my “trying to be trendy- professional” clothes on and was all set to figure out my straightforward path so that when I get married, I can have this career I know I’m passionate about and then I will have my life all figured out (it works that way right?). So I got into this meeting and it’s this serious (but kindly) business man who listens to my idea and after I’m sure that he’s about to give me all the answers I need to run with it, instead he basically tells me maybe I should just focus on my upcoming wedding and get a more clear idea of what I want to do…
I obviously left feeling a heavy weight of doom and thinking like well now I have zero path and I’m just going to die meandering around trying to find my path (the drama!). Looking back now, I can so clearly see that this wasn’t me being lost or having no path at all. I think God was guiding me on a very clear path, but I just couldn’t see any of it yet.
I think on social media, most people don’t post about the middle of a journey as much because we sometimes don’t see how certain things are important in our lives or how they are setting us up for the next step. If you are feeling a little lost or confused about not knowing how to get into music, not knowing how to get a gig you want, or how to find a career that you love, I wanted to make this blog for you because we have all been there!
So here are my top tips if you are in the middle:
1) Keep moving!
It’s really tempting to stop trying anything until you are sure it’s the right next step. But I think it’s almost impossible to think yourself to a new career or life decision. I read this book The Defining Decade which is all about being in your 20’s and navigating life. While parts of it definitely stressed me out, it was actually really helpful in teaching me about being “in motion.” Rather than getting some random job you really don’t care about or enjoy while you are trying to figure things out, choose something that is at least in the realm you want or has perks that allow you to work on your dream! I think God has a plan and purpose for all of us and is there to guide us once we start moving!
2) Don’t get stressed when everyone asks what your job is
The fear of telling some random person what you do for a living is so real! I think it’s because it kinda digs into insecurities we have about our jobs. But let me tell you, there is almost no job that is shameful (unless it’s embezzling money from the elderly or something). When I first graduated, I worked at a bean-to-bar chocolate factory and then at a few different breweries and a winery. Then I got a job at a healthcare compliance company and worked at an interior design business… Could my resume look more scrambled?? Also I went from “no way that’s so cool!” responses to my brewery job to “oh wow” with glazed over eyes at my healthcare job. But this tiny response from someone who can’t see or have time to understand your whole journey/dreams/purpose in each job isn’t worth feeling insecure about. So 1) be proud that you are working 2) be confident that there is a purpose for each place you’ve worked.
3) Everyone else is there with you
There is always going to be something that is not perfect and finished in everyone’s lives because we are all humans (and that would also be sad and boring). We all know social media is full of life highlights and doesn’t give the full picture, but also it would be super weird if it did. I don’t think social media was made to share all of our deepest darkest secrets with the world (even though I do think being transparent and sincere is still really important). I think if you are going to use social media, you need to focus on being confident in yourself and stop comparing yourself with other people. I know the times that I find myself looking through instagram and feel worse after are the times that there’s something in my life I’m not happy about or feeling insecure about.
4) Be thankful
I think gratitude is maybe the number one way to accept where you are. I heard once that where you are right now was once your dream. I think about the fact I am completely in the middle of what I’m doing with guitar stuff/this business and that gives me anxiety sometimes and consumes a lot of my thoughts, but quitting my job to go for a dream, moving to Nashville, and marrying the best guy in the world were all previous dreams and prayers of mine that have already been answered. This might sounds a little cheesy, but gratitude journals have really helped me! Writing down the things you see as progress and gifts in your life can help change your focus from feeling like you are lacking to being motivated to do things because you are excited about them.
I really think that you will do so much better going for the things you want to do in your life by coming at them from a positive perspective. Rather than thinking I have to do this thing or get this career so that I can have purpose and value on my life, reframe your thinking to I always have purpose and value in my life and this is a new exciting step for me to impact someone else’s life.
I hope if this is you, it helps a little bit! I am completely there in the middle with you of figuring out how to pursue the dreams in my life and make them work as my living. We are all so much more than what we do and being the type of person that you want to be is way more important than checking something off a to-do list!