It was about a year ago that I started this blog. The first post I ever wrote was about how I decided to stop drinking. At the time I felt like I was really coming out to be controversial, like I was out to ruffle people’s feathers. In the end, I kind of doubt I did. That post was met with a warm reception from my friends and peers and it hardly seemed to bug anyone. The same can be said about several of the posts that followed.
Looking back, I think this blog was started mostly as a vehicle to express myself when I was unable to in person. There were a lot of things that I was unable to articulate, even to those closest to me. I didn’t really explain to my parents what I was about to do with my future, as crucial as that might seem to everyone’s relationship with their parents. I thought I had a loose plan, but I might have appeared directionless to almost everyone else.
Throughout my college years, I often looked up to people who were life coaches. What I noticed about them was that a lot of them had blogs and interesting websites of their own, and I wanted to follow their example. They seemed to be insightful, sincere, uplifting and driven to make an impact on people’s lives. They also often spoke about the flexibility they had with their lives, and that seemed to me like a winning combination of meaningful work with a fascinating lifestyle.
Determined as I was to make this career a reality for me, I still found myself going about it in the worst ways. I would do all the research and pretty much do anything but the most important work: helping people. I kept listening to the podcasts and reading books related to this topic. Although I kind of felt like I was doing work, deep down I knew I really wasn’t. I felt lost and I started to face the fact that I was pretty naive about this whole thing the entire time. This was particularly difficult to explain to people who asked what I wanted to do. I was hungry for a place to sit; a place where I could have a neat job title cut out for me and I wouldn’t have any anxiety about my future.
Fortunately for me, I was able to find someone currently doing the work that I wanted to be doing. Although he was very helpful, welcoming and generous, he did not hesitant to tell me that I have a lot to learn, and that I haven’t had the life experience to immediately start doing what took him his whole life to achieve (Note: by this I mean that I couldn’t just start coaching for a living. He did say, however, that I could start coaching at any time).
A lot of people have mixed feelings about this, like I’d be wrong to buy into the idea that I need to achieve a certain level of life experience before I start doing what I really want to do. That’s a valid point, and yet I do believe that both arguments can be true. For the longest time I struggled to come up with a definite answer for myself. I really found it hard to trust anyone’s opinion on this matter, even my mentor’s.
One thing that felt true for me, though, was that I wanted to go through a personal transformation for the sake of it, not for the sake of starting a business and coaching people. This journey had to occur just for the sake of really experiencing life myself. The journey I feel that I’m on is kind of like a rite of passage into adulthood. That might sound kind of weird to say, but it has been a part of our human history to go through these rites to transition into adulthood. This phase used to be really short (as was life in general) for our ancestors, but in our Western culture, we have a sort of extended adolescence that we deal with.
And so, under his direction, I went through multiple trials to get my life moving forward. I am in no way done with these trials, but putting myself in awkward situations (trying to flirt on the street and complimenting strangers), and going through a few job ideas (ABA instructor, Personal Fitness Trainer) have carried me closer to my goal. After several months and a few failed attempts, I was beginning to feel some despair. I didn’t know why I couldn’t get my act together, in the way that I thought everyone else had their act together. And so I stayed off social media and sometimes I even withdrew from my social circles entirely.
It was very recently that my mentor decided create an internet startup, Real Money. It was a project that started out as a simple course that he wanted to put together in a few weeks. Since then, it unexpectedly turned into something much larger, and he wanted someone to help out as a community manager. I’d like to say that I was proactive in getting that role, but really he asked and I was then delighted to be on board.
I was unsure for a while, though; I knew I wanted to help out, but something didn’t feel quite right to me. The project had a well-meaning goal: to help people take control of their financial lives and support each other in the same area. Although it’s an important aspect of our lives, a lot of people avoid talking about embarrassing financial situations. However, our platform gives them a safe space to do so. I want to help people open up about topics that they’re ashamed to bring up in person; that was the whole point of my blog to begin with. Now my idea is overlapping with someone else’s, and something new is just beginning to take shape.
Looking back at all of this, I can see where I’ve been impatient, and where I could have enjoyed my life more without all the anxiety. I’m beginning to see this life as a mystery unfolding, not a plot to figure out.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading,