During the spring of 2015, I was traveling in Brazil with some of my incredible students, when I started to consider a career change. At that point in my teaching, I’d only been in the game for about two years or so, but I soon realized that what I thought I loved about teaching wasn’t actually teaching, but it was hanging out with kids, getting to know them, listening to them, advising them, and helping them become their best selves. The problem was I wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like career wise. Surely I couldn’t get paid to just hang out with teenagers. That job doesn’t exist, right? Well after talking things over with a few of my closest friends, I learned that it kind of does exist in the form of becoming a counselor, a therapist, a clinical social worker, or a psychologist. But how could I do this? I’d just accepted another job at a new school. I couldn’t just leave that behind. I couldn’t back out. I couldn’t change my mind. It was too late. The thing about discovering and pursuing your purpose, however, is that it’s never too late to make it all come true.
A few months ago, I took a leap of faith and made the decision to apply to the number three school in the country and in my specific program to pursue a second masters degree, this time in a completely separate field than I’d studied before. I honestly doubted my chances of getting in. I didn’t think I was smart enough or prepared enough. I didn’t think I could hang with the big dogs. This is a school whose acceptance rate is less than 8%! How could I compare? How could I compete? I tried to talk myself out of it. I came up with backup plans and began researching other schools, ya know, just in case, but when you’ve realized your purpose, the only thing that stands in your way is you. I got so caught up in my own doubts and insecurities, I almost missed my shot, I almost missed my opportunity to do what I strongly believe I was born to do. I’m glad I didn’t give in to my fears.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m terrified and nervous and excited and optimistic to be a new student in the fall. I’m a bundle of emotions all jumbled up inside, but most of all I’m feeling grateful and affirmed. This weekend, my program hosted Newly Admitted Students’ Weekend, and there I met some incredible professors I hope to have and new classmates I hope to befriend. It’s hard to believe I’m not dreaming. What do you do once you’ve followed your passions? What do you do when you finally understand the path you’ve been on all along was actually leading you to the place you’re meant to be? You stand in the sun and bask in the glory.
Sometimes we spend so much of our time wandering around either doing what we think we’re supposed to be doing or searching for more. Sometimes we think we’re not capable of anything other than what we have. Sometimes we don’t even know where to start or we think it’s too late. And sometimes we make up excuses because we’re just plain terrified of taking the risk–we’re too afraid to fly and we’re too afraid to fail. But like I said in last week’s Motivational Monday post, nothing beats a failure but a try. You owe it to yourself to stand in the sunlight and walk in your purpose.
Trust me, it’s never too late.