5 Reasons I Got Off My Butt & Discovered a New Passion


I've taken some time this month to clean out my Gmail, the main goal being to have a completely empty Inbox. I went through each email one by one, adding it to my Gmail Task List and / or archiving it away, until I got to the very last entry. It was labeled "journal" & dated 12/14/06. I knew it was there for me to print & tape into my actual journal (which I never write in unless things are bad / sad / confusing & I need some clarity), but I don't think I've looked at it in all these 31 (!) months.

In December of 2006 I was dating my now-husband, Luke, for almost a year, & we were living together, & things were both hunky & dorey. But while I was in this amazing relationship, and at a "grown-up, non-sales, getting-my-full-paycheck-all-the-time job, my 9-6 or 7 or 8 job" that, at the time, I liked despite my "condescending micro-manager" of a boss (who would eventually get so condescending & so micro-managing that II once dry heaved into the trash at the Union Sq subway station on my way to work, only to feel fine the second I was on the train heading home).
The confusion I felt was in regards to acting – my passion, my dream since I was an Annie wannabee. Here's what I wrote:

I feel my acting stuff just sorta slipping away. I still have the desire and the need to do it – if I did I wouldn't be upset about it – but I lost the optimism and the spark. I don't feel jaded, per se – just worn out and tired of all this. I'm tired of chugging along, of the highs that don't materialize and the lows that are just crushing. I feel like I'm not making headway, that I've never made headway. OK, maybe I am just a bit jaded.

But then it comes back around to the other part of what I need and what I want, which is a relationship that's not strained by me being away, which is something more than a load of temp jobs, which is paying off my debts (even if it's a little at a time) and being financially stable, and having a social life in NYC. And while I'm itching to be on stage again, I don't want to give up the other pieces of what I need.

So I'm desperately trying to figure out a balance between my heart and my head. Do I do this job and have my social life and take a break from the business of show? Or do I do this job and take all my personal days for auditions, to keep plugging away at this? Or do I do this job and try to do my own show, even if nobody sees it except for me friends and family? Or do I just throw in the towel, keep on plugging away at my day job for a paycheck and the lifestyle I want to lead? Or do I go back to school to try to find something else that I can be passionate about?

I've been trying to unjumble my head for over a year with all this, and while I want to make both things work – be able to go on auditions and do extra work while I also have my "day job" – the more I try the more tired I feel. So what's the compromise?
I feel like I'm a Practical Dreamer. "

That spring, I enrolled in the Career Change Workshop at NYU. That summer, I enrolled at ICA to be a life coach. I found my way, but I can't help wondering how I really got here. I think it consisted of:

  • being tired. Let's face it, I was worn out, beat down, & "jaded". I lost my spirit & I wanted it back.
  • feeling "stuck". I knew that I wasn't going out on auditions, & eventually I realized that the job I was in was not going to be the job that I was going to have forever (or even another year!). I knew I needed to make a change or risk making a "career" out of doing something that I rocked at, but hated (namely sales & customer service, since my experience & personality kept me steadily employed in those fields)
  • growing up. At the age of age of almost-29, I knew that the one goal I had my whole life was no longer the "right" goal for me. My affected had changed into "grown up" ones & I wanted to pave a new path based on them.
  • refusing to compromise . I could have easily stayed with that job for, oh, as long as I could have taken it. Or, I could have left & gone to the next customer service / sales position. But that was unacceptable to me. I spent my whole life chasing a dream, trying to make a living doing something I loved – making a living not doing something I loved was not an option.
  • being a self-starter. I know it's an extreme comparison, but changing careers is like being an addict. You have to acknowledge you have a problem & then you have to be the one to do something about it – nobody can fix your problem for you but you.

Where are you on your journey? Are you contemplating a new path, are you taking steps to get there, or do you know what you want but not how to get it? Reading this journal entry put me right back to that year of confusion & loss, & that's the reason that I became a creative career coach – to help those that are in that place. If only there was me when I needed me! Let me be me for you.

Source by Michelle Ward

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