Hello again and Happy Wednesday!
I’m happy to have another good friend joining me for Around the Bonfire this week. Nicole from Moments that Define Life has been an amazing supporter of my blog for a long time, and I was delighted to meet her in person at BlogHer this past year. (note: yes, she is as adorable and sweet as she is on her blog) Today, Nicole shares her current career struggles and trying to go down different paths at the same time – something I think many of us struggle with. I know you’ll enjoy her piece, Traveling Multiple Roads.
And please stop by her blog and wish her a very happy birthday today! Happy birthday, Nicole!
Today is my 33rd birthday.
I’m officially well into my thirties and I feel, in some respects I’m starting from the beginning again. I’m trying to figure out where I fit and what I should be doing. I feel like I’m starting all over again professionally and it is scary and thrilling at the same time. When you make a choice to do something at 18 or 20 years old, it’s actually kind of silly if you think about it. How on earth do you know what you want to do with the rest of your life at that age?
But, I’ve come to realize that we all live multiple lives within one. Right now, I’m doing a ton of different things. But when I was eighteen and I made the decision to go to school to be a teacher, I had different things informing that choice. It’s not to say I won’t go back to it because I think there may come a time that I will. I loved teaching and I was good at it. I loved what it brought to my life and I do feel like I brought something to the lives of my students – so I can see life bringing me back there at some point.
But right now, in my thirties, I am a bit nicheless in my career life. Quite frankly, I’m all over the map.
I’m very clear on my role as mom, but that’s not all that I am, and I find it hard to sit idle while I’m home raising my girls. I’m realizing as I grow more into myself and learn even more about what makes me tick, that I have additional interests and more that I want to do in addition to the roles I’ve taken on already as mother, wife and teacher. I want to stretch and challenge myself to reach new goals – whatever they might be.
The problem is narrowing down those goals and figuring out what I’m really good at…and…not succumbing to self-doubt. That’s my current struggle, figuring out where I fit and what my little space in the writing, blogging and social media world will be and being confident in those pursuits.
I once sat in a bar chatting with a New York Times Reporter (classy, I know) telling him that I thought it was quite possible I missed my calling – that maybe I was supposed to be a journalist of some sort because telling the stories of others really sparked something within me. I shared with him how I had written a story for my first national publication about a group of Army wives and how they inspired me and humbled me as a person and in turn enriched my life, which really made me want to continue in this field. Upon hearing that he encouraged me to continue on in my freelance writing pursuits and to learn as much as I can – so I’ve been doing that ever since.
But now I’m also working in social media as a social media manager and I love that too. I love it because it is an emerging field and I love watching it evolve and grow. The interaction and the liveliness of my community is a ton of fun and I look forward to my work each day.
So with all that going on I have yet to feel like I just fit in one place.
Perhaps that’s just it…perhaps I won’t be in just one place, and maybe that’s ok.
I do feel fortunate that I get to take the time to figure this out – I realize not everyone has that luxury. I have my toes dipped into all of the things I like right now and it feels good to be delving in and figuring out the next professional chapter in my life because I don’t think we have one single chapter or one road to travel. I’m realizing that my road is largely undefined (if I want it to be), that I am continuing to evolve (if I choose to) and as that happens, what works for me and what makes me thrive will likely be consistently tweaked (if I’m open to that). With all this in mind, I think I’m excited about the next ten years and beyond.
Is anyone else traveling multiple roads as I am? How do you feel about that? Who’s up for checking in for a 43rd birthday toast to see where the road leads?
Nicole is the voice behind the blog Moments that Define Life where she writes about life and occasionally dispenses blogging and social media advice from others through her Blog Idol Interview series. She also runs a weekly Listable Life meme where she loves to interact with her readers each week. Nicole is a freelance writer for various print and online publications, Managing Editor at Savvy Sassy Moms and social media manager for the Smart Mom community when she’s not wrangling three kids and managing a very busy household. You can find her tweeting at @MTDLBlog or on Facebook.