Boy was I naive.
After college I had trouble deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I bounced around from office jobs to retail to owning my own personal training business. I've even shadowed in an elementary school classroom a few times. I just couldn't pinpoint what I wanted to spend my work days doing. A lot of people are okay with just picking a job and sticking with it. Go to work, get it done, come home and do what you love. Well I'm not okay with that - I want to wake up, go to work and do something that I love, and then come home and do MORE stuff that I love.
Little did I know, that can be easier said than done. It really does take some soul searching to figure out where you want to invest your work days. And no, soul searching doesn't have to mean sitting in a dark, candlelit room saying "hummm" - because that's totally what I pictured before I did it myself.
For me soul searching was going after dreams which led to new dreams. Soul searching is learning what you truly enjoy doing, what makes you come alive. I wasn't the 18 year old who entered college knowing that I wanted to be a nurse or a lawyer or whatever. I had to discover what I wanted to do.
I figured out that I thrive off of helping people. I love watching people reach new goals and gain confidence in themselves. I've learned that I crave a balanced home/work life. I want to wake up every day and do something that makes me feel like I'm really impacting people.
I've been a personal trainer for almost 2 years now, and I don't regret a single day of it. It's taught me so much about myself. I love working with people one on one or in smaller groups. Big groups - not so much. I love helping people sit down and create goals and then make a plan to help them reach those goals. I love holding them accountable and encourage them along in making progress toward those goals.
After a lot of research and brainstorming I came upon speech-language pathology. It seems like a career that wraps up everything that I love in a job all into one: I can work with kids or adults. I'll get to help people every single day. I'll be challenged and continue learning every day. I'll have a good home/work balance (which is something that I struggle with now as a personal trainer).
I'm so excited to be back in school pursuing this new path. It's going to be tough, but the payoff will be more than worth it. So I encourage you to do a little soul searching if you don't like where you're at. It's okay to not know exactly where you want to be. Explore! Live! Dream! Make sure that you enjoy the time that you spend soul searching - you don't have to rush through it.
Whatever you do - never settle. You are worth going after the desires of your heart.