Friday, June 21, 2013

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That’s one of the questions that have been messing around my mind since I was a kid. I remember saying I wanted to be an actress, so that I could pretend being lots of other things. Indecision right there. I also remember me thinking how unfair the world was and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to give a decent house and food for everyone. There’s more: I liked to imagine how I would fix my hometown, creating a clean, happy place to live.

I was always a good student, getting high grades and never failing my exams, but I never understood why we had to study stuff like complicated math, chemistry, physics. I wanted to learn first aids, cooking, driving and other useful subjects. I loved my history, language and literature classes.

When the time to choose my major came, I had no idea what I wanted to be. My choices were limited: I had to choose among the courses my local University offered. So I went through the brochure once again, crossing out what I definitely didn’t want: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursery, Law, Physical Education, IT and all that. I ended up applying for English Language and Literature and got first place on the exam. I didn’t really want to be a teacher, but I loved English, reading and writing.

On my second year at Uni, I started teaching and I did it well, but I didn’t love it. I graduated and decided I had to do something new. I needed a change or I would get stuck on that life. I knew I could do better. And so I left home and became an Au Pair.

I really believed that the time abroad, the adventure, the learning-more-about-myself thing would finally give me THE answer I needed. And I would be all “Aha! I know what I want to be when I grow up!”.

I wasn’t totally wrong. I did learn a lot about myself and life, but I realized that being absolutely certain about what you’re supposed to do is not that easy. However, as I talked to friends I saw that they had the same feeling and I read a lot about the mid-twenties crisis. These are indeed hard times, when you have to take control and responsibility over your life. When you have to make decisions for the future and take important steps towards it. When you “have to” do a lot of stuff you’re “supposed to”.


I’m 27 and I just moved back to Belgium to start building a brand new life. I’m not a teacher anymore. I’m not an Au Pair anymore. I’m just me for now. Sometimes it makes me nervous to have such a blank page in front of me. I don’t even know how the next few months are going to be. Other times, though, I feel grateful and excited for this time to learn, change, choose and create.

I have been reading blogs and e-books about creating business from your passions and living the life you love and it really resonates with me. I want to have freedom and power over my own life. I want to work when and where I like and as much as I like. I want to share and be useful and helpful. Although I have a few faint ideas on how to do that, I still have doubts. What are my gifts and passions? How can I join my education, experience and passions and make a living? What would people pay me for? 

That’s when I decided I want to be supported on this journey. I heard of a place where women are changing their lives and the world; where they are learning to share their gifts and create abundant lives. And I thought “This is totally what I need now!”

I joined Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz + Life Academy*. There are courses, books, videos, discussion forums and so many tools to help me figure things out. I have been brainstorming like crazy, thinking, writing, asking around… I even created my very own vision board! 

And I’ve learned to:

-          Always invest in myself. Education, books, courses, seminars. You can never know enough.

-          Do what is doable at the moment. Don’t wait for it to be perfect or it might never come.

-       Look for support! I stopped trying to solve everything myself. Often times the answer I need is not in my head.

That’s why I’m sharing this, peeps! I’ll love to connect and hear your ideas, advice, personal stories, questions, etc. Let’s pick each other’s brains!

* That is an affiliate link. It means that if you click on it and make a purchase, I get a commission. I only recommend it because I truly love it :)


Leslie said...

Yes to all of this! I've had more jobs than I want to count, and that question stresses me out. Long-term planning has never been a strength of mine. But I have learned a lot about myself and the value I have to offer. One of my current projects is to re-organize my portfolio of skills and experiences into a new website in both English and Spanish, which I want to launch before I turn 30 in January. I'm always figuring it out as I go along!

Coisas da Fran said...

Te entendo totalmente Ana!
Quantas e quantas vezes me peguei pensando, mesmo já "grandinha", o que eu queria ser quando crescesse...
Quando criança, já quis ser aeromoça, uma S.O.S. Malibu, dançarina de cabaré... rs!
Quando cresci, quis ser psicóloga, mas por motivos complexos acabei me tornando professora de inglês. Nunca gostei de dar aulas de inglês, não era minha paixão apesar de amar a língua inglesa!
Tive muitos empregos "nada haver", só pra não ficar parada, até que um dia descobri que podia ser mais de uma coisa ao mesmo tempo!
Procurei descobri minhas paixões e hoje invisto nelas: culinária e artes visuais!
Então, decidi que agora que sou "grande", vou buscar ser feliz fazendo o que me dá alegria! Ser professora sim, mas de Artes Visuais e vender os meus quitutes para quem também amá-los!
Mas não me limito a isso, sei que ainda serei muita coisa nessa vida, como por exemplo uma boa mãe!
Cada coisa a seu tempo, é claro! :)

Perica said...

I love this, Ana! It really resonates with me! I feel the same way, though I'm afraid I've been stuck on the same place for years now. I didn't have the courage to at least try something new, as you did! I hope this will change soon though. I'll devote this summer to myself and to discover (or at least try once again) what I really want to do. Oh, the mid-twenties crisis, yes, I know about that! ;) Keep on girl!