Growing up, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I had thrown out different career titles here and there, mostly to please my parents. However, I wasn’t entirely sure where my life would lead me, where God would lead me. I remember in the 4th grade I wanted to be a doctor. I thought it was so great to take care of people while wearing a white coat and a stethoscope around my neck. Then in the 5th and 6th grade, I wanted to be a lawyer. This idea was sparked from a glimpse of the movie “A Few Good Men”. I thought that the lawyer looked and sounded so powerful and confident, something I strived to be. By 7th and 8th grade, I wanted to be a journalist and I thought I was dead set on the idea. I had a deep love for writing and scribbled in countless journals, all filled with ramblings of my day and the people who played a part in it. By the end of 8th grade, my dreams were crushed when I was swayed by a family member that I just didn’t have the guts to be a reporter. They told me it was a hard field to get into and that I wasn’t cut out for that type of work. I felt so timid and slowly gave up on the idea. By the time high school started, I looked to my mom and brother, both of whom decided to get into the medical field. Inspired by their work ethic and the money they made, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals. After that, I spent 3 years learning medical terminology and about my field of interest. When high school ended, I moved to San Diego where I was supposed to attend SDSU and pursue a degree in Biology when I stumbled upon a love for teaching. When I first moved to California, I only knew my family which consisted of my uncle, aunt and 6 cousins. My aunt is a big philanthropist and she volunteered a lot of her time to the elementary school her 4 children attended. I decided to volunteer my time as well, and I became a teacher aide for different elementary school classes ranging from Kindergarten to 6th grade. I always loved being around children, soaking in their joy for life and watching them grow. After a few months, I set my heart into liberal studies to pursue a career as a teacher. I was super pleased with myself. However, my immediate family was not.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother and brother supported me in my decision. It was just that they thought I was meant for something better, something greater. From my perspective, I thought becoming a teacher was something better, something greater. I thought I would be making a difference by helping children develop and grow. I thought it would mold and shape me into the person I was meant to become, allowing me to live up to my fullest potential. Then after three years of studying in San Diego, I moved here to Vegas where my dreams were slightly crushed. I started working for a learning center/daycare where I found out quickly that having a classroom of my own was not what I thought it would be. Granted, I knew it would be hard work to care for and teach children 8 hours a day, but what I experienced was a true wake-up call. I was shaken into the reality that I was not meant to become a teacher. I was disheartened, not only because my dreams were fading, but because I had no idea where my life was headed.
You know when you have your heart set on becoming something that you fantasize about what you’ll like when you reach your goal? When I realized I wasn’t cut out to becoming a teacher, I couldn’t fantasize anymore. I tried to envision what my future would like and all I would see was black. I slowly started to lose hope.
A couple months later, my mom pulled me aside. I’d been updating her on the thoughts of my career goals when she encouraged me to pursue a career in fashion. To back track a bit, my mom had wanted me to pursue a fashion career for the longest time. In high school, I was always complimented on my outfit choices and even won an award for “Best Dressed”. That was when she first brought up the idea, and I didn’t turn it down right away. When I was living in San Diego, my mom asked me to look at the FIDM campus and consider the option of going there. At the time, I was serious about becoming a teacher that I completely threw the idea to the side. I love fashion and reading all about it. I enjoy shopping and learning about the different trends all over the world. However, having a fashion career wasn’t what I had in mind because it seemed too ambitious. It definitely sounded exciting, but if I wasn’t cut out for teaching, would I REALLY be cut out for the fashion industry? But I needed something to excite me, something to give me hope that I would have a successful future, so I took my mom’s advice.
I applied at the Art Institute of Las Vegas where I majored in Fashion Retail & Management. I spent three years developing my interest and finding my talent. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I poured myself in every project I could participate in.
Now as a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, I have to say that I am so glad I listened to my mom. I can now understand what her and my brother meant when they said that I was meant for something greater. In no way am I belittling any of the jobs I’ve previously referenced to because they each have their own levels of difficulty. However, I was intimidated by a fashion career because not everyone makes it, which initially led me to believe that I couldn’t make it. I would be a small fish in a big ocean and I would mostly be eaten by the big fashion sharks. The industry is a very cut throat business where a lot of people are left broke and homeless. Compared to other jobs, the stories I heard about the fashion industry sounded like it was more of a nightmare than anything. It terrified me and I swore to myself that I wouldn’t get into it cause I didn’t think I would make it. But now as a fashion graduate, I don’t see myself doing anything else. I fantasize about my goals and I can actually envision myself doing many successful things. I finally have my future and it is bright and exciting.
The point of this story is to reference back to a quote I recently read from a book called, The Freemind Experience. It talks about the 3 pillars to finding edifying and lasting happiness. In the introduction of the book the author writes:
The key to happiness is moving from identifying with our small, personal, limited and fearful personality and identifying more with our larger, impersonal, unlimited
and loving universality.” -Tom Fortes Mayer
As someone who has limited themselves in fear, I encourage you to let that go. Don’t hold back from a great journey filled with ups and downs. Take heart and remember that your life is meant to be great, wonderful and awesome! Envision yourself succeeding in the biggest dreams you have and make them into reality. Don’t let anyone (or even yourself) deter you from living greatly. You are meant for more. Now go get it!