When I was younger I wanted to be a ballerina, a writer, an astronaut and then later a teacher. A lack of balance and a fear of heights changed those later, and while I continued to write I never saw a future in it so pushed it to the side.
From 3rd grade until I reached college I wanted to be a teacher - nothing would change that, except college. I wanted a challenge, the classes didn't challenge me. Not to say that controlling a room of 20+ small children isn't a challenge, I just wanted something different. For two years I sat through courses in pursuit of a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology.. I burned out quick. I didn't mind science going into it, but had love/hate relationship with it by the time my first two years were done.
It took some time for me to figure out after that what I wanted to do with my life. I looked back to that aptitude test we all took in 8th grade and laughed. My top three career paths - Teacher, Scientist or Interior Designer. Now even in 8th grade I threw the designer out the window, while I liked doing artistic things, working on the house - but never saw a teacher in it. But figured, what would one class hurt?
That summer semester I took a basic design course and hand drafting at the community college and was hooked. There was a real future in it, I could get a career but wanted a four year degree. I transferred to a school with an accredited degree program. Got a Bachelors with minors in marketing and historic preservation.
I went onto a masters degree at the second best program in the nation, completed a three year program in two years. I finished with distinction - my gpa was so high. I found my niche! I had a highly coveted internship and was working in a firm.
Then the bottom fell out...
I was done with my degree, laid off and no job openings in sight. The market for interior design crashed. Designers I knew who were seniors in their firms were being let go and working at Target.
What can you do? I found myself reinventing myself - finding a new niche. I used my graphic knowledge to build websites, to bring in some money. I worked on art projects, made jewelry - things to bring in small checks to keep my head above the water with my unemployment benefits.
Today, I'm still doing design so some degree. I occasionally do interior projects, and often do graphic design and website design. I still make jewelry. But just last week I realized, I'm writing - after all that I fell back on one of those childhood dreams. Is it what I expected to do? I doubt any child from our generation grew up saying "I want to be a blogger when I grow up!" I don't think the concept was even in my vocabulary yet! But here I am, living out a weird version of my childhood dream. It doesn't matter how or why- but after all these years dreams still come true.
Go chase your dreams and love what you're doing!