I always used to scoff when people would use the term “quarter-life crisis.” People are young, they’re indecisive… this doesn’t define a crisis, it defines being spoiled. That was until I grew up. I realized, it may not quite be a crisis- but there is a good portion in your mid-twenties where you question a lot. You’re finally beginning to actually grow up, your responsibilities change, you change. This leads to what feels like a bridge that’s never-ending when trying to cross from being a youth into being a full-blown adult. It’s not even a one way-bridge, it’s a junction where you have to choose to go left or right… but no matter what path you take, there’s no turning around.
This junction. This crossroad. That’s where I am right now. I used to think I had my entire life figured out, at least in the general sense. Graduate, get involved in the environmental field as an educator or spokesman, get married, have a family (all within a 4-5 year time span by the way). Now, I don’t really know how much of that will happen… or when. I got involved in one of my current jobs when I had that plan in mind, only to be sitting here nearly a year and a half later wondering what the hell I was thinking. I care about the environment, but honestly… not as much as the people I work with. They’re science-minded and care about whether something is a plankton or a nudibranch and I’m sitting there trying to figure out how they even managed to notice it. This isn’t to hate on them, never! They’re extremely smart people and this is their passion, and watching them be so… well, passionate, made me realize that I’m not. This is their field, not mine. I watch other people give tours and they give all these scientific facts and history and they know their shit; I give tours and I socialize with my group, sure I give them the proper information, but I am more focused on communicating with them and interacting and finding out what it is they actually care about. I’m about the experience, not sending a message. Not to mention, sitting in class or studying or trying to do assignments as an Environmental Studies major… I have had at least 3 breakdowns this semester alone! I don’t care how many species of plankton there are or what the difference between fish families is. Is some of the information really cool? Heck yeah! Do I care about the environment and is it worth saving? Heck yeah! Do I want to dedicate my life to this field? Heck no!
So… then what do I do? I was a transfer and have 2 semesters left, I can’t change my major. My job is helping pay my bills and they’re willing to work around my school schedule, I can’t quit in hopes of finding something I love that work with me. Great. What am I even good at? What is something that I thrive at doing with ease? I know, you’re probably thinking, “This chick talks.. a lot. Just get to the point already, what’s the reasoning behind all this superfluous information?” To which I respond: 1) I’ve always been a talker. 2) It all has a point, it’s called storytelling… if you lay a background, then the end will resonate more strongly. 3) Combine those two and it’s called having good communication skills.
And there it is. That’s my special skill set. Communication. Sure, anyone can talk… but being a strong communicator isn’t something everyone has the ability to do- otherwise it wouldn’t be its own field, it wouldn’t have its own major. It may be too late to switch my major, but my job has a communication aspect and my skill set speaks for itself (literally and figuratively).
It won’t be easy to make such a sudden and dramatic change, and I may not have an actual heading or path to choose, nor an idea of how long this will take. But, at least I finally recognized the driving force behind many of my decisions over the course of my working career: choosing not to be a vet because there wasn’t as much interaction with clients as I thought, applying for my current job because I knew speaking in front of people was easy, styling both in retail and for (another) current job because I find satisfaction in communicating to women how to feel good about themselves… it was all centered around interactions. I was told since I was a child that I needed to find a job where I could just talk all day and tell people what to do because I never shut up, I’m a strong speaker, and I have confidence.
New goal: work in communications, get into a leadership position, and be the kickass and badass woman I know I am.
P.S. randomly found featured image on Pinterest. Not sure where it originated from, but I do NOT have rights to it. It is not my work, I do NOT take credit. That being said… I love it.