Friday, September 21, 2012

What to do when you don’t know what to do with yourself

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school.  No flippin idea.

My mum and boyfriend convinced me I should go to university.  So even though I DIDN’T WANT TO, I thought “Hmm, I’m good at music, so I’ll do music.”

So I did.  Even though my gut told me it was dead wrong.

I did enjoy the music department at Auckland University.  The courtyard was beautiful & had vines climbing all over it.  You could sit there on a sunny day, completely cut off from the chaos from the rest of the University, and listen to talented musicians practicing, the music wafting out the windows.  

Yet I struggled to find the motivation to attend class. 

The exterior - blocking the music department off from the rest of the world

I tried to drop out after the first semester – but again, there was another intervention of family and boyfriend telling me not to. 

So I gave it another go and saw it through to the end of the year.  And even though I got through it, I hated it so much.  Don’t get me wrong – I had friends, I found the work OK (not great, but OK)  but it was like every fibre of my being was saying “YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.”

Again and again I try to stress to people:  If something feels WRONG, DON’T’ do it.  EVEN IF people you LOVE are telling you to do something.  DON’T DO IT if it feels WRONG.  I’ve learnt this the hard way SO many times. 

Nothing bad happened.  There was no cataclysmic event from my doing the wrong thing (that I know of).  But I WISH I listened to my gut.  Who knows where my life would have led?

I finally concluded that working was my best option while I decided what I wanted to do with my life.  I’ve always been a fast typist (thank you piano lessons), so I joined a temping agency & started working as a secretary/receptionist at different offices.

I LOVED temping.  THIS was more like it.  I enjoyed meeting new people, sussing out the inner-workings at different offices and analysing the crap out of companies for my own personal enjoyment.  (I like anaylising people & organisations…)  All the while, not being completely tied down so I could figure out what I wanted to do AND earn a decent wage for someone my age. 

It wasn’t my dream job.  Temping was never going to be my destiny – BUT it was enjoyable on my way to figure out what I really wanted to do.  Yip, it took a few years after that but it started me on my journey.

So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Find something else you enjoy to do in the meantime.  It doesn’t have to be THE perfect thing – if you don’t know what to do, nothing’s going to be perfect.  But you will know if something’s going work for you or not.

Good luck & follow your gut.

(or maybe start here?)

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