We have more options than ever before —more food choices, more schools choices, and more career choices. The truth is our abundance of options makes it harder to decide. “Let’s go to
McDonalds. No Chiptole. No P.F Changs.” We can’t even decide on what to eat tonight. Yet society tells us to go out into the world and choose what we want to be while there are a zillion new professions are created every day. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a basketball player, and in middle school, I wanted to be a journalist. When I was in high school, I couldn’t decide but I felt forced to choose something.
I wanted to be a journalist because it was something that was right in my face. But then I decided in high school to pursue becoming a pharmacist because I thought it would be something that would make money, and also make my family proud. I got accepted into schools with the two largest pharmacy programs but I turned down the offers because of indecision. Deep down I had aspirations that lead me to Los Angeles, California to be…wait for it…I didn’t know but I felt drawn to the City of Lights.
When I arrived to L.A., “I hope off the plane at LAX,” (in my Miley Cyrus voice) and I dove into what L.A. had to offer — a lot of unpaid modeling gigs, more than few shady character roles, “okay” community college and beautiful beaches. Somewhere along my journey here I woke up and it was three years later, and I reflected on the fact that I went from being an aspiring model, stylist, producer (a female Missy Elliot), and finally to an author. There were many highs like being in the same room as Tyler Perry, and Beyoncé when she was doing the On The Run Tour with Jay-z, and also meeting Romeo at Runyon. The highs were unforgettable but the lows were low. At one point I wasn’t the same girl who came out here with much ambition and self-confidence but I had turned into a girl with low self-esteem, failing grades, and a negative $300 in my account who still didn’t know what she wanted to do. I wondered how I was crashing down further by the day.
Thankfully, I had found some wonderful in-person and online “mentors” who helped me out of it. If I had gotten certain pieces of their advice and insights on the day I hopped off the plane at LAX or even while in high school, then I would have been better off. I call this advice and insights the ‘tools to life’ that could have saved me and could saved many teens from trouble, especially the ones who suffer from indecision on what they want to do in life just like I did.
My favorite tool: “Do What You Love.” In words of the late Steve Jobs, who became one of my online mentors: “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers… Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
I was chasing all the things in life for the wrong reasons, but when I gave in to my love for writing my life finally started to move forward. Everything isn’t always easy but it is worth it. I’ve been able to open up many doors by keeping persistent with my passion and doing something I love for free, and am doing for free. As my online mentor Alan Watts once asked, “What would you like to do if money was not object, how would you really enjoy spending your time?” Mine is and was writing. What’s yours?
A great question is how do others get here too?
Dabble in things you like. Get in the doors, intern, get a part-time job in a profession you think you’d enjoy, and get better at it. I didn’t allow myself to love the thing I liked doing most, which is writing until I convinced myself that I could do it on a larger level.