Pep talk. Find your "Spirit!"
I just gave a pep talk. After spending a good 5 hours catching up with a young friend that I haven’t seen in months, I gave her a pep talk. It wasn’t on purpose, it just happened. She was having trouble finding a direction. I told her what I wish (someone of credit) had told me at 19. I thought maybe, since it came from me, it might have an impact.
“So many people have told me to chase my dreams, but they hadn’t. I had never been encouraged from someone who had succeeded.”
So many people have told me to chase my dreams, but they hadn’t. I had never been encouraged from someone who had succeeded. Hell, most of them never even tried! People always said,”do what makes you happy”. I never felt like they ever really meant it. More like “do what makes you happy, as long as that is a lengthy, respectable, and mainstream career that makes good money. Or just get married and have babies”. What would make me happy was far from mainstream, and highly unlikely that I succeed, so I conformed (or at least I tried to). I went to college, then dental school, then real estate school, all the while spending money on education to do a job I didn’t actually want to do. But hey! It was respectable and made decent money.
After years of chasing what made other people happy, I had enough. I left and moved somewhere that had been on my mind for years. I got an internship which led to a job as a divemaster on Spirit. I didn’t make a lot of money. The job was hectic and very unconventional, the opposite of mainstream. But I was insanely happy. I was so in love with my job that I could only compare it to the budding joy and giddiness of a new relationship with an incredible person, but I digress. My friend met me before all this amazing stuff happened to me. I want her to see that if you take a risk, and go for whatever makes you happy, that it could work out. You can find your “Spirit.”
I boiled it down to one question, “What will make you happy?” She didn’t know. So I dug deeper. “What interests you?” There it is. Some people don’t know what will make them happy, and that’s ok! I was in the same position when I left home. Let your curiosity lead you. I had literally done 4, very spastic and uncoordinated, dives in my entire life when I took my divemaster internship. I had no clue if I would like it. But I thought it was cool, so I investigated. Turns out, I love diving! All because I followed my curiosity. Don’t think about it too hard, just do! Anything that interests you, try it! Even if you don’t like it, I promise you will learn more about yourself in the process. Personally, I don’t think we can ever learn enough about ourselves, so it can’t hurt.
More often than not, you wont succeed (apparently). That’s what “they” say. First of all, screw “them”. Second of all, you need to ask yourself, what is success to you? My definition of success has changed drastically in the past year or so. Let’s take, for example, my blog here. Would you consider my blog a success? Most people, especially “them,” would say no. Why? Because success, to most people, is money. It is also very often associated with popularity, and let’s be honest here, I’m no Kardashian. Here lies my point. I think my blog is successful. Want to know why? Because i’m proud of it! I’ve put a lot of effort into this thing! I’ve poured nothing short of my heart and soul into several of these posts. A few people, here and there, have actually shared my stories with other people. I’ve been contacted by some, telling me that i’ve inspired them to do something they’ve always wanted to do, and they’ve done it! Do you know what that feels like? It’s amazing! So at the end of the day, no, my blog does not make me any money. No, it’s not incredibly popular. It’s not what so many people in this world would call “successful.” But I will tell you, it’s one of the best things i’ve ever done. This blog has brought me so much love, and in times, so much clarity. When my mind gets blurry and discouraged, it’s a clear visual of what I have accomplished, on my own terms. It motivates me. It builds me up. Success, my friends, is in the eye of the beholder.
“Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times — A distant tower of flame. Accessible only to geniuses, and to those who are specially touched by god. But curiosity is available to everyone.”-Elizabeth Gilbert
Until next time,
XOXO Claire Gilbert