W is for “What Do You REALLY Want?”
Since I started college, this is a question people keep asking me. In terms of my career, I keep being told to do what I really want to do.
“Don’t limit yourself.” That’s another one I get a lot. Directly, from my family. Indirectly, from society. As in, don’t just settle with something that you aren’t really interested in.
It’s funny because I don’t buy that the people who say this really mean it. Really? You really think I should just do what I want?
It turns out, when I venture out and tell people what I do genuinely want to do, my answers are suddenly not good enough.
I want to be a psychologist, more specifically a therapist.
But, what do I really want to do? If I didn’t settle on psychology, what would I have wanted to do?
I want to be a film-maker, or at least a film-critic.
More than that? I want to be a full-time blogger.
More than that? I want to be a novelist.
More than all of that put together, I just want to be a mom. I want take care of my family.
Notice that the farther I get into the “what do you really want” question, the farther from practicality I am. The farther from a steady income I am. I know that money isn’t everything, but it is pretty important. Money = food + housing.
Back when I was a freshman, undecided on my major, my academic adviser told me to think about what I really loved, or what I really wanted to do as a career. Go into the field that I have passion in. Well, that’s great for my morale, but in terms of advising me on what career to choose – how I am going to make my living – was that really the best advice? Because if we’re talking about what I am really passionate about, I will have no way of making an income.
People ask me all the time what I really want, but I don’t think my answer is what they were expecting to hear.