Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Without a plan, passion goes nowhere.

In light of recent events and various discussions on my boyfriends recent birthday milestone, I have come to wonder what distinguishes my generation, the oddly named Generation Y, from the other generations of kids and adults that pop culture has clumped together in order to make sense of some things we just might not be able to make sense of.
Josh wrote in his blog at, that his generation, Generation X was clumped together by the fact that they were all products of the “baby boomers” and, unlike their parents before them, went out on their own, doing everything from family, marriage, and careers differently. They started their own businesses, many times before they even finished their General Education requirements. Generation X’ers did not follow the guidelines of going to college, getting a job with enough money to support a future family, getting married and having 2.5 children. They did it their own way.
So where does that leave my generation? Specifically where does that leave the women of my generation? While X’er women were hell bent on becoming top profile career women, the women of my generation seem to, and there are always exceptions, want to settle down early, have kids early, and only have jobs that would allot enough time to raise those kids by themselves. Even if you just take a look at the young women celebrities of my generation you can see the pattern. Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears were both married by the ages of 23. Christina Aguilera is engaged. Brandy is already a mother (and already divorced). It would seem we are making our own new generation modeled after the simplistic ideals of the 1950s. Now, does this mean we are regressing or just progressing in a different way?
What else makes my generation so different? Well that remains to be seen. I do know that we seem to hover between the wanting to grow up and start a family and the fear of growing up which results in taking a slow ride through college whilst still living at home for fear of being totally on our own, financially and otherwise.
All these ideas combined with the fact that, being in between jobs, I have a lot of time to think about things, makes me really contemplate my future and what it is exactly I want. It is a given that I want the children and the cute house I can call my own, but what is it I want when it comes to my future career? People start thinking about, “what they want to be when they grow up” starting when they are tiny little tots. I know I did. In the span of my lifetime I have wanted to be: a dancer, an actress, a model, a magician, an astronaut, a teacher, a writer, photographer, journalist, lawyer (yeah I know tough to imagine), and a makeup artist. What has come out of this you might ask? Well, I went to acting camp, I love posing for pictures, I danced competitively for 18 years, I taught dance for 6 years, I know a few magic tricks, I am pretty good at arguing, I take some awesome pictures, I know my way around a dark room, I love writing and sometimes can be good at it, I know some things about the stars, and do all my friends makeup pretty well. What has not come out of this….well anything really; except for at 23 I can consider myself a “Jane of all trades.”
At the moment I am left with a shitload of questions about what it is I really want to do with my future. Like so many Y’ers it is true I want the hubby with the house and the kids. But my passions also follow other directions. I want a career I genuinely love. I want to make money so I don’t have to totally rely on a husband or my family. The problem is I am at the age where I have to make a decision. I can’t decide I want to do something, learn all I can about it, and give it up in a few years because I no longer have that interest. I need to pick a focus and stay there and what I fear is I pick the wrong one. I am in college right now, taking my sweet time like many kids my age. My major is now English/Communications and my focus is on journalism. As of now, I would love to be a writer for a magazine and work on writing books on the side. However, there is always that fear of whether or not I am good enough to be a successful writer or if I should just knock it out as another one of my “hobbies” and choose something I know I would be good at all the while making some sort of income. I thought about being a teacher and could always work on my writing on the side that way. But am I just being safe with that decision? What I need is structure. What I need is a plan. However, I have always been the Queen of the no planning group and find it hard to come up with any sort of structure.
I had written before about not knowing what my talent is. Well truth be told, I know I do have talent in many things. My problem is my one lack of talent lies in my ability to find a career type job, get the proper training and education to get it, and just get it. Maybe my problem is I have a hard time picturing myself as a true financially responsible adult. I know I can get there I just don’t have a plan yet. All I know is right now is when I have to decide what the hell it is I am going to do for the rest of my life. I know what I love. I know what my passions are. I know what I am good at. I just need to figure out what that adds up to, what “career” that translates to. Seriously…I don’t know where I am going, but I know I’m going somewhere.


Lisa said...

I know how you feel.

A very successful person once offered me this advice on commiting to a career:

Figure out your best, natural talent and then improve on it.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm best at, but I'm learning a lot along the way, as I'm sure you are.


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