Editor’s Note: this is a guest post by Shai Smith.
“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
Four years ago, I was into my third year as a financial aid adviser at the third largest university in the state of Georgia.
I answered phones all day and helped 24,000 students navigate the red tape that is student financial aid, got home just in time to pick up my four-year-old daughter from daycare, played mommy at night and, went to class twice a week.
I loved everything about my life.
Or, so I thought.
It turns out, I really just loved what I got out of that kind of life.
I got a spacious apartment with lots of windows and a sunroom/studio. I got a paycheck. I was able to go to college and work towards my art education degree.
I even had the opportunity to sit at a comfortable desk all day doing what I love to do most: helping people achieve their dreams.
I was eventually laid off during the budget crisis and found myself in a smaller apartment, with two children, going to school full-time.
One horrible relationship later, I realized that not only do I really not like the nine-to-five life, I really don’t like being told what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
Living up to someone else’s expectations sucks, and I swore I would never do it again.
So, I haven’t.
I changed my major from the family-approved art education to political and social philosophy with a minor in peace studies.
I started an eco-friendly lifestyle blog, which has since been named the number 5 eco-friendly mom blog via Circle of Moms.
I make eco-friendly bouquets for a living, and am working on building two websites – one is a resource and central hub for peace warriors and the other is a website for women, like you and me, who are sick and tired of doing what everyone else wants us to do.
I was, thankfully, booted out of the life I wasn’t particularly fond of and found myself building a new one by chance.
I thank the stars every day that I was given this opportunity without even asking for it.
The thing is, though…you don’t have to ask for it.
You don’t need anyone’s permission, and you certainly don’t have to live up to any expectations other than your own.
Take a good look at your life and see what it is you love about it.
Find new, more, and better ways to do that… you might be surprised where it leads you.
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