I don’t know if it’s the time of year, but I usually have a quarter-life crisis (getting closer and closer to a mid-life crisis every year) between December and February. Am I doing what I should be? I want to throw out all of my possessions and start over. Should we move? Should I go back to work full-time? I get dramatic and question many things – and it drives my husband a little nuts. I think its natural to look at what we are doing with our lives and see if what we are doing today is going to get us to where we want to be in the future. But I’ve never (and I mean never) have known what I have wanted to do and the big moment of the clouds separating and God speaking directly to me just hasn’t happened. Anyone else feel the same way?!
My life has been a string of situations that had presented themselves to me and I took advantage of them. Since childhood, I have viewed situations and opportunities that have occurred as a way to keep active and involved and hopefully would lead me to my ‘calling”. And even though the ground has never shaken and the perfect stream of sunlight hasn’t glowed upon me to reassure me I’ve made the right move, I feel that there really haven’t been that many mistakes – and staying in the game in some capacity is always the way to go.
So if you also don’t know what you should be doing, here are a few things that I’ve learned to do that have worked out for me:
- Pay attention to the coincidences in your life. Keep seeing that same person around town? The universe is probably trying to tell you something. Been having similar conversations randomly with different people? It’s a sign. Do you respond a certain way to events happening around you? You should get involved in some capacity. I had a friend in college that I met my junior year. I kept seeing her around campus – she was in three of my five classes one semester (and I had never seen her before that). When I went to my campus job she was in the same office – working in a different department. We finally stopped looking at each other with awkward glances and became friends. Those coincidences were really a sign that there was a reason each of us had been placed in each other’s lives. But how many times are people looking at their phone and not each other, or not paying attention to what’s around them? Don’t miss out of relationships and opportunities because you aren’t in the game.
- Stay connected with people, and make it a point to continuously meet new contacts. It’s my job to meet new people and find ways to network. So even though I’m an introvert, I put my big girl pants on, a smile on my face, and make myself meet new people. But most of the people I meet don’t buy something from me or join me in business. I am able to help them, or I benefit more on the personal side. And its awesome! When I left my insurance career I hid under a rock (or lived in a sleep deprived fog because I had two kids under the age of two!) I stopped meeting people and became more secluded and focused on my family. While that was what I needed to do at the time, it’s not the best way to live a life. When I started my side business, I was forced to get out there again. I’m a better person when I’m connected to people. And I believe all of us are. So keep yourself connected to others – don’t burn any bridges or write someone off. You never know how the two of you will connect again in the future.
- Act. Do something. Get over your fear. Even if it’s not what you were looking for or what you want to do the rest of your life. There is a reason for everything. I truly believe this. And sometimes we learn some lessons along the way, but there are no mistakes. (Unless you load the dishwasher wrong – there is a right and wrong way to do that!) I don’t know what my next move professionally will be, but I do know that I should be doing something now. That’s why I write this blog. It’s not an earth shattering one, but it’s mine and I’m doing it. That’s why I’m working part-time. I haven’t earned a free car or trips around the world, but I’m making an income and I’m able to spend time with my kids. That’s why I keep my eyes open and look for signs around me. And I come up with ideas all the time – some of them are pretty stupid, and some of them I get excited about. And you will also start noticing that by putting yourself out there, you are on your way.
Family photo by Tracy Walsh Photography