Career Fantasy & Doing What You Want

Caitlin recently asked these questions on her blog:

“What’s your career fantasy?  Are you going to make it happen?”

Hmm.

Good questions.

This was my reply in her comments:

MY OTHER RECIPES

career fantasy. omg that is SUCH a big question. No, I am not doing it fully, but I kind of am in other ways, too, I guess? I dont know. I am off to ponder this for awhile. I love food, photography, writing, motherhood…and am doing all of those things, but there are other pieces missing and other pieces present that I’d like to change…add things/remove others.

Need to think about this…. :)

Then I went to photographer Penny De Los Santos’ blog and read her post and watched this video (the best way I’ve spent 10 minutes in ages.  Normally I am not one for videos online because I am a skimmer and a speed reader but it’s well worth the ten minutes.)

The take away message from her post is this (in her words in case you’re not a video person):

So, I say to all of you:  What If you are good enough?

Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it.  Whatever it is you want to be, you can be it.  So go do it.  That is your final assignment.

 

Deep thoughts.

Being in Aruba has given me the mental space to think, the emotional room to breathe, combined with the freedom to do some soul searching.

Gazing at the ocean, thinking, wondering, pondering.  Letting some of life’s big answers come to me.

I definitely don’t have it all figured out.  And in some respects I may have less figured out now that I did before I arrived, but I know this:

1. I am meant to take pictures and photography will have something to do with my future.

2. I am meant to work with food. Cooking, creating, recipe development, making things in the kitchen will have something to do with my future.

No Bake White Chocolate & Mango Cookie Dough Bites

Who else’s mind would take raw vegan cookie dough and then add melted white chocolate to it and then add dried mango to it?  My mind of course!

And I promise, they’re amazing.  And I will always love to come up with recipes like this and play and create in the kitchen.

The workshop I recently attended, Real Food Styling & Photography, opened some mental doors to a world I really didn’t even know existed.  Or that I’d want a part of.  Very parallel to blogging before I found this world!

The portobello burger I created, food styled, and photographed that day.

The workshop lit a fire under me to explore new options.  Even if I don’t wind up doing certain things, I have to at least explore the potential. For me, life is all about trying things, exploring, taking some risks.

Like taking risks creating and styling pasta for the camera!  That was tricky!

3. I am meant to write.  Maybe not write a book, but who knows?  I love my blog, I love to write, I love to share.

Writing, challenging myself through writing, sharing, putting pencil to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and just letting the words flow is important for me.

Taking ideas, constructs, unorganized concepts, food, ingredients, parenthood stories, fitness information, whatever it is, but writing about it is something I love to do.  Didn’t know this until I started my blog.

4. Yoga and an overall commitment to health, fitness, a healthy lifestyle is part of the puzzle, too.  I need to be active, I need to have yoga in my life, I need to feel that balance.

5. Being Skylar’s mother comes first, above all else, but as they say you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you assist your child.

Even though there is ultimate sacrifice in motherhood and makes life become much more of a balancing act, I would not let my own dreams, goals, and aspirations fall by the wayside completely by the way because I am also a mother.

I believe it’s possible to balance motherhood and career goals and aspirations.  Not always easy, but possible.  Tread lightly, balance, juggle, where there’s a will, there’s a way type approach to it.

Lots to think about, and thanks for your comments on my last post, Monday Funday.  There are definitely some watermelon fans in the house, huh!

Questions:

1. What’s your career fantasy?

After all that, I still don’t even know what it is exactly.

But I have some of the aspects defined (photography, food, writing, yoga/fitness, interwoven with motherhood).

(For new readers, I work fulltime out of the house, and I am the breadwinner for our family, but for privacy reasons I don’t discuss my work.)

One day I think my fantasy is just going to “come to me” and manifest itself!  Til then, the soul searching and pondering will continue.

2. Are you doing what you want?

If so, how did you make this happen? (do tell because others can benefit from your “success” story)

And if you’re not doing what you want, are you taking steps to ensure that you will be doing what you want?  What’s currently standing in the way?

Lots to think about and can’t wait to read the comments!

P.S. Some related posts include:

Inspiration & Greener Grass – Who inspires me and why.  And is the grass greener somewhere else?  Are you a grass is green person?

Writing Books – Maybe, maybe not.  Never say never.

And finally, keep your entries coming for the business cards give away.

70 comments on “Career Fantasy & Doing What You Want”

  1. Love reading this post. I had to read it a second time to soak in everything. There is so much I want to do but it gets difficult to find the time! Once my kids are awake in the morning I try to stop working on my blog. I am hoping that once they are all in school that I can focus more on creating recipes and taking beautiful pictures.
    BTW I love the vegan raw cookie dough recipe!

  2. Beautiful post. I have been doing a lot of thinking about my future lately, too – scary, but needed. And there are so many things I want to do and be, but I am my own worst enemy, always saying “but that’s not logical!” or something like that. Ultimately, telling myself I’m not good enough. But those words are so right – what if I AM? I only can be if I try. And I will :)
    Yes…I need to do some thinking on this, too…

  3. I’m living my dream career right now working for a nutrition consulting company, and it is unbelievable! I absolutely love it–checking out food and nutrition products all day long. :)

    For me, a fulfilling career is essential and the energy I gain from doing what I love spreads to all parts of my life. I worked as a receptionist for a few months right after college and was so. bored. I would do absolutely nothing at work all day and come home exhausted, drained, and feeling defeated. Now, I am working 100 times more and harder, and I’m loving it!

  4. I’m glad you wrote about this in your blog today. It’s something I’ve really been needing to sincerely sit down and think about. I tend to avoid it because I hate thinking about the future sometimes. So… I’m still working on figuring out my career aspirations. But at least your post got me thinking more about it today! :)

  5. This post comes at such an interesting time for me. I was literally reading an article about 20-somethings and careers on HuffPo when I opened a new tab to check up on your blog. I graduated from a Top 5 college a week ago. I don’t have a job yet, but I do know the elements that I want my career to have: creativity/writing, human rights/civil rights, law, non-profit/NGO work, social justice, education, and the arts. I know that’s a lot of things, but I truly believe that I have the willpower, knowledge base, and creative capacity to find and land a job that works with some (or all) of those areas. I am job searching now and it is not easy. I have probably applied to about 15-20 jobs in the last week or two — I had originally planned on going directly to law school, but that didn’t work out, so now I am looking for a job. I am travelling and learning French this summer, which is going to be very exciting/relaxing/intellectually stimulating. Then in the fall I will most likely move back to New York. It may well be that I will need to nanny or waitress while I continue to look for work. But I am motivated by the fact that I know, roughly, what I want — and there are truly a lot of jobs out there that would take me in the right direction. I just need to land an interview. :)

    I feel like I have a really good sense about what I want/need in a job right now, and I am looking forward to hearing back from some places I have applied to and just getting that magical fit with an organization — you know, where they like you and you like them and you nail the interview and get the job. I know it will happen. I will be patient, for now.

    • “I had originally planned on going directly to law school, but that didn’t work out, so now I am looking for a job.”—

      Ok didnt know that and sorry to hear this but it’s one of those life’s door things that actually, sounds like you’re making the most of it! :)

  6. It’s hard to answer the question of what your life job is. I think we grow daily and perhaps what we thought was our life job once has shifted. I’m very similar in the sense that I love to write and I love photography! I guess my blog is my outlet for both but recently I’ve really been trying to focus on how to gain more skills in both (and of course recipe building!). I think exercise is definitely a key element of my sanity, it really is a harmless way to let out any frustrations and to really understand how my body works and also to learn how to make my body work by fueling it properly.

    And of course Skylar is adorable!! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (maybe even a year!) and she’s definitely at the “girl” look and not the baby look anymore. I love how you’re able to capture those moments with your photography also :)

  7. Averie, I like what you said here! “Even though there is ultimate sacrifice in motherhood and makes life become much more of a balancing act, I would not let my own dreams, goals, and aspirations fall by the wayside completely by the way because I am also a mother.”

    It’s a profound thought, because although we’re created to love to the fullest and take care of our children with sacrificial hearts, we shouldn’t give up the dreams that God’s put on our hearts! If there’s something we know we need to do, then we should. First our children/family, and all while keeping healthy boundaries and our own identities. sounds hard, but it’s possible! :D

    • too often women let their entire world just go…for the “sake of their family” but if you do that, you will likely become miserable and depressed and be no good to your family anyway…so you HAVE to take care of yourself, too. And as some would say, you have to have that self care, FIRST and foremost to truly be at the top of your game for your family, whatever that self-care involves for that woman.

  8. wow what a great post averie and you are so talented in so many different area’s its inspiring! I love your passion for being a mother, I cannot wait until I have kids of my own because I know they will be the light in my life. First and foremost is motherhood and I know that I will think the same thing :) Of course I love what I do, helping, inspiring, motivating others when it comes to health and fitness. This si something I want to continue until i can no longer walk!

    thinking about the future is so scary, but I just know as long as I am doing what I love, I will be happy

  9. All my so-called jobs have never felt like work which is why I could actually do them.

    I spent 20 years as an amateur and then professional ballet dancer and never considered it to be work though I got paid (a blessing!). Until my last year when suddenly it became a chore and cumbersome. That was my sign to “retire” from that career.

    I dabbled in multiple other jobs which lasted usually about 3 mths. Now I dog and pet sit and it rarely feels like work.

  10. My dream career is to be a published author and has been since I had my first story published at age 5. Okay, I use the term “published” loosely here. I self-published. :-)

    I am doing what I want to be….right now. I appreciate this stage of my life (staying home with my daughter) but know that I am meant to do more at some point. Right now, though, I am doing exactly what I should be. My blog is my outlet that allows me a creative outlet and time to do my own thing outside of motherhood, which I think is important.

    Great post, Averie! Really got me thinking.

  11. Great post Averie, love hearing your thoughts on life and your wonderful insight and ideas. I think for me my love life and social life are really good at the moment. Finally have met a great guy and it’s all going well. Have wonderful friends but where I’m lacking is work. It sucks at the moment, long stressful hours and so much politics at work. I enjoy working with my clients and don’t find their challenging behaviours difficult to deal with, it’s management and being tied down in work is what I find tricky. My dream job would be to be a mother to two children and foster children as well. I’d like to explore the area of healthy living and wellness a bit more as well. I definitely feel I was destined to be a mother and to foster children.

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  13. This is a good topic! hmmm…well, for me here’s my career fantasy (#1 being the most important)
    1. Medicine — i cannot wait to start practicing medicine!! ultimately working globally (mixing my love for travel here) and with a big organization like the World Health Organization.
    1. Be a mom — i don’t have kids yet but i know i want to be the best I can be for my kids!
    2. Cooking — i love to cook! so i definitely want to incorporate healthy recipes into my patients’ prescriptions.
    3. Yoga and Fitness — maybe be a part-time yoga teacher as well (in my Wellness Center which is next to my Family Practice Clinic).
    4. If ever I have enough money –> my own facial care line, and fitness clothing line.
    5. If ever again I even have more money –> buy a Whole foods franchise.
    Whewww… ok i know i get too ambitious but better to dream big than not! :)

  14. I just stumbled upon your blog and more specifically, this blog entry! First and foremost I love your blog! The question of a career fantasy is one I struggle with and actually why I recently started blogging (and practicing yoga), in hopes of a clearer idea of where my life and career should go. I love your idea of lifelong education and I have to agree because life is fluid and continual. Thanks for your blog and more importantly, your insight!

  15. I am starting to do what I think I love!! I’ve been in finance for years and I always wanted to teach. June 13th I am starting teaching math and taking courses to get my Master’s Degree in teaching to compliment my finance degree! I am so excited, and it is weird that I think my “dream job” is so simple, makes a lot less money than my current finance job, but I think will be so much more fulfilling to me!

    I loved your post, all your thoughts and questions! Great job on this post, Averie!

  16. Career fantasy is the #1 topic on my mind these days. I want to make a living from my writing and my art, and I want to help other people be their best selves and live their best lives. I currently work a full-time job, but I want my creativity to be my career. Right now money is the obstacle (isn’t it always?) I’m still paying on a student loan, putting my husband through school and keeping food on the table and the roof over our heads. I’ve always known what I wanted to do, and I have no doubt whatsoever that I’ll do it. I feel like I’m getting closer though.

  17. Averie- tough question. There are moments when I think I am doing what I should be doing. But always a part of me wonders what else could I be doing. I am with you, I love being around food, writing (blogging) and photography….so we will find the answer together!

  18. Awesome post and great pics.

    1. That changes, but is always something in the creative arts – cooking, art, graphics.
    2. In hobbies, but not so much my day job. I think I’m taking more steps to get there, but it’s tough juggling a full time job. I love blogging and creating new recipes, but it can be tiring after a long day at work.

  19. Great post! I’m so glad for you that you went to Aruba at this time and are using the time so productively–to think and also to not-think, just to let the inspiration come.

    I’m always saying I’m not a visual person, but I’m always truly wowed by your photos too, and I think it’s wonderful that you’re exploring that more.

    For me, a big part of the question is what should be ‘my job’ and what should be ‘my hobby.’ Eg I love making food for people and have sometimes done it for money, but not sure that I want to make a business of it.
    On the other hand, I’m really good at editing, translating and helping other people with their writing, and it’s work that I enjoy, so I feel grateful that I can earn a little money doing something that comes naturally.
    I would love to get to a point where I consistently carve out significant time for my own writing, though–like you and many others, writing and food-making are my two big passions. I want to get my poetry out there more. And the other thing that’s really important to me is that I want to help, touch and inspire others. Sometimes I feel like I need to know all the answers in order to do that, but it really isn’t true!
    love
    Ela

  20. Delurking here- This is a topic close my my heart right now, I worked in a typicall office for 10 years, started when I was 17, never even took a vacation other than mandated holidays….
    I hated sitting behind a desk all day knowing the world was passing me by outside, I wasnt happy there, the people there were super negative, it started to affect all aspects of my life, I had a tragic event happen to me which made me really put things in to perspective.
    Im a health food/fitness nut, so I went back to college, got my group fitness certification, got my Personal training Certification, I enrolled in a nutrion program and I qut my office job without anything lined up… scary
    I was “unemployed” for 2 weeks, i got a job as a floor trainer at a hotel here and i was teaching 2 group fitness classes, I made friends that had my same intrest and even met a guy! my first bf in 5 years- not sure if its going to work out or not but thats another story :)
    This week I started taking on PT clients…

    living the dream is possible……

  21. My career fantasy would involve: working from home, animals, and being outside. My current desk job is not cutting it fantasy wise, but it sure does pay the bills ;)

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