Every child dreams of what they want to be when they grow up, at least I know I did.
Some of my earliest memories involve running around pretending to doctor sick animals, drawing up pretend house plans or arguing against someone in the court of law… that also doubled as my bedroom with bunk beds.
Chasing dreams can be tiring and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life in four years is even more exhausting. I flipped back and forth between different majors and, being the planner that I am, would plan my life to a T every time I chose a new one.
I love to write, I thrive off pleasing people and I fit right in at the communications college at Alabama. I loved my classes and my professors and I excelled in many different aspects of PR. What they don’t teach you is the fun things that you do in class, don’t always exist in the real world. At the age of 19, I wasn’t able to rationalize (believe it or not) the things that I can now. I didn’t understand that moving back to my hometown would limit the ‘fun’ parts of a communications job.
I wish I had a dollar for every friend I’ve spoken to that’s graduated with a marketing or communications degree in the last five years and has gone through this same struggle. Huntsville has many amazing jobs for people in the communications field, and for every one job their are 20 people to fight for it.
So, in 2013 I started to fight all the really big fish in a pretty small pond. I tried to fit the mold of a bubbly public relations princess for years without even truly knowing what that involved. I had my elevator speech rehearsed when people asked me why I decided to major in PR.
I’m organized and I pay attention to detail. I love working with people and helping them meet their goals. I love all things that communications involves; like writing, advertising, graphic design and media.
And this really wasn’t a pitch. I LOVE to read and write everything I can get my hands on. I’m enthralled to watch something click when teaching someone, or helping them through a difficult task. I LOVE people and I’m so organized that it’s borderline OCD.
So, why did I feel so empty chasing numbers for companies? I bounced from job to job with organizations that I whole-heartily believed in and I still felt empty at the end of a long, hard days work. I reasoned with myself that you don’t HAVE to love your job. It’s an ends to mean and I figured I was just adjusting to full-time work life. Not that I haven’t had some serious soul searching going on for the last few years but adding to the fact that I couldn’t find my niche in my own world was adding to the pain.
Even then, I continued to pray that God would set me on the path for His will and not my own. This has been a theme of mine for the last year and I don’t hate it.
After researching so many different avenues, I finally realized my common theme of wanting to help others. Every time I started to doubt myself or the idea of returning to school my mother would remind me that I was into the business of helping people and that it was obviously what my heart was called to do. I really wanted to work with people in some type of medical atmosphere.
By the time three different people had mentioned a dental assisting school in Huntsville to me, I figured it might be worth looking into. I did my research and talked to my family, but the idea of going back to school on the weekends seemed more overwhelming than not.
When in doubt over the last year, I’ve learned to pause and pray. And that’s what I did, I prayed about it.
I was leaving work one night and headed to Cove Church where I help out with the high school small groups. I prayed for a sign. As petty as that sounds, I asked God for a sign to know that I wasn’t being impulsive and making a mistake. The idea of school and the timing seemed to be lining up, but I wanted to know that God had part of this in His plan for me.
I arrived at church a little late that Wednesday and sulked over to where the leftover pizza was sprawled out. Halfway through eating my feelings I started chit-chatting with a fellow small group leader that I had talked to half a dozen times before. On this particular night she happened to ask me where I worked. Hesitant to bug her with my issues, I decided to let my guard down. I told her and mentioned that I was on the fence about going back to school. Around that same time I happened to notice her pretty purple scrubs. We continued to talk and she told me that she was a dental hygienist, but had started off as a dental assistant. I asked all sorts of questions and she was eager to answer. I hugged her neck before we sat down for the sermon and I definitely had tears in my eyes. You know the really happy, warm tears. God definitely spoke to me through her that night. He knew I needed confirmation and reassurance and He made sure that I got it.
I’ve finished my certified course and landed a job in an amazing office. It could not have been orchestrated any more perfectly. It’s amazing the ways that God will truly reward you when you seek him with all your heart. It’s been scary to change careers COMPLETELY at the age of 26 and I’ve never felt more sure about anything before. I’m so thankful that I was able to continue chasing my dreams, even if this one was super exhausting. It’s well worth it to be in fearless pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. Here’s to never settling.