Tuesday, April 10, 2007

what's your calling?

The NYTimes Select ran an interesting entry today in their blog series entitled, The Graduates: Eight College Seniors Face the Future. Today’s posting is called Wanted: A Future Without Worry.

To be so uncertain of the future -- I know how that feels. Who doesn’t? But I’ve never been a career-minded sort of person. I’m of the school that believes everyone has a calling -- what you end up doing in life is a very personal and organic thing. That takes some of the pressure off having to define your future at such a young age. The trick is not dwelling on uncertainty; rather you should focus on your passions and your strengths, and the rest will come.

Growing up, I always wanted to be and do a million different things. I would be a chef, an artist, architect, dancer, writer, mathematician, chemist, fashion designer. I would speak foreign languages, program computers, build imaginative spaces, and travel all over the world.

My biggest challenge was the idea of having to choose just one future for myself. Luckily I never had to. I took full advantage of my excellent liberal arts education and double majored in English/Creative Writing & Studio Art. I minored in French and studied in Paris for a semester. I joined the cooking club, the modern dance troupe and learned improvisation and the subtleties of sound and movement. I learned the importance of intention and the blessing of organic process.

After college was a little scary: how on earth would I be able to apply all of my skills and passions into one solid career and still be able to make a living? I found my first job as a copy writer for fashion and linens designer, April Cornell, and unintentionally landed in the midst of a world that was almost impossibly perfect for me: the world of web content. It is there I can write, design, build, code, and travel to my heart’s pleasure. I still don’t consider myself a career person. I’m just doing what I love and what I’m good at.

But don’t for one second assume this profession of mine is a flighty one. Indeed, I inhabit a very controlled environment. That’s okay, because here’s another thing I’ve learned since college: sometimes regiment produces the most thoughtful art.

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