I don’t know how many times in my life someone has said to me, “Follow your heart.” However, I can tell you how many times I have taken their advice. Zero. That’s right, I said zero. Of all the decisions that I’ve made over the course of my 37 years, not once have I abandoned all logic and just did what I felt in my heart. I’m an analyzer, a weigher-of-consequences. I can’t make a simple decision without thinking through what might happen.
For the most part, I’ve been okay with this. It keeps me out of a lot of trouble. When it comes to being happy with where I am in life, however, it doesn’t do much for me. Oh sure, I faked it for a while when I chose to major in Education even though I had NEVER wanted to be a teacher. It was, or so I thought, a safe choice. There would always be jobs in the education field. When my job got eliminated last spring, I had to figure out where I would go from there. I tossed around thoughts of going back to school for something in the medical field. After all, if there is job security anywhere, it is in the medical field, right? But no matter how much I tried to convince myself that it was the right thing to do, I just couldn’t stay excited about it. I had to do something, though, because my unemployment was running out quickly.
Currently, I am in an entry-level job that any teenager with no experience or education could do. I work a horrible shift and often daydream of the day I can move onto something better. Something I enjoy. Something that I love. I hadn’t given the “Follow your heart” advice much thought until a few days ago when I read a friend’s status on Facebook. It said, “To find where your heart is, look to where you mind ends up when it wanders.” Hmmm. The quote caught my attention immediately, but I dismissed it just as quickly. The quote has come back to my mind several times over the past couple days.
Now honestly, the first place my mind usually wanders to is laundry. It’s not where my heart is, it’s just the thing that seems to take up most of my time. So I had to go deeper than that. God, family? Yes, yes, but let’s go farther. If someone asked me, “What is your dream career?” What would I say? The answer to this question has been the same since I was a kid. The answer has always been “A writer.”
So there’s my heart and now I have to follow it. I have no idea where to even begin, other than I thought blogging might exercise my writing muscles a bit. It’s probably not a safe choice. It’s most likely not going to pay any bills for a long time, if ever. But, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
It’s funny, after years of trying to make safe choices, career-wise, I still ended up in the same place I would have if I’d have majored in Creative Writing in college. I should have just followed my heart.