Jessica Hagy, contributing writer to Forbes, tries to help answer the question of what to do with your life.
Two pieces of advice from Hagy’s article hit home for me:
7. Blend your talents.
Instead of doing something that only takes advantage of one skill, create a mash-up of several things you do well. You’ll set yourself apart and feel more satisfied with what you’re doing.
15. Consider your epitaph, not your resume.
Thinking long term can help you see both what’s vitally important and what’s certainly silly.
To the first point, the facts that I love to write and I’ve always been praised for my writing have led me to constantly think about doing this professionally. In fact, family and friends tell me all the time I should, or at the very least, write a book or something. That’s fine, but I don’t really want to be a novelist. What I’d love to do is somehow find a way to combine my love and talent for writing with my love and talent for working with special needs preschoolers. As much as I fantasize about following in John Gruber’s footsteps, something like that is my proverbial “dream job”. This way, I could merge the Journalism degree I never went for with the Early Childhood Studies degree(s) I’m working on. I could have my cake and eat it too.
As for the second point, I truly believe that what I’ve been doing the past decade -- working with young children -- is what I’m meant to do. Not even writing gives me such deep satisfaction and is as rewarding as working with my students is. This is my contribution to the world, my dent in the universe. Put another way, I’m glad that I didn’t end up making profiteroles on a cruise ship somewhere. I’d probably be a lot fatter and a lot less fulfilled otherwise.