Changing Direction

changeI love Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives® on The Food Network®. With episodes filled with a constant supply of colorful food and characters, Guy Fieri travels the country meeting people who have passions for what they do. Aside from the dishes that call to my palate and the scenes in which I remark, ‘we have got to go there’, the episodes that stay with me are the ones where owners or chefs never started out in the restaurant business. Here, people who found a passion, dismissed the naysayers, forged ahead and succeeded in sharing their joy with others. Here, people change directions every day – why can’t we?

Early on I knew I never wanted solely one job, or one profession. In my twenties, there were years that I had more jobs simultaneously than I do fingers. I loved meeting people who were talented, dedicated, driven, creative, smart and worldly. The whole idea that all through high school, then university and afterwards I would have to pick ‘one thing’ and focus on it was mind-boggling to me. Could you have lots of ‘on the side gigs’ and one main focus or could you spread your wings and fly in a variety of directions? What if you found one passion for a while and then wanted to change? Could you do that? What if it wasn’t considered something lucrative but you wanted it anyway – could you do that, too?

I remember talking with one of my camp lifeguards, as she was finishing up her university degree in psychology. Every summer she made me the most fantastic birthday cake decorated in summer, beach and Disney themes. In 2009, the week we got married, she brought in a stunning, sparkly three-tiered wedding cake ready to be cut with plastic knives and eaten on plastic plates atop a weather worn picnic table by eager dripping swim instructors. She had a passion but wasn’t sure if she could switch directions. She did and the happy wedding cake designer hasn’t looked back since. It’s not a simple task to change direction, but in many cases, it is a simple decision. Something inside says leap and after trying to subdue that messenger for days, weeks, months or years – there comes a time when there’s no choice left, it’s time to change direction.
Change Directions

Changing Gears

When the world of public school teaching in America shifted to Common Core, rubrics for evaluations, test-centered everything and limited access to individual flair– it wasn’t the same thing I signed up for all those years ago. Making a difference was fabulous, advising extra-curricular activities was spectacular and working with students to find success was my passion – but the direction was shifting and it was time for a change. After marrying someone from the other side of the world, traveling internationally and meeting many whose upbringing was far different from my own, I changed. Couple that with a shift in education and it was time. How did you make the leap?

Transitions aren’t easy. Some work that ‘on the side’ hobby into a full-time revenue stream. Some falter more times than they can count, but the vision is still the focus. Some start slowly; develop while toiling at their ‘real job’ while dreaming of the day the passion takes charge. No matter your path, journey or reason – you CAN change direction.

Today’s entertainers aren’t solely singers, actors or designers – they create a brand and market themselves as such. What you studied at university in your twenties might not be your passion in your forties. Your desire to change locations geographically may enter into your choice or change of vocation or profession. Perhaps you want to write a book, go back to school, open your own business or have the ability to work from any hammock, mountain café or beachside lounge chair you choose. Failing and trying again and again is a mark of persistence, dedication and passion. The only failure comes from not trying at all. Don’t be afraid. You can do it. Ignore the naysayers. There are far more people who’d love to watch you fly than fall. If it’s what you yearn for…change direction – I believe in you.

To follow more of Stacey’s musings, check out her blog.

Photo Credit: Ben Rosett

Posted by | Comments Off on Changing Direction  | March 2, 2016
Category: Vagabonding Advice

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