I felt empowered by my decision to drop out of teacher’s college but when I woke up new years day in 2011, I was terrified. I had spent new years eve with a couple of friends and that was the last concrete plan that I had. I woke up with the expanse of my whole life in front of me and no idea what to do…
I was living in Thunder Bay, my roommates were cool, rent was cheap so I decided to stay. I went back to the drawing board, surfing the internet and hitting the pavement. Searching for a job that felt meaningful. I drank Baileys in my tea in the morning and begged my busy friends to go tobogganing with me.
I convinced a bike and ski shop to hire me even though it was January. A couple weeks later I got hired by a Waldorf daycare. I left and never got paid for my time at the bike shop.
I got really sick when I worked at the daycare. The kids were sick, the staff were all sick and so I was asked to come into work anyways. The children were cute but I wasn’t equipped to deal with so many of them. It was paying my bills, but I knew it wasn’t permanent.
Sometimes we’d play in the school gym. The kids would get into fights and someone would inevitably get hurt. If it wasn’t -20 degrees Celcius we could take them to a little fenced off forest in the school yard. The kids were more relaxed there and there weren’t nearly as many arguments or injuries.
Then a family friend told me about a job teaching youth about the justice system. I thought it would be telling the kids that the police were always right and so wasn’t interested. But the family friend had gone to the trouble to introduce me to someone at the organization. I thought it would be rude to not follow up so I set up a phone call with a woman named Sarah.
Chatting with her, I realized this organization had a much more balanced perspective of the justice system. They saw that some police officers are good at their jobs and there are others that abuse their power. I was intrigued and applied for the job.
When I received an offer, I was thrilled. I felt like I turned from kid to adult overnight. Suddenly I had an office, business cards, a calendar to fill with appointments. And the work was interesting. I understood some of the problems with the police and the prison system but had little background in law. I was fascinated with how the Canadian government developed a system to keep people safe and rehabilitate offenders. I took articles on the Youth Criminal Justice Act home and read them on the weekends.
I was astonished. I had dropped out of school but had somehow found an interesting job in the field of education before my classmates had even graduated.
When I was making the decision to drop out, many people who I care about had questioned my judgment. I only had 4 months left, ‘So why not finish?’ they argued. My grandfather even offered me $1000 if I finished school. But I had followed my heart and it had led me somewhere that I never could have imagined.
Building a career is not always A + B = C. Sometimes, if C is in fact what you want, it works out that way but often if you pay attention there are secret doors that take you somewhere unexpected and beautiful.
And finding the job of your dreams doesn’t have to be a soul sucking experience. It’s about finding out what makes you feel alive and adds value to the world. If you’re doing it right, the process will be scary but it will also lead you to moments of delight.
I’ve been working on a program called Pathway to Your Purpose. It includes four modules that:
- Clarify the kind of life you long for
- Find out what’s blocking you from living that life
- Look at what makes you feel alive and adds value to the lives of others
- And take the steps to move towards the career and life of your dreams
I’m excited. For me it’s a whole new decade, a whole new phase of my sacred career. I’d love if you joined me.
Want to stay in the loop? Or even start early? To get updates about the course and a free starter exercise on moving toward the career of your dreams CLICK HERE. And please share with anyone you know who might be interested.
Hope you’re having a great weekend,
P.S. Read Part 1 of this story here.