On Pursuing Childhood Dreams

In this particularly tumultuous pre-graduation, career-launching time, I’m faced with a barrage of questions about my future. Most of them sound a lot like, “What are you doing after graduation?” If they’re talking about careers, I can only answer that I’m still looking. What I’ll really be doing is pursuing the same dream I’ve had since I was a child, though with a different slant.

When I was little, I would always say I wanted to grow up and be a traveling artist. Over the past few years, I realized that, in one form or another, I’d always been chasing that dream. The following are few jobs I’ve thought about, to illustrate the idea:

1. Underwater photographer for nature/adventure programs

2. Writer (Travel journalism and novels, primarily)

3. Explorer (5th grade, writing about Magellan)

4. Foreign correspondent

5. Coral reef gardener

6. Tour manager

7. Book editor

8. Gallery owner or art collector

9. Sommelier

10. Entrepreneur

As you can see, at different times I’ve defined art and travel in different ways. Art includes the visual, verbal, performing and culinary arts. Sometimes I’m not even creating the art, but handling, evaluating or sharing it. Also, the travel can be mental or physical.  I like the process of going new places in my mind or in space probably because I love to learn and explore. The way that I appreciate art and the way that I travel are much the same – both require that I dig deeply into the experience. Combining the two lights me up.

As distant as these jobs may seem from one another, even in the context of the traveling artist concept, they do all share a certain quality. That is, I’ve never wanted to be a bohemian vagabond, though that could be considered a traveling artist. Instead, these are all purposeful careers. I need that forward motion. These ten ideas all offer the opportunity to learn constantly, to exercise my creative problem-solving skills, and to communicate meaningfully.

If I told you I wasn’t nervous about the next phase of my life, I’d be lying. I feel, as many seniors do, very vulnerable. Luckily, I also feel confident. I know exactly what I love to do, and know that there are many professional ways to achieve that happiness. It’s all about finding the slipper that fits.

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As always, and especially now, laissez les bons temps rouler,

kls

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