Staying true to who you are and your personality in this chaotic world is a never ending battle; many temptations will try and persuade you otherwise. I have fought the good fight for all of my life. I am now 28-years-old and can openly say that I finally am staying true to who I really am. If I could go back to my teenage self I would remind myself to beat to my own drum. This is easier said than done in a world that is constantly judging you. Our culture has become so consumed with the best clothes, highest paying jobs, best bodies, best friends, best houses, etc. etc. etc; the list could go on. It is difficult to decide what is most important to you and stay true no matter what.
Figuring It Out
I graduated high school thinking I wanted to go into nutrition. It was a hobby of mine and I felt very passionately about it. I’ll admit I was a novice, but I was eager to learn more. I attended a traditional college for one and a half semesters studying nutritional science. By the second semester I was failing so bad that I withdrew so my grades wouldn’t follow me to what I was going to do next. In early spring of 2007, I took off from my parents’ home in rural Pennsylvania to live a life of the unknown with my boyfriend in Maine; it was exhilarating. I was there for about a month before I got a job as a bank teller. It was horrific, and I was so bored that most days I would fall asleep at my station.
Decisions To Make
I knew I wanted to go back to college, but I also knew we weren’t going to stay there forever; so I looked into online schools. My personality would fare well with independent learning so I went for it, and I decided to major in Interior Design. The classes were very interesting and a lot of fun. Then we decided to move back to PA. I continued my education, but knew I had to get a job in the interim. Where we lived didn’t offer many retail opportunities, so I looked for an office job. I found a job as a Journalist, and I applied because writing always interested me.
I proved to be very successful and this job fit my personality well until I was laid off almost two years later. Again, I was left wondering what’s next? Finishing my design degree was a top priority. After graduation I became employed full-time selling paint. The company promised me in due time I could be a designer. Then I got pregnant and quit my job because I hated it. After much contemplation and a few failed job attempts, I decided to go back to school for a masters degree and study writing. I almost went for interior design until I realized writing interested me more. I referred to my job at the newspaper that I loved so much, and decided it was time to finally “learn” writing.
I didn’t know that it would take another four years to truly figure things out and what worked well with my personality. I held a variety of positions and spent much of my time seeking design jobs so I could finally us my degree. After many disappointments, I finally came back to writing and realized that I was born to be a writer and not a designer. It took a lot of determination to accept this and discover my true self. I often felt pulled by my family and friends to make use of my first college degree. There was always a sense of wanting to prove everyone wrong and show them a creative degree was not useless.
As time has passed, I now realize I was trying to prove something to everyone else instead of proving something to myself. I always fought against who I truly was by accepting low paying jobs, or forcing myself into jobs in different fields. It has been a long hard battle to finally be true to myself, but I am here to stay. Think a lot about what you want to do with your life, and don’t just settle!