She Decided to Start Living the Life She’d Imagined

I wrote a post a while back — I don’t remember which one, or I would link to it. And someone left a comment on it — I’m not sure who it was, or I would give credit. The post was one of those occasional things I write when the mood strikes me; it was on the subject of “What do I want to do with my life?” The commenter said it reminded her of a quote she’d heard and liked. She wasn’t sure if she was remembering it exactly right, but she thought the quote went something like this:

“She decided to start living the life she’d imagined.”

I copied that phrase into one of the Word docs I use to keep notes for future posts, and I come across it from time to time when I’m looking for something new to write about. Every time I see it, it makes me stop and think. I like it. It inspires me.

I know why this subject is coming up again — the whole “What do I want to do?” thing. It’s because I’ve met several people recently who really love what they do for a living (even if they don’t proclaim it, the choices they make every day prove they’re doing what they want to do). They can’t see themselves doing anything else. That kind of attitude makes me think, “If they can do it, so can I.”

I’m in no way complaining about my current job. I feel lucky to have it. I’m paid well, and I like my co-workers. The problem is that I feel like I’m always waiting for something to happen — and I just don’t think I’ll find that “something” there. I know it’s not what I want for the long term. And if I feel that way, I need to be proactive in doing something about it.

I started to feel even more strongly about this when I was approached last week about taking on a new set of responsibilities at work. Some of you suggested I try it and see if I like it. This was a good suggestion — or it would be a good suggestion if I could actually see myself liking HR. But if I avoided applying for HR-type jobs back when I was unemployed and job searching, why would I want to do it now?

You know what’s frustrating? The fact that there are so many choices available to us — it really is true that having so many options is both a blessing and a curse. I may not have the money to start my own business (if that was what I wanted, which it isn’t), but in actuality there are so many career paths I could choose to follow.

My ideal job would involve writing and research. I enjoy those things and I’m good at them. I do get paid for both of these things right now (and it’s a nice supplement to my regular day-job income), but it’s “extra work,” and not at the point where I could do it full-time.

I would also like a more flexible schedule. (I know, I know…doesn’t everyone?) If I could start working as soon as I woke up in the morning, and then take a few hours off to run errands, or do a workout, or take a class? And then come home and do some more work? And maybe work on a weekend so I could take a day off during the week? Oh, that would be fantastic. That’s what I want.

So I guess I’ve kind of done it. I’ve started the first step, which is identifying and envisioning how I’d like my life to be. This is actually what I’ve wanted for a while now — the past few years, at least — but I haven’t been working hard enough to make it happen.

I want to start living the life I imagine.

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