My previous article was about each individual's "path to purpose." If you read it, you'll know that I'm well aware that any individual's self-proposed path to purpose may change in an instant. Yes, there's going to be LOTS of revisions, twists & turns in your path....but you've got to start somewhere--there's got to be an initial plan, an ultimate purpose. (An answer to the question: what do you want to do with your life?)
So here's my answer.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I was "going to be a doctor like my dad," I'd have enough dollars to pay for my tuition at Wofford...and that's saying something. I've always done well in science and math but they have never been my preferred subjects. Truth be told, I am overjoyed that next semester I will be taking my last science class ever....EVER!!!
I would much rather be reading a good novel or writing anything (hence, what you're reading now) than completing a lab report, working through a calculus problem, or studying the digestive system. Yep, unlike a large section of the population, I LOVE ENGLISH!!!!! Yep, that's right. Writing ten-page papers is totally my thing. And when I come across a good book.....MAN!!!! I just want to share it with anybody who's willing to read it.
There is truly nothing else in the world of academia that I am more passionate about than literature and writing. Thus--as it should--my path to purpose is rooted in my passion.
When I grow up, I want to be a journalist.
Let me preface: I've heard a lot of jokes and sarcastic slurs about being an English major, much less being an (aspiring) journalist. When I tell my science and math oriented friends that I want to travel the world and write about adventures and culinary experiences, it's not uncommon that their response consists of an eye roll or rude comment about having a real job/doing something actually important or challenging. My *favorite* response is: hope you marry rich.
Let me tell ya right here and now: there is absolutely nothing that I would hate more than to do anything for the rest of my life that I am not 100% down-for-the-long-run passionate about. Sure, I could probably make it in a field outside of english/literature. I'm a good enough student, if I put my mind to researching scientific inquiries for the rest of my life, I'm sure I could do it. In fact, there's no doubt in my mind that I could excel at anything I set out to do--even, despite any comments from my high school AP Calculus classmates, solve math problems for the rest of my life. But why would I, rather, why would anyone go into a field in which all they were doing was making money? Why, I ask rhetorically, would I put all of my efforts into a career where my heart didn't dwell? Maybe that's not the way everyone sees their careers, but I sure as hell won't be caught dead doing something I'm not passionate about for the rest of my life. No matter where my path to purpose leads me, that's a promise.
So take a whack at me. See just how riled up I can get if you tell me journalism isn't a real job. Please let me lecture you about what the world would be like without reading and writing. Push me to the point where my face turns red with passion as I defend classic novels, and ten-page papers, and the importance of proper grammar. Let me tell you all about journalists who explore new places, dig deep into serious situations, and ask the hard questions.
(Even as I write this, my heart races and a smirk expands across my face.)
So that's that. When I grow up, I want to be a journalist--or a novelist, or really a writer of any sort. Keep on rolling your eyes and thinking that your one-track career is better than my writing exhibition. Laugh at me, and tell me again that you hope I marry rich. Even when I get all worked up defending my case and you think you've really rattled my cage, just know that my passion will still burn. I'm only 18 and I haven't the slightest idea of where my life might lead--but I do know that whatever I end up doing, you can be sure as death and taxes that I'll be doing what I love: reading, writing, & traveling.
P.S. I hope everyone follows the Life Is Good mantra: Do what you like, like what you do too.