by Paris Johnson
“You can struggle to do something you hate or you can struggle to do something you love.” -Unknown
I have seen different variations of this quote and for some reason it stuck with me. We are at that age (and you all know what age I am talking about) where you are right at the cusp of adulthood, having recently been spat out of college and onto your butt right outside the door of childhood and comfortability. The tender ages of young adulthood where everyone in the world expects you to get a “real job” and you can no longer use the Facebook memes making a joke of all the money you don’t have. It is all too real and all too frightening. Family gatherings are now centered around your endeavors and whether or not that degree you milked the bank getting is going to pay off. You’ve driven yourself into the ground with applications to entry-level jobs that want 5 years of experience even though you were in high school 5 years ago and could barely boil an egg. (And for those that are past that age, stay with me. I may be young but I think I may be on to something that applies to us all.)
Back to that quote.
In the midst of the struggle of becoming an adult, that is what stuck with me. I came from a degree in Fashion. And to the observing eye, that would seem like the life. The glamorous lifestyle from the amazing clothes to the runway shows. It was all laid out on a silver platter. I had that dream since I was a kid. “Designer” was the path I was going. Study for it, intern, get my first job, keep moving up and one day I would see my name in lights and my clothes on Cara Delevingne.
That was just a theory.
In practice, I hated it. I know, how could I hate fashion right? It was a shock for me too. I always wanted to do it but when I threw myself into the industry, I knew right then and there, it wasn’t for me. I was unhappy. But there was no turning back in my mind. I don’t just quit. Not after spending 4 years of my life studying for this, knowing that I loved to design.
They say that when you know, you know.
Now technically that applies to love but we are going to replace love with “passion”. Fast forward to graduating. I had been planning on a bikini competition since that December. I had been heavy in the gym for about 2 years and thought, “Why not? I can scratch that off the bucket list.” Funny thing about those bucket lists, they consist of things you have never done before and we all know you will most likely find something you love in things that challenge you to try something new.
Guys, in the course of 3 weeks post-grad I had found it. My passion. After 4 years of studying, 3 weeks revealed to me what I loved to do. May 28th, 2016 changed the game for me. I did my first competition and I was on cloud 9. At this point I still had an internship in LA geared towards my fashion career so I said to myself, “Alright. Give fashion one more chance. See how you feel. You will know after this 8 weeks which path you are being directed towards. Try to run by faith, not by sight.” And sure enough, I felt it deep down that fashion would have to take a knee to the path I really wanted which was health and fitness. Helping people be the best version of themselves. This too, is where I met the wonderful owner of the website you are reading this from. She, too, opened a gateway in my life to expand on this newfound journey (Thank You Katie).
How does this relate to you?
Take a minute and look at your life. You have your entire life ahead of you. The thing I love about us millennials, we question everything. We sit up at night wondering, “Why do I need to do this?” “What is the point of that?” “I want more.” And to that, I say never stop. Those questions are what shakes up the foundation of everything you’ve been taught. Those questions are the foundation for actually GETTING more.
I am no rebel. I am not someone who figured out the key to breaking free of life’s restraints and creating a new path. Please. But what I am, is someone who asked myself what was going to make me happy early enough in the game for me to redirect myself. I recognized the dreams that keep me up at night. I thought, “If I am going to struggle, why would I struggle to build someone else’s dream when I can struggle to build my own and I would, in turn, see the fruits of my own labor as opposed to someone I may never meet eating my fruit on the balcony of their mansion I helped pay for.”
Guys, we literally have a free road ahead of us. It is overwhelming the amount of elephants in the room when the topic of job searching arises. The structure of life is a well-oiled machine. We are all in the same spot battling those questions that keep us up at night with the job we think we are supposed to have. I was blessed with a wonderful family and friends who support my endeavors and push me. But I even struggle with telling myself it won’t work. The key is mindfulness. We aren’t crazy. We just know we are built for more. Shake the system. You want to be a writer but your path was to be a therapist, go write! You want to own the best ice cream shop ever built but your parents want you to be a lawyer, make that ice cream and sell it to lawyers worldwide! (I would like a discount for aiding in your endeavors <3) Even if you want to be a doctor but school is really hard. Keep going and one day you’ll find yourself walking out of the OR after giving someone their life back. Shout out to Grey’s Anatomy 😉
You get one life here.
That has never rung more true than it has now. It is never too late. Think about yourself. Be selfish. You are gifted with ONE life. I could cry thinking about being 78 and looking back on my life trying to figure out why I didn’t take the opportunity I have now. Life is so short and fragile. And to be honest, I’m scared as all get-out. But to look back at the successes of life and realize that I spent my time on this earth living for my passion and by my own terms…to me, that was a life worth living.