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“Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.” ~Chris Hadfield, astronaut As a kid, you put zero thought into doing what you loved. You simply played, not knowing that your future self wouldn’t play that much at all. Work was serious business. When I was in kindergarten, our classroom had a block center, a board game shelf, a home center with dolls and a play stove, a drawing center, and a sand table. We naturally gravitated to the area that was most fun, with no thought about what would look good on our future resumes or college applications. As far back as I can remember, making up stories, writing them down, and telling them to anyone that would listen were my favorite activities. Fast forward to high school, then college. It’s Time to be an Adult Others told me that writing and art were lovely little hobbies, but I needed to choose a real career, something that would make money. I looked around to see what the other kids would do, trying to spark an idea. If it wasn’t writing, I was clueless. I never thought of asking, “Why not?” Why couldn’t writing be a career? I just accepted that a job or career had to be something you made a realistic, intellectual choice about, and not one that came from your heart. And I wasn’t the only one who received messages like this. I heard Oprah say that as a child she was asked what she thought she would do as a career. She said, “Well, I like talking to people.” The person responded, “Well, you can’t make money doing that.” 7 Failed Careers Later Years later, after I was told I couldn’t make a career out of writing, I ended up with a resume that was four pages long and days that were like a yearlong run-on sentence. I plowed through job after job, staring out the windows and riding the trains I hated to jobs I hated even more. I did a good job at most of them and earned a nice income. I was a school secretary, lifeguard, pre-school assistant, mortgage processor, office manager, dance teacher, and a few others I can’t remember. I taught sewing classes and even started two businesses thinking that being my own boss would solve my empty feelings. It didn’t. A Return to Love Then I reached a turning point and realized I needed to go back to doing what I loved and make it work somehow. I had a week off work and found myself writing from morning to night. I felt my headaches lifting and a sense of peacefulness developing. I submitted an essay to a local newspaper. The publication didn’t accept it, but I didn’t care. I knew it was time to make my passion my day job, and here is what I did. The next time I was asked what type of work I did, for the first time in my life, [...]