Looking Ahead is Frightening

Being an introspective and, perhaps overly, reflective person, I often like taking advantage of the last day of the year. When every media outlet from television to Twitter is wrapping up the previous twelve months with various lists and pithy statements, it is an instant excuse to navel gaze to one’s heart’s content.

This afternoon I happened to be watching a cheesy holiday movie – as one does – and was struck by a simple question uttered by a character in the film. The movie itself doesn’t matter. It isn’t worth remembering. Yet the question lingered in my mind as it relates to something I’ve been asking myself for a long time. I figured something so inspiring couldn’t be original to a sappy film and a few seconds spent on Google proved me right.

What Would

It’s a big question. One I’ve been battling to answer all evening. It all comes down to knowing what you want more than anything else in the world, what is worth taking a chance on. I really wish I knew what this is for me.

I’ve never been all that career-oriented. Obviously. No doubt, I’d be making a lot more money right now if I was. And I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. Financial security, as important as it is, has never driven me on. It is enough to motivate me to get out the door every day, but money alone is not enough to make me feel successful or confident. Currency is apparently not my currency.

But what is? What is my version of a dog treat? What gives me the zoomies? If money was no object, what would I spend my life doing? I think before I do anything else, I need to figure out the answer to these questions. Not only would it give me focus, it might help me understand what it is exactly I am doing with this space. As I head into my thirty-first year of living – bloody hell – it’s about time I found a bit of direction.

What about you? What would you do today, right now, if you knew you would not fail?

22 thoughts on “Looking Ahead is Frightening

  1. I’ve been struggling with those questions for…well, let’s just say a very long time…Like you I’ve never been career-driven and have switched “careers” a number of times over the years…I work from home now, but my last “out in the world’ job was actually one I loved and dedicated myself to…right up till the day when our entire staff was laid off with no warning. When someone asks “what do you do” I answer with the activities i do for pleasure and not what I do for money. And I’m at peace with that.

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  2. I suspect I saw the same movie because I have also heard that question and pondered that very question as you are now. I thought the answer was to successfully run my own business, which I did to some degree, but I’m not quite sure that was it. You know? Maybe this is the question I need to ponder this year too.
    You’ve certainly left me thinking.

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  3. I love a good navel-gaze myself, and those are definitely some worthwhile questions. I’m just a little older than you, and I’m also feeling like I ought to know this stuff by now. But I don’t–my first choice career didn’t work out, and I can’t even come up with an idea of what to try now. So, sympathy, I guess, is all I’ve got.

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  4. Hi Kristine, Happy New Year. We can help you figure out the answers to those questions. The answer is really simple…go try something new. For example, want to know what it’s like to work in a “pet food and toy store”. Go try it out on weekends as a part-time job. Maybe you’ll open your own specialty store after that. Trying something new will grow your world. Just like it did for Shiva. Want to try? Here let’s go.

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  5. You’re cute πŸ™‚ Wait until you are my age, and you are still trying to figure out the same things!! I think we continue to ask ourselves these questions throughout our lives, it keeps us moving forward – Happy New Year!!

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  6. *sigh* Don’t I know the feeling. This is going to be a year of letting go for me. A year of action. A year where I could fall flat on my face and loose most of my savings… or be a fantastic success that launches me into exactly what I want to do. I’m the kind of girl who’d rather look before I leap, but I just keep looking and looking and looking… sometimes, you just gotta throw yourself from the train and hope that you land on both feet (or that you have 9 lives).

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  7. Well, if I can’t fail, I think that would be easy for me, sled dogs. Of course after I could get all the 6 mutts together as one unit. I seriously think I could take it to many levels with the right help. I fail all of the time at it now and I don’t know sometimes if I can really do it at all, but I love the sport and the passion that comes with it. Really if there was one thing I wanted to do that would be it.

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  8. Probably become a trainer of humans and dogs! My current job though offers decent income, security and financial security is something I am working on. Actually my yearnings for financial security are why I haven’t started the path of becoming a trainer yet.

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  9. Such big questions that I struggle with, too. If only we could make a living playing with our pups… If I could do something that would be guaranteed not to fail, I’d write the book that’s been in my head for years! Someday…

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  10. It’s a great question, and a tough one to answer – and what better time of the year to ponder the big questions, right?!? I hope you’ll share your insights with us when you get a little closer to the answer. Running GoPetFriendly.com is still my thing, but it’s also good to keep in mind that those questions need to be re-examined on a regular basis.

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  11. Great post and intense question. I don’t know if it speaks well of my level of introspection/knowing myself that I know exactly what I would do if money was no concern and it took all of 5 seconds to know it. Or if it speaks to how much I really do need to get out of my current job situation. If money was no concern, I would be a photographer. I love taking photos. I am not great at it and would definitely need to learn and fine tune skills. But taking photos is what make me happy (its my zoomies!)

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  12. Good question & I don’t have a concrete answer. I guess what I’m doing right now, blogging and learning about new things. Aside from being (personally) a little strapped for cash, I’m pretty happy with my life. Sean & I take a nice holiday, we have vehicles that work, the bills are paid, the royal “we” have money in the bank, we own a house & we have some nice pets. What more is there?

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  13. That’s a tough one Kristine. It’s all about perception. One person’s failure may very well be another’s success. Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    I remember participating in the 31 days to a better blog on the Blogpaws website and it was something to do with your blog being successful. But your definition of successful might be completely different than mine.

    You can only fail if you don’t learn something from the experience.

    I guess I’ve given it some thought after all. πŸ™‚

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  14. Well, if I could, I’d pack it all in, take the dogs and live in the middle of nowhere! Maybe I saw too many episodes of Grizzly Adams while growing up? I love the wilderness and being self-sufficient. We’ve got the 40 acre farm, just gotta get there. It’s waiting for us…..

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  15. Pingback: Introspection « No Dog About It Blog

  16. As usual, I totally relate to what you said, Kristine! And unfortunately I have a good 20 years on you, and money has never been a big enough motivator for me either. I would love to open my own business….say, a pet supplies store, and would do it if I knew I would not fail. It is mostly just the financial risk I’m afraid of taking. Good luck, I am sure you will find your direction….sometimes it just takes a while to find the right thing!

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  17. Not many years ago I asked myself the same question. After some thinking, I enrolled in college, and now am going to travel across the country for a summer semester, am preparing to graduate and move onto graduate school as well as hike the Appalachian trail after I graduate, and even dabbling in the idea of starting my own adventure therapy center. It’s amazing what ideas you can come up with if you think about it.

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  18. Wow – 31? Ouch. I remember 31….

    I love the way you put it though: what is my dog treat? At 30/31 I can’t imagine you’ve even envisioned everything there is to try out there to figure that out.

    I took a very unconventional road to where I am today. I did a million things – I’ve been a teacher, a store manager, an ornithologist, a musician, an HR rep, a consultant and now a software engineer. Heck, I even studied to be a minister at one time!

    I became a software engineer after I found myself staying up all night programming web sites in my spare time while I was working as a compensation analyst. I realized that if I had the energy, drive and enthusiasm to do that when I could have been sleeping then maybe I should look into what it would be like as a career.

    While doing it in ‘real life’ comes with some spots that may not be as exciting as it was building out my own ideas in the middle of the night, I’m still pretty jazzed to go to work everyday. (Well, at least when I get to do the programming part of my job. πŸ˜‰

    You are so young, so talented and so bright and there is so much out there to try and see and do, just do it. Take classes. See what strikes your fancy. You will find it if you only keep looking.

    Okay, this old lady is stepping off her soapbox now. πŸ˜‰

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