When I was a child, I wanted to be a marine biologist. As I got into high school my aspirations shifted, moving towards the Coast Guard or ambulance, of which I was fortunate to be able to get to work on the the latter.
During my young adult years, I was all about working as a first responder. I intended to work that job until I retired, despite the mountain of states supporting the fact that it is a job where burnout can occur quickly
I had no plan “B,” and that is my biggest regret I have about working in that occupation. I was determined to beat the odds. We know how that worked out.
I was totally ill prepared when I was forced to leave the job I loved due to my mental health issues. I didn’t think it was fair. I hated God. I hated myself. I hated the partners I disagreed with. In short, I hated the world.
I was adrift. I didn’t know where I was going, let alone how to get there. It took time, and I eventually found a new path for myself. More correctly, God put a new path before me.
When I was a child, being a journalist or a photographer weren’t even on the radar as far as possible jobs I thought about doing. Hell, I pulled in alright grades in high school English; however, when I graduated high school I walked away and didn’t look back.
It took two decades for me to fall back into writing, something I do regularly now in this blog, and in my work as a journalist. I’ve even gone back to doing some creative writing. The funny thing is, for the longest time I resisted this path. I didn’t think it was me.
Something I’ve come to realize is that life’s journey seldom ever goes as planned. It is full of twists and turns, ups and downs. Instead of fighting the unpredictability that life can throw at us, I’ve learned that I need to roll with it. I quit fighting what God was trying to do in my life and let it happen, and in that I have grown exponentially in all parts of my life.
Les Brown, a motivational speaker I’ve watched on YouTube says “if you do what is easy, your life will be hard. If you do what is hard, your life will be easy.”
Because of my life’s journey, I can appreciate this quote. Mental health recovery and finding my new path are the hardest things I think I have ever had to do in my life. They are also the most meaningful and rewarding things I think I’ve ever done.
I am nowhere near the path that I foresaw myself on as a child, but that doesn’t mean I’m not where I’m supposed to be.