“Is this a possible calling for you, career wise?” my brother texted me Friday night after I told him about my successful bo dan test and my plan to pursue higher black belt ranks throughout my life. I replied that taekwondo already is a calling but it wouldn’t be a full-time career unless I were independently wealthy. I just do it because I love it. If I can make a few extra bucks on the side teaching or get free classes in exchange for teaching then I’d be happy.
I would never want to own my own school because (1) it would take many years to get to the rank that I think would be a respectable level to own a school and (2) being a small business owner is a pain in the ass and there’s rarely much money in it.
…But is that really true or just limiting beliefs? Have I trapped myself in the American Dream (or nightmare?) of a corporate career and making lots of money just to spend lots of money so I can’t really be free? Is it too late to do what I really want to do?
More and more this past year I’ve started to figure out who I really am. The realizations are coming faster and the layers are peeling back more quickly. Beliefs ingrained since childhood have shaped the choices I make as an adult, and I am working hard to dismantle the more damaging ones. At times there are growing pains as I let go of comforting yet ultimately harmful beliefs and choices that I thought would make my life easier but only kept me smothered and unconscious. I’m already in a job where I help people learn and grow in a very supportive environment, which is awesome, but I don’t want to climb the corporate ladder or stay in the cubicle jungle forever. I love my four-inch heels but if I could spend most of the week in sandals or bare feet I’d be just as happy. (Wouldn’t we all?) Sometimes I waste the precious time I have to myself instead of savoring it, although one could argue for the importance of doing nothing.
Sometimes when you write things down it helps cement the beginnings of a new path. So if I had my way here’s how I’d really be spending my time:
-Teaching and practicing yoga
-Teaching and practicing taekwondo
-Learning languages and traveling
-Helping the homeless in my city find something to eat and a safe place to sleep
-Helping low income women in my city get their education and better jobs
-Retire somewhere warm and sunny near the ocean where I can be that crazy old lady doing yoga and taekwondo forms on the beach
That’s it. That’s what I really want to do. I’m open to receiving the steps to get there.
Today my mentor remarked that I was reaching some milestones of asking probing questions and shifting my values a little earlier than people typically do, like an early mid-life crisis. I joked darkly that it must mean I’ll die at 70. Hopefully by the time I get there I’ll be very true to what’s in my heart.