What are your brightest visions? What ideas spark your interest? What discoveries have brought you to those visions & ideas?
Your entire life you have encountered new things. As a baby & a child you were learning & studying before you even knew it. When we are young we have a strong desire to learn new things. Most of this desire as a kid is for survival, this instinct & curiosity helps us learn how to take care of ourselves but also this exploration takes us on the path of finding who we are, what we are good at, what we do not find interesting etc. Experimentation helps us all come to find something we are curious enough about, to pursue it for our life's work. If we as humans do not face this necessity head on, we will find ourselves wandering about feeling bored & confused.
Although I am very young, I do feel I have had a head start on this process. When I reflect on why this might be, several things come to mind but the most profound thing is how my parents raised me. I was never pushed to do one thing over another. What I mean by that is simply what I showed interest in, my parents let me pursue, within certain boundaries of course. I tried out dance, gymnastics, softball, swim team, basketball, volleyball, track, cheerleading, played the flute & piano etc. The only rule was that I had to finish out a season or semester, depending on what it was. I could try out what I wanted but I could not quit randomly, which meant everything I showed interest in, I gave a good go at.
My parents' requirements of me were like a simple unspoken agreement.
"Try your best & stay out of trouble" is what I understood it as, there was a mutual respect that allowed me to then have some freedom, while still staying true to my responsibilities. I wanted to explore but I wanted to [& still want to] make them proud while I did it.
When I went to college I was confused of what exactly to pursue but luckily I was able to take several classes in my freshman year that helped guide me to where I needed to be. Once again, the support to explore & the lack of "pushy opinions" on "who or what I should be when I grow up" from people whose opinion I value most, was the biggest blessing. In the back of their minds I know they would have loved to have seen me in a career with an instant salary & benefits but they knew that wasn't for me.
Ever since I decided Exercise Science was the field for me, I have come head on with several instances of trial & error with what exact part of the exercise world I wanted to be a part of. While there are some amazing opportunities with more stable perks in this field, I found interest in an area that if I work hard I make money & if I don't work hard, I don't make money. Amongst the trial & error, the vision has become clearer. You know when you are driving in your car, the random thoughts that pop up? For me every single drive, since I can remember getting my license, has been my vision of my future businesses. Yes that is plural, businesses. I have to force myself to pump the breaks most days because while it is important to dream & plan, being in the moment is very necessary, in order to form a stable foundation, to then build on top of. I have now conveniently wrapped all of these business visions into a interconnected web, yes; please do watch out if you see me on the road ;).
Now that I have had several years of experimenting in the exercise world, interning, working, shadowing, working in different style facilities, working with different ages of people etc. I have had the ability to decipher between the [nuances] of the field & develop more in the direction I now know I want to go.
In the last six years of being in this field, I have had experiences that I did not like whatsoever, I could have decided that was wasted money & time but I chose to believe that those experiences led me closer to where I am now. I have fine-tuned my path so early on because I paid attention to the feelings associated with different moments of interests & experiments. I have learned from mentors & still have the privilege of continuing to learn from them, not only ones in the same career field as me but in business in general. I will continue to welcome change throughout my lifetime but have confidence & peace knowing I have created a path to continue to build on. At some point in everyone's life, we succumb to a routine & just when we think we are going to get bored, that is the moment when we need to take a new turn on what seemed to be getting old. We must take a new risk, maybe carve out a new route, in order to make the old things seem fresh. Because we are marvelous humans with brains that can be changed, we still have the drive for novelty even when we feel we have lost it & if we allow ourselves to tap into that, our ideas & visions will continue to become a reality.
Some helpful things I have realized:
I don't love to study books-I love to study humans... but you have to study some books to learn to study humans.
I don't love to sit in an office- I love to move about & create... but sometimes you have to sit in an office to do the backend "not so fun" work.
I don't love to try to mold to someone's brand- I love to create my own... but you have to learn somewhere & somehow & sometimes that is uncomfortable but very necessary.
When we realize this for ourselves, no matter when it is in life, when the efforts are put forth, it will happen & then we will feel & see that any vision can be made a reality. I plan on bringing every car ride dream to existence in this world.
I will stay intentional to myself & my goals so that I can help others liv intentionally too.
[Pictures taken by LIV at the Denver Art Museum featuring The Light Show exhibit + Shantell Martin's Art that was installed throughout the museum.]