Happenstance: Is my dream going anywhere?
I was going to be a lot of things when I grew up.
When I was 5, I was going to be a missionary to Disney World. I still haven’t given up on that. I’m currently trying to convince my fan-girl wife to apply for a job at the new Star Wars Land in order to pursue our passions together.
No luck so far.
The next thing was a veterinarian. I was about 14 when I decided on that.
My parents were very supportive.
They took me to Michigan State University to go on a tour of the Veterinary Medical program. I got to see cows being milked, the inside of a surgical room, and even some cool tree frogs which I was obsessed with for months after.
They talked to us about grades, what classes to take, and how to get in touch with programs like Skill Center in order to meet the requirements of the program.
Then the statistics came in.
I won’t pretend to remember what they were but they told us that the vast majority of applicants were denied.
And I remember walking back through the barn where the cows were, smelling the hay and mud thinking, “I’m not smart enough to be a veterinarian.”
We can’t stay in these moments because they are just one part of our discovery of “calling.”
Anyone who has set out to pursue a life less ordinary is well accustomed to this feeling. We think we know, then we,
“really don’t know
and never did
and probably never will
and should just go to community college and see how we feel after a semester an…”
It’s a seemingly endless search and somewhere along the way we generally accept it all as “Happenstance.”
As we float from vocation to vocation,
job to job,
career to career,
creative venture to creative venture,
we can feel rather helpless or incapable under the power of the stream.
I think the general fear we face in our pursuit of passion is that we will never take root.
And if we do take root, we are merely subjected to whatever reality the universe has imposed upon us.
But that just isn’t true, is it?
I struggle with this irrational fear of never “taking root.”
If it were a painting, it would basically be this static image of myself sitting alone in a dimly lit room on a chair that looks moderately uncomfortable.
It’s a bland, sedating, and quite ridiculous image,
but that’s the fear.
I’m not trying to make light of the depression that so often comes from the pursuit of passion but rather encourage you that this thought process is flawed from it’s conception.
We are going to get it wrong. We’re still learning ourselves and, if we are honest, always will be. That can be exciting and devastating.
We are in a constantly state of motion. Life keeps going on whether we sleep in until 10:49 because we “just can’t do today” or wake up with enough positive energy to power the sun.
Our only control in the “Happenstance” is our attitude.
(I’m EXTREMELY bad at this.)
But I believe the better our outlook, the more positive the results.
When we believe that we are headed somewhere worthwhile, somewhere that feels like home, we get there faster and with greater reward along the way.
When we take some of the pressure off of ourselves by accepting that we are never going to “arrive”, each twist and turn of our life becomes less of a hassle and more of an adventure.
I know that sounds like the forearm tattoo of someone at Coachella but it’s true.
That’s the first step in finding our place amidst the “Happenstance” and I think the earlier we accept that, the better.
So, I’m not upset about the Veterinary Med tour anymore.
And I’m not ready to give up on moving to Disney World.
I do not own the rights to pictures featured in this article. Darth Vader is a property of Disney and Lucasfilm.