Little Lessons #6: The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change. Embrace It.

Nubby Twiglet | Stay True To Your Path

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.” —Heraclitus

When we’re kids, we’re taught that we can be anything we want to be when we grow up and that the world is full of endless possibilities. We openly use that encouragement to explore the options. Kids can change their minds every single day about what they want to be “when they grow up” with absolutely no consequences.

But as adults? If we change our minds too often, we’re called hypocrites, flakes, flip-floppers and unfocused. It’s looked down upon to change your mind, especially with school and careers. People, especially your parents can be really hard on you. “You’ll ruin your life!” “How will you make any money?” “Why would you want to leave a comfortable path for this?!” It’s painful to hear.

If you’re having a hard time right now, it does get better.

I get so many emails from readers who feel stuck in school for a degree they are no longer passionate about, a career that isn’t a good fit or a job that is soul sucking. At The Blogcademy, many of our students are burnt out by their current blog topics but worried about changing it up. It doesn’t have to be that way forever. Changing up your life is okay. Give yourself permission.

I spent all my free time in school doodling on my worksheets. When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had it all figured out: an artist.

When I was touring colleges back in 2000, I realized that I couldn’t take the ups and downs that being an artist would have in store for me — a degree in business seemed like the most sensible option. During my summers off from school, I spent my days in a corporate office. I sat next to ladies who, in their 50s and 60s, had spent the better parts of their lives in offices. None of them seemed like they were having much fun. All anyone around me did was gossip about one another by day and drink heavily and chain smoke by night. Sure, I could finish school, climb the corporate ladder and have a nice paycheck waiting for me every two weeks…but that just didn’t feel right. I wanted out but I’m not a quitter. Instead, I finished up my degree, left that office job for good and took a year off, selling shoes instead.

Once I’d regrouped, I went back to school for what I was actually meant to do: design. I still remember sitting in my college’s office, filling out paperwork explaining why I wanted to return for a “lesser degree” (I had a four year degree and my design program was two). I don’t even exactly remember what I wrote. I just knew that I had to find a way in.

When you’re feeling stuck and like you’re not on the path you want to be, there are always going to be people who will try to convince you to stay right where you are. But remember, it’s not their life, it’s yours. It’s never too late to make a change.


Photo: Made U Look.

16 Responses to Little Lessons #6: The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change. Embrace It.

  1. Kat Pedersen says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Shauna. I don’t want to be one of those people stuck in an office in 30 years. Loved Blogcademy this weekend and hopefully it’ll help. Happy travels!

  2. Liz says:

    The timing for this post is perfect for me! Thank you so much. I really needed to hear this. I’ve spent years working towards a degree that was practical but not what I wanted, just because I listened to everyone else except myself. I’m done with that. It’s time to follow my dreams!

  3. CFC says:

    Like you, I wanted to be a full time artist, but a degree in Advertising was my most sensible choice. But unlike you, I went ahead and pursued a career in my degree. Everything was just what everyone expected me to be……But while I love creating and conceptualizing stories to make people buy our clients’ products, I still yearned to do my own thing, and that is to paint and illustrate. So this year, after almost a decade of corporate work, I left my cushy job, took a leap of faith and started to do art full time. My husband on the other hand, left his work too and started on Game Development. We both have our freelance work to keep us sustained but so far, it’s been good. There are struggles, yes….but we believe that it will get better eventually. Finding bliss in what we love to do is definitely worth it.

    • Shauna says:

      CFC: It’s definitely harder to follow this path but it’s also so fulfilling. Good for you for having the guts to say goodbye to a sensible, cushy job and enter the unknown. Wishing you lots of success!

  4. Becky Alyssa says:

    The opening quote is my auntie’s mantra, always telling it to me when I’m anxious about things changing. She’s nearly 70 and wants to travel around the USA in a caravan.

  5. Andrea says:

    Thanks for this post today, Shauna. I’m in the process of finding my way back to design, having left a great design job in magazine publishing a few years ago to have a baby and take a break for maternity leave. I changed my career when I returned to work and went into administration thinking it would be better and easier to balance work/life while raising a small child.
    I soon realized I made a huge mistake – I really missed working in a creative job – and am now planning to start a freelance design business at home.
    It’s been a long walk down the wrong path and very challenging getting back onto the right track, but I love reading posts like yours which inspire me to keep going!

  6. Mae says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It made me think back to 4 years ago when the only thing I could think to do to get out of the rut of a job I had without giving both my parents a heart attack (it was at the peak of the economy crashing after all, and I had a good job by anyones standards, complete with benefits etc…) was to pack up and move to France to do a masters degree. And now I’m working as a freelancer in Paris! I would have never dreamed that I’d end up here… but you’re right: if you muster the courage to make a real change, it does get better.

    • Shauna says:

      Mae: That is so inspiring that you were able to let go and follow your dreams — and what better place to live out your dreams than Paris?!

    • CFC says:

      Paris is a dream city of my husband and I. We hope to travel there someday. But we figured, one dream at a time…and it will fall into place eventually when the stars aligned along the road we are on now. But kudos to you! Wishing you all the best!

      This year for us is called Year of the NoN (Now or Never). And it’s been wonderful so far. 😀

  7. Sofia Cope says:

    Thank you, Shauna. The path to artistry never did feel comfortable and I’m in that stage where it doesn’t feel so smooth-sailing at all but it’s hearing stories like these that keeps me abreast with my decision to pursue art. Here’s hoping things do get better.

  8. Pingback: Sexta Básica | BramareBramare

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