This is a great question. I think I have a hard time drawing a line between things that I enjoy doing, things that I am good at, things that I am interested in, and what I should actually be doing as a career. I also get irritated that I finished graduate school, have the loans to show for it, and haven’t figured this part out yet.
So here is the first activity that comes to mind that I love; reading. Reading for pleasure: hooray! But I’m very aware that reading for the academic purpose, while I love obtaining new information, puts me to sleep almost no matter the content. This fact makes me doubt the appropriateness of my desire to get a PhD. However, I know that I love being in the academic environment, in the presence of learning.
The second activity, of course, is making art. This I know makes me come alive. The struggle lately has been deciding what to focus on creating. I want to create things that empower and bring joy to the viewer. Things that clearly communicate the beauty and ability that is within them to live their purpose in life. The combination of the above two things has obviously led to the current pursuit of the teaching certification in fine arts.
Another is writing. I find incredible therapeutic relief from writing through my thought processes, and I can always end up with at least a partial solution to whatever internal question I’m working through at the time.
Something else that makes my chest explode with exhilaration and gratitude is travel, particularly to places of immense natural and architectural beauty. I love to participate in all aspects of travel. The research, the planning, the eating, the meeting of locals and other travellers, the collection of a piece of art of any form from the destination, and of course the documentation; writing about it, photographing, and then the creation of something inspired by the trip if I feel so inclined. I’ve been able to satisfy this desire pretty well so far, and given the upcoming (3 months and 28 days to be exact) relocation to England for 4 years, we’re going to be basking in the joys of travel quite extensively.
So then what about the degrees? I chose both majors with the intent of equipping myself to change people’s lives for the better, and hopefully via the ripple effect, change the world. I suppose having two consecutive experiences that made me feel that I wasn’t truly able to do any good kind of damaged my perception of my choice in majors and made me start questioning whether I should have chosen a creative major of some sort instead to fill the hole that I was feeling after those experiences. But I think I just haven't had the opportunity to work for the type of organization that I dream about working for, those rare organizations providing artistic and/or educational opportunity to the youth that need it the most.
So I suppose what would make me really come alive is being able to find a magical mixture of all of the above things. While it feels like that might be me wanting to have my cake and eat it too, it also feels like these aren’t extravagant things to want out of life. I also feel that one should follow the things that they are called to do, the things that make one come alive. Because that’s what we are here for, isn’t it? To live? To really experience what it feels like to be alive in the way that we are meant to be, that we are capable of being? I like to think so. Believing this has made life so much more beautiful and exciting than I think it would be otherwise.
So I think that my ‘goal’ or intention for 2012 is to figure out how to make that happen; my magical cake eating situation. I definitely believe in the power of visualization and what it can manifest in your life, so far it has really proven itself with me. So I believe that if I really focus on this, think about it daily, write through it and make choices that send me in that direction, it can and will happen for me in the way it is supposed to. I’m very excited to see what comes about :)