Do you ever feel like you're different than everyone around you? Do you follow your own path, to the consternation of certain relatives or friends? It's the time of year when you hear all about it, right? How are you coping?
If I had walked into my high school career counselor's office and confidently declared that I dream of teaching people to mend their damaged dolls using easy-to-understand cheat sheet tutorials, an email course, and a book ~ she probably would have spit out her lukewarm cup of Joe in surprise. What an unconventional career aspiration, right? But here's the thing… it would have shocked me too! I was your typical Type A overachiever. I graduated 12th out of 400 people in my high school class. I had dreams of breaking the glass ceiling in publishing.
But that was later, after I was conditioned to strive for career glory rather than follow my heart. When I was a little girl I remember people were always asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would always say I wanted to be a mother. “You can't do that!” my grandmother told me, as did my mother (both stay-at-home mothers, but whatever, I guess). I just wanted to be an artist and a mom.
When I was in middle school I had a vivid dream I still remember; I found myself on an island heaped with broken toys. All kinds of people were there, crying, wanting their toys fixed. I didn't see it at the time, but now I'm kind of amazed to find myself a doll doctor, fielding near-daily requests to restore people's doll and toys from all over the world! That dream was a premonition, although I didn't realize it.
The internet led to the demise of the big publishing houses. Once I became a mother my desire to raise my own children rather than handing them off to day care fulfilled that crazy old dream. I still hear about it, though. We all have at least one person we can't ever please, right? Practically the first thing I heard at Thanksgiving was that “No one wants to buy what I'm selling”. Nevermind it's been my job for over 20 years!
I take tremendous joy in receiving heartfelt thank-you messages for restoring those sentimental childhood dolls to their former glory so they can be passed down as cherished family heirlooms. My unique knack for fixing virtually anything isn't just a quirky trait, it's my secret weapon. And over the years I've found teaching others doll repair and entrepreneurship is my other passion.
So guess what? I'm beyond grateful that I didn't let the skeptics deter me and chose to pave my own path, even if it's a road less travelled…
So, how about YOU? What's your secret weapon? Are you living your passion or still searching for it? I want to know!
And if you haven't exactly lived up to your family's expectations or followed others' well-trodden path, I want to know how you're dealing with it, especially this time of year. It can be hard to go home when all you hear about are your perceived failures (even if you're most definitely NOT a failure). My husband and I own our own BEACH, for heaven's sake; it's not like we're destitute!
I think when someone like you, someone really creative, brave, and passionate, rejects the “normal” societal expectations to follow their dreams, it's threatening for people who don't.
I think a lot of people know, deep down, they could have done more in their life, but they let fear stop them. When they see you acting without fear they feel FOMO, they get jealous, or they actually feel scared because they're so brainwashed to follow the herd.
Whether you’re lying in bed late at night accidentally dropping your phone on your face (sorry about that), stuck in an Uber in traffic (thoughts n’ prayers), bored in the bathroom (we all do it right?), I’m so glad to know you’re out there!
You’re the best crew I could ask for and I can’t wait to hear from you! I'm so grateful you’re here on this crazy wild ride with me and I’m so excited to have a medium to share all the ups and downs, tips and tricks, sad times, good times, successes and failures. Hit the comments section and tell me all about how you're doing!
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.