Tag Archive | life

When one door closes…opportunities await

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Photo credit: AARC.org

Relationship endings are always bitter sweet.

You say goodbye to the life you knew for the previous how many years, reminisce on all the memories, happy and sad times, and think of all the things that you used to do, places you would go and people you knew that will now change. If you look at it in a positive light it means that there is now room for new beginnings, many opportunities that can lead to an entirely different life. A new chapter for the book of you.

Part of the reason my last relationship ended up parting ways was because I had a long hard think about what I wanted to do in and with my life and our paths just weren’t heading in the same direction. Fortunately for me the reason I had to have that honest conversation with myself turned out to be the first step in creating a new journey.

Some people manage to go through life and have it just happen to them. I want more from life; I like the adrenaline, the excitement, the satisfaction of setting a goal and achieving it and overcoming the challenges that I face on the way.

It may sound selfish, independent, or stubborn, but I like to do things for myself. If I have achieved it mostly on my own it feels like I earned it and can be truly content with the fact it is mine and I did it and no one else can take credit for it. I have always done that so i don’t feel like I “owe” anyone for helping me out. I even have a hard time having other people buy me a drink, or dinner, without me having to repay them in kind.

After the necessary grieving period was over, I began to focus on the things that had made me come to that life changing decision in the first place. I wanted to buy a house, I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to have good real friends, I wanted to be a good real friend…and many more. I sat down and started to work it out using what I had been taught in school and throughout rowing training, if you are going to set a goal it needs to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

I wanted to travel overseas. I thought about where I most wanted to go, how much time I could realistically go for, what the main things I “had to see” if it was my only time going over there. Then looked into the best way to fit those in, priced up the options, worked out how long it would take me to save/pay for the trip and started booking.

I also wanted to buy a house. Again I worked out what I wanted in a house, what area I wanted to and could afford to live in, how much I had in my Kiwisaver, what I could realistically afford that I would be comfortable living in and how much more I needed to save to get there, and also about the timing of it – whether I bought it before or after going overseas.

Fortunately I have a good job with a regular salary and a decent amount of leave. Because I had planned these two main goals out in a lot of detail I then spent the next year and a bit saving, booking parts of my trip, looking at the housing market – keeping an eye on the prices and how it kept changing. With goals and a plan I found it easy to see the end in sight and managed to go to Europe/UK for 6 weeks and come home to buy a house the following month at the end of 2016.

Both of these goals had the added bonus that I was focused on something different. I was learning a lot about houses, the market, the whole process and a lot about the world, places to go, what to do and see, which in turn meant I was surrounded with an entirely different group of people and it opened me up to a lot more conversations with the people I already knew. I met a huge range of different people just through thinking and talking about these adventures I was planning on having and while I was living them.

I look at every experience as an opportunity to learn a lesson, or three, then I look forward to using those lessons to create something even better in my next chapter.

Those were my main goals for 2016 and since I have accomplished them I am now figuring out what’s next and how best to achieve that. The past two years really have been a life changing experience and many many new doors have opened thanks to one door closing.

Bitter sweet, yet onwards and upwards.
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What do I want to be when I grow up?

Growing up

This seems to be a reoccurring question; when you are little and can be anything you imagine, as you get to high school when you are choosing which subjects to study, when you finish high school and need to decide your next path, when you finish university – where will you start your career. As time goes on more and more of your life choices depend on how you answer this question. Believe me as you enter your 20’s and ask yourself this question frequently, and have others constantly asking, it starts to sound bewildering.

Growing up I always thought the pathway was: complete high school, attend university & gain a degree, get a job in the field you studied and build a career in that line of work. When I finished high school that was a daunting thought – I have to choose right now what job I want to do for the rest of my life! Of course I went with my favourite subject at high school – PE. As I was an avid sports player throughout high school it just seemed a natural path to follow. However after two years of studying a Sports and Exercise Science degree I was asking everyone in my class what they wanted to do when they finished. Majority of my classmates said “become a PE teacher” or “become a personal trainer”.  As I was still quite young and a little naïve my thinking was, “well that doesn’t sound like me for the rest of my life”. I didn’t realise that just because most people wanted to follow two main careers, there was a lot more available using this degree. Unfortunately as I came to that conclusion I withdrew from my degree with only one year to go, and went to work in hospitality while I figured out what my new career path would be. Now what do I want to be when I grow up?

Well after 5 years of working in various roles in hospitality I decided waitressing and bartending were not the career paths that I wanted. One of my waitressing roles expanded into assisting with planning weddings and functions. I loved the events planning side of this role and decided now that this could be a career I would really enjoy. At the time I was looking for fulltime jobs and it was a requirement to have a degree before anyone would consider hiring you. As I was just shy of completing my sports degree I chose to go back to university and do a degree in what I now enjoyed – event management.

At the time the only degree at Waikato University that offered any event management papers was the Bachelor of Communications, so naturally this is what I chose to study.

As I was in the last months of completing my degree majoring in marketing and public relations I again asked myself “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Now I have a degree what will I do with it? What career does this mean for me? Still thinking that your degree will lead to a career in the industry of what you studied.

Well after temping full time for a variety of businesses for three months, and a large amount of interviews for marketing jobs, I weighed up my options again. If I was to follow what I thought was the right path – working in the industry I studied – I would have to get a marketing job in Auckland. This meant changing my whole life just to get a job. I could potentially get paid a higher starting salary than what was on offer in Hamilton, however that would mean having a higher cost of living and leave all my friends and the lifestyle I was used to in Hamilton behind.

Again the question came up “what do I want to be when I grow up?” After asking yourself this question multiple times in a few years it starts to get scary when you still haven’t figured it out. It gets harder when your family starts asking year after year, reminding you you’re getting older and won’t have the same job opportunities much longer.

I am turning 27 this year and have finally come to terms with the fact that it is okay to not know what you want to be when you grow up. I now have a full-time permanent job that I love, I’m still in Hamilton with my friends and living the same convenient lifestyle (15 minutes or less to drive anywhere in Hamilton!). There is progression available in my job and there are opportunities for further study and potential to move into other areas within my organisation, so the future looks bright.

I have always wanted to have a business of my own and still haven’t quite decided exactly what that will be. I do know I want to get into property investing – whether that be my main business or a supplement to another business I am not yet sure. I am happy within myself that I have a secure job and goals for future career choices. I have options and as I was told when I was younger “the world is your oyster”.

So as I am approaching 30 I am comfortable that it’ll be okay, the world won’t end because I don’t have ‘what I want to be when I grow up’ sorted by then. Coming into the workforce and talking to others in my organisation I realised that thinking a career was a one track journey is actually unrealistic. Yes, it may work for some people, but majority of people have moved around doing different jobs and roles over their lifetimes before they settled into what they are doing now. I even know some people that are in their 50’s and still don’t know what they want to be and yet they have lived a full and happy life on their journey trying to figure it out.

I guess I am writing this to let you know that while you are stressing about ‘what next’ with the pressure you can put on yourself, especially in your 20’s, to figure it out – it’s okay. As long as you are doing something you are on the right path. Each choice you make opens up other opportunities and can lead to a world of options. You are still young and there is still time, so don’t let it get you down.

Everything happens for a reason – whatever will be will be, if it’s meant to be it will – that is my ‘motto’ if you will. I live by that and it has worked for me this far in my life. It means I take responsibility for my decisions, I accept that everything happens for a reason and I believe as long as I learn a lesson from each decision or the results of my decision and do something to ensure it changes my future opinions/actions that is good way to live.