Steve Harvey recently said that everyone is given a gift and to really succeed in life, you have to jump.” It was an inspirational 6-minute pep talk, but it left me thinking, “What is MY gift?” I really need to figure this out at 41 so I can jump already.
My husband says I have many gifts, and unfortunately therein lies part of the problem. In America, where we have the freedom to do anything we want, we’re constantly being bombarded with the rhetoric to follow our dreams. So what does an indecisive girl with too many gifts do? Everything or nothing.
I should have committed to any one thing at a certain point and really give it my all, but I never really did.
In college, I thought I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, but that seemed like too long of a journey and one that usually started in Iowa. Instead, I settled on advertising because I was able to use some of my gifts, plus it paid a lot more than journalism. But pretty soon I was unfulfilled. I was great at arguing (especially with myself); maybe I wanted to be a lawyer? I took the LSAT and did well. But when I found out law books were long and didn’t come with cliff notes, I bailed. Maybe an MBA was the smarter move? I took the GMAT and also did well. I applied to business school, and got in, but then I changed my mind. What I really wanted was to be a psychologist. People always talked to me as their therapy – so I took post-graduate psychology classes. But life intervened with a paycheck just when I needed it most. A friend of mine started a dot-com and asked me to come aboard as employee number three. Yes, I wanted to jump on that bubble! That lasted two years and then I wanted something else. I moved to another start-up, brick and mortar this time, but employee number three once again. I used a bunch of gifts at that company, but it sucked me out of all my time and energy. Then I got pregnant. What would I do after my son was born? I know! I always wanted to be a doctor – maybe I’ll go to medical school. I would have to do a post-bac program before I could even apply to medical school. This would have been a 10-year game-plan, and as a new mother, I didn’t think I wanted to be a doctor that badly.
Eventually, I went back to advertising until I got pregnant again. Then I started running my husband’s clown company and I created a custom button art business. My clients told me I was talented and somehow I still didn’t feel like I was jumping with my gift.
I could have been a doctor. I could have been a lawyer. I could have been an MBA. I could have been the head of an advertising agency. I could have been a travel photographer. I could have been an artist.
Instead, I am a modern renaissance woman. I am a mother, a wife, an ex-wife, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a writer, an entrepreneur, a clown pimp, a cook, a chauffeur, and I fill out a shit-load of paperwork on behalf of them all. Maybe the key to my success is not identifying my ONE gift, but exploiting them all.