I had a sort of ephiphany today while listening to Shaun T’s Define Your Life podcast. I came to the realization that I am a Humanities Major. That may not sound like it makes sense, but let me explain.
From the time I was about 5 years old, I knew that I was going to college. My parents set up a college fund and from basically my first day of school I knew that I was going. Most people would KILL for an opporunity like that, but for me it really was a confusing thing. The confusing part was that my parents didn’t care, or should I say, didn’t have a preference as to where I went to school or what I studied, just that I go and I graduate. AGAIN, something that some people would KILL for. You know what this free-choice left me feeling like? Lost!
As much as it sounds like a good thing to give someone free reign over their choices, at the same time it gives them TOO many options and I feel now that if I’d had a nudge in ANY direction that I would have been better off!
I started college about 2 months after high school as a Kinesology Major (sports medicine). At the time I was playing basketball and my ultimate plan was to be an Athletic Trainer and never really leave sports. I thought that would be my in to be a part of a team because I so desperately felt lost and alone most of my school years.
Growing up, or at least from the time I moved to California, I saw kids around me always having such a great time on their sports teams. They were like sisters, or at least looked that way from the outside and while I had fun on my sports teams, I never really felt part of a team. In the town I lived in, soccer was king, and all the kids who were on the elite teams had teammates for life. They started on the same team around 5 years old and usually were on the same team up until high school graduation. For an Army brat, who moved about every two years my whole life, having that connection never really was a possibility and I realize now, I never tried to make those connections because I figured they wouldn’t last anyway.
Fast forward to Sophomore year when it became increasingly evident that medical and science based majors were not for me. I took anatomy and physiology and have HORRIBLE short term memory AND have horrible test taking skills which cause me to fail the class twice!
So, I changed my major to English, specifically with the intent of becoming a teacher, more importantly setting myself up with (and I quote) “a generic major” so that when I did get out of college I would be employable by many different fields.
It seems like a really great choice…but you know what it left me with? Free Choice! And free choice again left me being lost in a pile of resumes who all had generic skills that could get them through but nothing that would show an employer that I actually had some talent and would be an asset to their company.
I eventually graduated with an English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing and started a California Teaching Credential program. For reasons beyond my control, I came to find I HATED the whole process of getting a teaching credential and moved again out into the world with free choice, spending the next decade working assistant jobs with big and small companies. I did ok at my jobs, but really felt like I never could find “that thing” that made me stand apart from any other employee that the company would have hired to my position.
So now, here I am, about to turn 39 this year, and I’ve joined Team Beachbody and while everyone has been completely great with me, I still feel like a Humanities Major…I have enough skills to get me by, but at the same time I feel like I’m missing “that thing” that everyone else on the team seems to have. It leaves me feeling like I’m not really a part of the team. Just like in High School, I’ve got the uniform, I know how to play the game, but the minute the whistle blows, teammates go and have their friendships while I go home to my life and family without really ever having a full connection with anyone.
So, after this huge PUKE POST, my goal for the next few weeks is to make better and more meaningful connections with people, instead of going through the motions. The picture I posted about finding people to fan your flames is something I need, but I also think I need to dig deeper and really get to know people, and fan some other people’s flames as well.
On a side note, the one place in the world like I’ve felt that I belong is in the running world, because really we can all cheer each other on, but we all run our races at different paces and we all can celebrate at the finish line together. (I guess I need to remember to take that approach the rest of my life!)