Growing up, I couldn’t wait for summer. Long days, that seemed to last forever, filled with endless sports and time with friends. Then it became time to go back to school. I knew from my first day of Pre-K that it just wasn’t for me. With the exception of sports, friends, and socializing, I never would have made it. In most classes, I watched the clock slowly tick to the moment it was time to go.
I can still recite every start and stop time for each high school period. Some people just aren’t made for sitting in a classroom all day. “We need to move to think.” as Sir Ken Robinson says.
When it came time to go to college I looked at all the majors and nothing fit, so I went with communications, but really my focus was on sports, friends, and moving away from home. I got it done and graduated in four years.
Now it was time to pick a career. I kept thinking to myself – “why are things this way? Is this it? Are you just supposed to work a job you don’t like so then you can make money and retire? No thanks.” There has to be another way.
After working hospitality jobs to save enough money to travel the world, and working multiple community service jobs, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete, I didn’t want to sell something just to make money, and my academic skills were limited.
What I did know is I cared about fitness, health, the act of play, and most of all, people. To most people, my interests were hobbies , and you can’t make your hobbies your career they say. Has anyone ever met the ‘they say’ people? Who are they? Where do they exist? And why do they get to make the rules?
After a couple years in nursing school, I found yoga. Yoga wasn’t my hobby or passion, but everything it involved was. I loved the aspect of people, play, health, fitness, and working on improving. Could I make this hobby my career?
I gotta give it a try.
I dropped out of nursing school and went all in with yoga. In the beginning, when I told people what I did they would ask, “But what do you really do?” and I would say “Teach yoga.” They didn’t understand. For the first three years, I taught every single day. My parents taught me hard work pays off, and in my house, we had to work hard. So this came naturally to me.
I said yes to almost everything, it didn’t matter, I love this and I’d rather be doing what I love than dreaming about a life that could’ve been. Six years later, I’ve been able to travel all over the world teaching yoga. I’m privileged to teach in multiple local hospitals, schools, universities, studios, corporations, sports arenas, and to earn a living doing it. I get to pick my own schedule and create the life I want each day. I didn’t find this until after 30.
So what am I saying? I have friends that loved school, I have friends that found their career, but can we be ok that it’s not for everyone, and not discourage people like me that don’t fit that mold? The late, great Steve Jobs said “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
It’s ok if you don’t fit into what society thinks is the right path, go with what’s in your heart. I’ve just started my career but I get to wake up everyday excited, like summer days as a boy, and my life just seems to become more exciting as the years go by. It doesn’t matter if what you want to do doesn’t make sense to others, if it makes sense to you, and you’re willing to work hard, anything is possible.