Just start doing something you’re interested in now
and see where that leads. ~ @MelissaPierce
I “ran into” Melissa a couple of days ago on Twitter and was reminded of this wonderful conversation we had a few years ago that is still so relevant to me today. Her documentary film, Life in Perpetual Beta won a bunch of awards. What she discovered in the process of talking to the most interesting people is that nobody had a Master Plan. So there.
We are surrounded by well-intended words of encouragement… Dream Big! Live Your Passion! Don’t Give Up Your Dreams!!! But I’m not one of those people who has always dreamed of becoming an astronaut or a neurosurgeon or a dancer from the time I was itty bitty. What then? For me, Melissa’s words are a great comfort… Just start doing something you’re interested in now! This feels like a 200 pound boulder lifting off my shoulders!
I’ve actually gone through a few “releases” even since our interview (my life really IS in perpetual beta!) The double-edged sword of the online world is that everyone gets to watch you “practice.” The first time you do something, chances are you’re going to suck or mess up a lot and that’s out there. And then the next time, you get a little better. And the next time, better still. You’re basically a work in progress with every post and picture you publish online and it’s all there for everyone to see, if they choose to. Everyone can see your left turns and u-turns and windy path.
But the paths are changing too and I can’t help but feel that in this new way of navigating them so transparently, we are not somehow paving new roads as we go along. (In the tech biz, they call that “innovation.”) We’re 10 to 15 years into “blogging” but now it’s called Content Creation. People are being paid handsomely to tweet. I know, right?
The people I “grew up with” blogging continue to evolve but note, their journeys were not planned! And yet, they changed the “blogosphere.” (Is that even what it’s called anymore?) No, really. if you look at Alli and Megan and Cecily and David and Lewis and Danielle and Scott and Jen, they get out there every day, feeding a dream! And it can feel like they’ve known all along that what they were doing was what they were meant to be doing. But trust me, I’m 99.9% sure that they did not know where they were headed exactly. We were all just doing what was right in front of us.
I wouldn’t have my job as a Content Strategist at WashU if I hadn’t spent a good chunk of the last 10 years playing and just being curious and learning online with people like Melissa.
So if you are feeling called to something… painting, ceramics, macrame, knitting, dog grooming, dancing, playing the harmonica, writing on Medium… you know, it’s okay to just start. It’s okay to indulge yourself in an activity that has no seemingly practical purpose. At one point, that was what they used to say about tweeting, remember?
It’s really really okay to let it light you up, whatever IT is! The chances are, if it really really is interesting to you, no one will have to nag you to do it over and over. You’ll just do it because… it’s fun! And after a few (or 100 times), you’ll probably be pretty good at it and who knows where that could lead.
16,000+ tweets later… big hugs to you, @Melissa Fierce!!!! #ToLifeUnplanned #tbt