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How old were you when you knew...

 
 
Ashers
 
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 06:09 pm
The Big Lebowski for the 1st time the other day...what a great film. Laughing I think it must have provoked this line of thought.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,424 • Replies: 20
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 06:27 pm
I still have no idea.

And I don't mean that to be flip. Since I work in IT, things change all the time, so what might really be my bliss to follow may not have been invented yet.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 06:33 pm
45 and still no idea
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:08 pm
Maybe I'll know next year ....
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:16 pm
like the rest...still haven't figured it out. I'm 48.

Don't feel like I'm drifting though....feel very grounded.

I think I started feeling grounded when I stopped worrying about keeping up with what "they" thought I should be doing.


Funny...all my life I knew I didn't want kids. But for most of those years other people seemed to know better than I did, and didn't mind telling me so.....then, I got too old for others to keep worrying about my replicating myself and left me alone.

I guess I'm past the age where people feel it's necessary to ask me what I want to be when I grow up. I guess they think I'm doing it.

AHA! Fooled you all. I have no idea.
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:24 pm
When I fell in love with my husband I knew I wanted to be a wife and Mom...before that...I was searching - I worked in Music as an assistant at a large Church. I worked at an insurance company in Customer Service and at Contract Work selling Medicare Supplements. I even worked in Student Ministry with 700 kids...doing camps and Sunday School admin asst work. But when I met DH...I quit trying to figure it out...I knew...still do that this is where I am suppose to be!
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:46 pm
At 25, I knew that I didn't want to be doing what I was doing for the rest of my life. At 27, I found an area of interest and went back to school. At 34, I gave up my corporate life and became a stay-at-home mom. At 38, I started a home-based consulting business in my former line of work. That was a number of years ago. Dunno how many more years I'll be doing what I'm doing now. We become empty-nesters in about three years. That seems like a good time to phase in the next stage.... whatever it turns out to be.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 07:55 pm
65, and looking around. By now I have quite a bit of background and the trick is to make sharp choices.

I'd suggest travel sooner than later. Later tends to get put off, and I didn't travel, past Mexico when I lived in California, until I was 48. I was like a baby duck in nirvana.
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Heatwave
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:04 am
Everyday I finally know what I want to do. It's always quite different from the previous day. One of these days I won't change my mind the next day, and then I'll really finally know.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 09:03 am
People know what they want to do with their lives?

Crap.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 10:18 am
I never could figure it out. That's how people wind up in p.r. :wink:
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 11:35 am
10.
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Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 06:17 pm
Thanks for all the responses everyone, nice to be united in the unknown, really! I think it's just insecurity seeing and assuming certainty in everyone else. Jespah, my degree is IT related, I'd like to specialise in video games which could be a bit up and down itself with more/less successful projects and new ideas.

Chai, I think what "they" think is exactly it. I don't even mean specific family and friends though, just all those general expectations you think form the "done thing" that should be followed or aspired to etc.

mismi, I think really significant relationships do seem to ground people which is what it's all about really. Like has been said, not knowing exactly what you want to do is different than feeling as though you're drifting aimlessly or I think it can be anyway.

JPB, it's that idea of a realisation that I'll suddenly do a complete 180 and decide whatever it is I'm doing is all wrong for me that I'm overplaying in my mind I think. Like a worry of being trapped but people are always saying it's easy to change direction.

Osso, yeah definitely, good for expanding your horizons, I think I'd just need to get out there and do it. Don't want to get into that 'oh next year after such and such'. I'd like to travel to the east personally ever since I saw Michael Palin trekking across the Himalayas.

Heatwave, yeah I think I know what you mean really. There's a sense of urgency that's nagging me in the background. Always looking, searching for something. Someone else I was talking to about this said they had no idea either but they "trusted the universe", sounds nice to me, kind of an embrace of fate or circumstance more specifically.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:33 pm
Ashers wrote:
JPB, it's that idea of a realisation that I'll suddenly do a complete 180 and decide whatever it is I'm doing is all wrong for me that I'm overplaying in my mind I think. Like a worry of being trapped but people are always saying it's easy to change direction.


I don't know that I'd jump all the way to easy in directional changes but it's certainly doable. Go with what you love/enjoy. Whatever it is may change as you change -- go with it, it's all good.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:46 pm
I started out with dreams of becoming a fashion designer and then discovered, while in art school that I didn't like to sew and even more, I stank at it. That's when I began focusing on my art skills and finished with a degree in fashion illustration but, photography overtook the industry and so I moved into retail advertising and did that for several years and then segued into graphic design.

I did some reshifting and refocusing throughout the years but it was all connected to some degree and utilized my love for both fashion and design. As JPB said, go with what you know and love and be ready for things to change as you and the opportunities that come your way change.
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Aldistar
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 09:06 pm
I seem to be in the minority, but oh well. I did the whole change my mind avery other day thing until I was 12. I was sitting in my Junior High Art Class looking at an X-Men comic book and teaching myself how to draw super heroes when a girl from the yearbook staff walked up to me and asked me a couple of questions. One was "What do you want to do when you grow up?"

I had always heard people describe an epiphany before but until that moment had never really experienced one for myself. It really is just like they say. A light just popped on in my head.

"I want to be a comic book artist!" I said. The girl gave me a strange look and said "Umm, OK." and walked on to the next kid.

I have never looked back. I took every art class my Jr. High and high shool provided, and after graduation I applied to the only school in the world that offers an exclusive comic book art curriculum. I was accepted to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. I was one of only 179 accepted that year and (there were only 5 girls total) when graduation came around three years later I was one of only 22 students who made it, and I was the only girl left in the illustration class (one other girl graduated from the animation class).

I do still wander in the art genre. I do not want to draw only comics now-a-days and I do tend to be undecisive on what type of art I want to pursue most, some days I think pencil then I will hover on the thought of designing jewelry and then on batik and then over to wildlife photography. I have people tell me I should just pick one and let the others be a hobby, but I can't and really don't want to so I probably won't.

I think of myself as lucky to have had that epiphany, and it will always amaze and awe me how my whole life just seemed to click into place like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle in that one tiny moment.

I do not think that people who still tend to wander are any worse off or any better. It is just what it is. Never let anyone else try to decide for you, that is probably a sure path to unhappiness. Better to wander under your own power than to live under some else's idea of what should be.

Most of the people who try to pressure you into a particular path are those who didn't follow their own and have convinced themselves that that is just the way things really work.

Sorry, this ended up a lot longer than I meant it to be but I am just passionate about people fulfilling their own dreams.
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spidergal
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:08 am
Early 20s. Know it. Hanging in there.

Though I will admit I mentally changed my Future Profession several times during the teen years. I had an inner voice kind of thing at 18 though.
Then I knew it. It was final.

Now, I feel, it would have been "it" sooner or later, anyway.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 11:45 am
I think that most people want pretty much the same things. To avoid pain and suffering, to be loved and well-thought of by at least someone, and to lead a meaningful life. Its that last one that is subject to constant questioning and revision. Nobody can tell you with any specificity what a "meaningful life" might be. "Follow your Bliss" Prof. Campbell told us, and we all nod at the truth of it. It is the application of that advice that is difficult.

As children we haven't a clue about what might excite and drive us later in life. It is enough to be cared for, fed and made to feel secure by our parents and family. The family values are absorbed so completely and subtly that we may never realize how great an effect they will have on the rest of our lives. A family's real values, as opposed to their public face, will likely become the values of their children and even grandchildren. Families that read and value education, then to produce generations of educated people. Families that have given up any hope that an individual can better themselves will likely produce generations of slackers. Those families who believe that humans are born with positive instincts teach their offspring different values that those who view humanity as terribly flawed and naturally cantankerous. Those family values, no matter what they are, have a lot to do with how we define "meaningful life", but not all.

Some are born smarter than others, or faster, or with better hand/eye coordination, or .... We find early in life that we are rewarded for doing some things and punished for others. The things we tend to be rewarded for are those things we do best, so we do a lot of that and by practice become better and better so as to be rewarded and loved. For some folks those early rewards will persist and dominate a large part of their later lives. I suppose that Tiger Woods will be playing golf, and loving it, long after he no longer plays professionally. One of the posters above discovered drawing comic book art early, and he'll be doing it probably when they come to carry him away. Even those who aren't especially gifted have some trait, or smaller gifts that will contribute to their choices in life.

The thing is, life isn't a straight line. To dodges this way and that, curls back on itself and becomes entangled with the lives of others and changing conditions. A fellow. who grew up wanting nothing more than to work on automobile engines, accompanies a friend to a Police Examination and then surprises everyone with a high score may carry a badge into retirement with a great deal of satisfaction. Another may complete graduate school and then discover that she absolutely hates academic life and becomes a chef after someone praises her cooking a hot dog. A stockbroker goes surfing while on vacation in Hawaii and never returns to the mainland. The gas station attendant takes a role in a local play and then runs off to Broadway. After 20 years a happy couple split up so that they can pursue different goals than they had when they first met. We can't know in advance what opportunities and trials the future holds, but each time we will have decisions to make that will affect the rest of our lives. We may be courageous or timid, and that in turn will reflect how we've lived and our values in the past.

After my sophomore year and the death of JFK, I got snagged for a panty raid conducted by our fraternity. Faced with a really minor penalty, I chose to drop out and go down to San Francisco. My adviser gave his blessing, and predicted that I'd eventually complete my college degree. He was correct and I later piled up a bunch of sheepskins. That resulted in my exposure to Roshi Suzuki and becoming a lifetime Buddhist. It introduced me to my wife, and was a significant phase in developing the sort of painting I now do. Later in Los Angeles needing a steady income I answered a newspaper want ad, and from that became a metallurgist doing research on fatigue life in exotic metals. Our children were born, and that almost alone has made my life meaningful and satisfying. I failed the Bar Exam by the faction of a hair and was forced to get my Master's Degree first. That led me into police work and understanding organizational dynamics. Those in turn carried me into local politics, and that sure wasn't "following my Bliss", but it secured my old age. Since retirement I've edited a monthly periodical for the local art society fulfilling a boyhood dream of becoming a journalist. Looking back on my life, I'm satisfied that it was meaningful. Now I read and paint when I want, and what I want. I've traveled and experienced much that life has to offer, and its been on the whole a good life. If death should find me later this afternoon, that'll be O.K. with me ... as if I might argue the reaper into a stay of execution. LOL.
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Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 05:35 pm
eoe wrote:
I started out with dreams of becoming a fashion designer and then discovered, while in art school that I didn't like to sew and even more, I stank at it. That's when I began focusing on my art skills and finished with a degree in fashion illustration but, photography overtook the industry and so I moved into retail advertising and did that for several years and then segued into graphic design.

I did some reshifting and refocusing throughout the years but it was all connected to some degree and utilized my love for both fashion and design. As JPB said, go with what you know and love and be ready for things to change as you and the opportunities that come your way change.


Yeah, makes sense. I can see myself moving all over the place between jobs the more I think about it which is probably what's bugging me. I feel the opposite to spidergal in that I was pretty confident about what I wanted to do for long periods in the past but now I'm questioning it a bit more, trying to figure out just what it is I do love. I'm probably just used to that assumed certainty. I need to kick back and be OK with not having "answers" right now and make exploratory choices to see what clicks as it were.

Aldistar, that's excellent. For a long time I used to draw constantly and dreamed of being a comic book artist. For one reason or another I lost confidence in my ability and so I veered away from it all. I think the video games fascination is my little way of coming back. I've learnt to write technical code for programs/games over the past so many years instead but the whole business fascinates me. Working with animation and graphics, being part of a creative team developing stories, characters and worlds to entertain.

Aldistar wrote:
I have people tell me I should just pick one and let the others be a hobby, but I can't and really don't want to so I probably won't.


That's how I feel in general right now, instead of the choices being specific to one area, the choices are general career paths. No need to apologise for the length of your post by the way, I enjoyed reading it.

Asherman, when I think about it, "following your bliss" seems to be something which is maybe more instinctively simple on the surface but becomes contrived and "complicated" (unnecessarily so?) when we over-question and doubt our every move. I really like to hear about the paths people have taken because it's nice to see that progression or development, not as any benchmark to something but just because it's involving and engaging rather than paralysing. Having a dream or an ideal and trying something else and just running with it because you want to give it a go and it clicks in some small/big way does seem the more courageous thing to do. Rather than being locked to something else.

I think I'm probably just used to a few regular patterns and in looking to the future for a few certainties to cling to where there are none I'm a bit puzzled or something. Thanks for helping me think about it a bit more everyone.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2007 04:24 am
when i found out what i was doing with my life? LOL, whenever i get a decent job ill tell you.

Until then im just going to go to devry and see what happens.
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