When I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to go to college. Both my parents went to college, and my mom actually went to college twice, once for her Bachelor’s and once for her Masters. Now, at that age, the colleges I deemed my “first choice” were based on very little knowledge of what the schools actually taught, and more on the schools I heard my parents say good things about. But I knew that college would be in my future, and there was no way I was not going to go.
When I was in high school, college became a very real thing. It became something tangible, especially towards my junior and senior years. At that time, I wanted to be a professional dancer and looked for schools that had dance programs, but also had other majors that interested me in case I wanted to switch. But me, being the stubborn person I am, told myself that I would never switch. I was going to be a professional dancer if it killed me.
When I was in my first year of college, I realized being a professional dancer was going to kill me. When I looked at the kind of life I wanted to live, it didn’t match up with how dance was going to make me live. I wanted to have a family, a social life, and much more freedom than a dance company would allow. That realization mixed with health problems I was having at the time, made me look to another major.
When I was in my second year of college, I was a kinesiology major. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree, but I figured any degree was better than no degree. I was tired, lost, and unhappy. It was around this time I started to look for other career options, as I found college to be mundane and restrictive. That’s when I found Institute for Integrative Nutrition. When I discovered Health Coaching through Institute for Integrative Nutrition, or IIN, I thought I found my calling. It was something I was passionate about (health and wellness), it was something I could do while working from home, and it was only one year of schooling. It took me only a few days to decide to leave college and attend IIN online.
While I was attending IIN online, I felt like I was finally making progress. I loved what I was learning, and at the same time, I was healing my own demons through learning how to coach others. I built the foundations of my business, Wellness By Rowan, and learned the basics of coaching others through lifestyle changes. I created a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a website with a built in blog. I was so proud. My parents and boyfriend were so proud. I built everything I needed to succeed. And then I stopped. I got busy at the receptionist job I was working at, started seeing someone new… life got in the way. I moved states and got an even more demanding job at an animal shelter and my business took a back seat.
Fast forward to today, I… don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. A part of me wants to go back to health coaching and try to start that up again. A part of me wants to continue writing and see where that goes. Another part of me wants to continue moving up within the animal shelter, or continue to work in animal behavior. And then there’s a part of me that wants to run away into the mountains and avoid being an adult. Some days, it all feels very daunting.
I always prided myself in having a plan for my life, and having goals to work towards. I was always the overachiever. If you would have told high school me, that in a few years, I would be a college drop out, I would have had a heart attack. And sometimes, I still feel ashamed about all the things I could have done, but didn’t. But recently, I noticed a change in my attitude. I can’t tell you where it came from, or how I started thinking this way, because I don’t know. But one day I just started thinking, “Ya know, I have no idea what I’m doing, but right now, I’m okay with that.” I don’t know what my life is going to look like in five years, or even one year! I don’t know what jobs are going to come along and I don’t know what opportunities lay ahead. All I know is this: I’m writing more, and finding that nothing makes me feel quite the same as writing my heart out. I’m working at an animal shelter, and rediscovering my love for all of our furry, and not so furry, friends. I’m living with a man who I love dearly, and I know loves me. I still fight my demons every now and again, but am learning to fend them off. I have a family of pets that I take better care of than myself. And I’m still as lost as ever. All I can do is keep trudging along, smile when I’m happy, cry when I’m sad, and just enjoy the ride.
When I was younger my first choices was college. Then my first choice became dance. Then, it was any college degree. Then my first choice was health coaching. Now? Now my first choice is me. Myself. I choose my happiness and my sanity. I choose to live life and explore myself. I am my first choice.