All Roads Lead To Here

So many young adults are struggling at the fork in the road. Which way should they go? They feel an urgency to decide today what their destiny will be. I had a discussion recently with someone and it seemed to alleviate some of this pressure.

I told them I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school either. So I got a job as a cashier in a pharmacy. I was hoping I could save money for art college. I learned some skills [through lots of trials and plenty of errors] and they learned a few things about me. They saw I had the ability to draw. Within a year I was offered a job in head office illustrating products for their monthly flyers!

Computers were brought in to the art department. We were stunned. How on earth are we supposed to use these to create flyers? If you are familiar with type-setting machines and cutting red ruby you could imagine my concern. I find it amazing how quickly you can move past your own resistance to change when you start to see all the advantages of using new methods, new techniques and new technology. A willingness to consider and try something new is a key to expanding your horizon.

A night course in graphic design earned me a diploma. However, when I had reached the cap to my salary – meaning they were not willing to increase my pay. I had to decide, do I stay here knowing I will never again get a raise, or do I move on?

I got a job at a print shop. Again, a lot of trials and plenty of errors – but I learned, and I was good at it. A “Temp” began working with us. He was a student who needed to work in the print shop to complete his degree. He was also taking a night class in classical animation – it wasn’t long before I signed up as well.

Before I had completed the course I was offered a job in their studio! Yup, I leaped at the chance. Fast forward to being married and with a child on the way I had to make a decision. Do I stay home to raise my child, or do I go back to work to make money to pay a stranger to raise my child? It was a no-brainer for me.

As a stay-at-home-mom, I began doing editorial cartoons for local newspapers. I volunteered at my children’s schools. I got involved in dinner theatre. I joined a writers’ group and before long, I started writing my own plays.

Looking back at my timeline it is easy to see that the skills I have learned over the years have all been pointing toward my destiny. But I didn’t get here on my own. I didn’t decide this would all happen. There were plenty of people along the way who deserve the credit. They were the ones who offered the jobs, taught me the skills and told me about opportunities I never would have known about.

We can’t decide our future until we step out into the world and explore what it has to offer. The preferences we have help us to choose what we like and don’t like. Dentistry? Veterinarian school? Art college? Our own interests can lead us to open doors where we meet people who will guide us to new places.

Today I write and illustrate children’s books. It is easy to see how all roads lead to here. But I know there are more roads that lay ahead.

I don’t think everyone needs to make a weighty and permanent decision today of what their future will be. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? I truly believe small daily choices will help lead you to your destiny … and beyond!

~ I hope this inspires you

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