I was thinking about something last night and this morning.
My goal in life is to not be ridiculously wealthy. I would like to comfortably pay my bills and not have to think about it and when I want to travel, or eat out or buy something I really like, I don’t want to have to feel like I’m sacrificing to survive, or living from check to check. Just a simple existence. And I’d like to buy a house someday.
This became clearer when I went to the transitional housing shelter to drop off the food I made. The woman in charge was a fellow former journalist, her husband also in the business. She seemed like she was passionate about what she was doing and generally happy.
I already knew a long time ago (and I’ve mentioned it here) I want to work in mental health advocacy or with a program that helps women and girls.
It’s a new goal.
As I watch the world of journalism morph and die all around me, seeing talented friends and colleagues lose their jobs everyday, and the decline of great journalism for whatever it is that’s out there now (even though there are great blogs and non-traditional forms of media that I love), my initial dream of being a great reporter, who ends up writing a great weekly column well into retirement is over.
I’ve been fortunate to have lived my dream in a number of ways. I wanted to be a newspaper reporter and I did it. I got to cover awesome events and go to places and meet people I would have never imagined.
I wanted to become an editor and that was a major achievement for me. And I’ve been one for nearly 7 years. God is awesome. And as this industry changed, I was changing with it. Even though I was getting further and further away from writing, I was learning about content management systems, social media, video, podcasting and broadening my skills.
Sometimes I felt like the odd woman out working for a very specific kind of media company that most folks when I attend media conferences haven’t heard of. But I’ve been stable and blessed.
So the question is what now?
I’ve got no kids, I’ve got no husband. As my father has told me numerous times, if I want to switch gears at any point, I have the right to do so.
I have amazing friends who have taken insane leaps over the last few years. They’ve gone back to school, they’ve left stressful, unfulfilling jobs, they’ve even left the country and they are all doing just fine. They still have places to live and food to eat.
What real risks have I taken?
I’ve been wondering what’s next? And instead of wanting a Pulitzer, I want to be more impactful on a smaller, micro level.
I don’t want to run from new challenges.
I didn’t realize how sometimes, there is a great challenge in being comfortable because now you have to hold yourself accountable for what you do next and the level of energy you put in towards that.
When you are grinding for your life, it’s easy to make goals and decide you have no choice but to achieve them.
I thought to myself that this is the first time in my life that I didn’t have an immediate do or die goal.
I’ve wanted to buy a modest house or condo, but it freaks me out and I haven’t really saved money.
The tee-shirt company is still in limbo because I’ve made the excuse that I need to get my credit card balance down to something more reasonable so I can use it to buy inventory.
I dream of going to Greece and my goal is to do it next year.
But unlike when I was a kid or a college student, my future hasn’t seemed so clear lately.
In fact, it’s felt blank.
Love life? Blank.
Professional life, blank.
There once was a time where I thought maybe I wanted to be like my bosses’ boss and run a bunch of publications and deal with the politics and madness.
Eh, not so much.
Being like the woman running the transitional shelter seemed waaay more appealing as of late.
I used to always think about doing more, or the awards I didn’t win. Or that maybe my career as a reporter was too short. I missed having front page stories and bylines and rushing off to do a story.
But I’ve always been where I’m supposed to be. I’ve been blessed. I’ve had moments and achievements to be proud of that no one can take from me. I’ve fought for my respect, for my paycheck, for my current position.
I’ve tried to aid other people in their personal and professional success and offer encouragement and support.
So I have no clue what’s next. But I’m starting to notice that as I get older, I’m wanting a simple life of giving back and service. I don’t need to be flashy, or have a corner office but I want to lead a comfortable life full of food, loved ones and travel.
I don’t think that’s a bad goal…