The Curse of the Should Be’s

Frequently I have people say to me ‘you are a great ______’ and then followed by ‘You should be a _______’.  Some different variations:

You are a great cook.  You should open up a restaurant.

You are a great writer. You should be an author.

Your blog is great.  You should do it full time.

Your state your opinion well.  You should be a political writer.

You should be an editor, lawyer, politician, speech writer, teacher, PHD, fiction and non-fiction author, event planner, singer, ect. (Ironically nobody has ever said ‘you would make a great mother…)

The sad part is they are all right.  There are so many dream jobs I have.  There are so many things I should be doing and would be genuinely good at, even brilliant, but how did I end up doing accounting?  Basically I took the first job that was offered to me after my mission and I ran with it.

In 2008 I tried to make a change and get something in marketing or event planning.  Something a little more creative and had no luck.  Its a tricky cycle you get into because you need experience to get most jobs and to get that experience you need experience.  So even if I went back to school my position really wouldn’t improve much because I’d still have the same experience.

I don’t mean to seem ungrateful because I’m not.  My job has tons of perks and it gives me a lifestyle I love. It’s just not what I envisioned for my life. I didn’t have some specific dream but I never thought I’d be an accounting clerk my whole life.

Now I’m buying a house and that makes it all the more difficult to make changes.  Sigh…

I guess a side of me feels like a sell out but I don’t know what else I could have done.  I took the only job offered to me. I get to work from home and have flexibility.  I’m pretty lucky in many ways.  Plus, I’m good at what I do. I work as hard as I can and have overall a nice life.

But always in the back of my head is that nagging question of all the things I could have been and done? Do any of you struggle with unfulfilled dreams? With what you have settled for in your life?  We all have to make compromises in order to live.  At least most of us do.   How do you reconcile your wishes with reality?

I know there are ways to contribute outside of my job, so I’m looking out for that right now. I think it is how I will have to do all the ‘should be’s’.
When did we decide that the only way to contribute to society was through your job or family?  There has to be other options for people like myself?   Got to start writing all those books and articles I dream about 🙂 .

Btw- thanks to everyone for all the encouragement.  It always makes my day!  I think my friends often see more potential in me than I do in myself.  In fact, I know they do. Thank goodness for great friends.

8 thoughts on “The Curse of the Should Be’s

  1. Shawn C Turner
    eloquent view of a common “dilemma.” keep on doing things you love. who knows when plates will shift, opportunities will be revealed, and off you go to do something different.

  2. My younger sister, who doesn’t have a college degree, has always had to pay the bills by working in retail or being an accountant, but she always wanted to be a writer. Twenty years ago she got a gig as a columnist at a small town newspaper for a few years. She built up the readership, and then the paper suddenly decided it didn’t need her any more. Back she went to retail, and then to accounting at the water department for about 10 years. Now she has a lucrative AR position at a contractor for the federal government, but she still moans about being chained to numbers when she’d rather be working with words. I started writing when I was busy with grad school, and it was very therapeutic. Even if my sister would just write in her spare time, she’d feel better about herself, but she won’t do it. Don’t you give up on your dreams.

    1. Yep. Never give up! Today was a big step in that direction. Just reposted this old post to show how far I’ve come. I wanted it to be clear how much this offer really meant to me. Check out the post I just made. So exciting! I didn’t really believe it could happen but then a chance came out of the blue. I’m thrilled.

    2. but I do think certain sacrifices are always made in life, even for the dream job but you are right there are ways to bring it into ordinary life even if not your job. In fact, if I hadn’t have done that with my videos I wouldn’t have gotten the offer. Yippee!

        1. For sure. I’d have taken almost any offer they gave me just to get a chance to do something else!!!
          I’m so happy.

        2. Now I just have the slightly less daunting challenge of making my dream job awesome but I think I can handle that one. 😉

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