It's easy to find yourself living the life that somebody else planned for you. When we're little, we know exactly what we want to be when we grow up. As outrageous as it may sound to the grownups in our lives, we're convinced that we really will be a doctor, astronaut, ballerina, or in my case, a teacher. But as we get older, we start to listen to the advice of the people who've lived longer than us and set our sights on more "realistic" or "dependable" goals.
We can't blame the grown-ups. They just wanted what was best for us, and in their minds, a steady, dependable job with a decent paycheck was best. I listened to my parents, counselors and everyone else when they told me that teachers are under-paid and underappreciated (a fact that I'm sad to say is probably more true today than it was 12ish years ago when I was deciding what to major in) and set my sights on a business degree. When I graduated, I went into the world of banking and finance and was not only miserable, but I made absolute sh*t for money.
Eventually, I decided to go back to where my heart was and pursue a teaching certificate. When I tell y'all that I cried tears of joy the day I got my first contract, I'm not exaggerating. You'd never seen a woman so excited to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with a room full of Kindergarteners. I loved my job so much that I cried again when I had to take my first day off (yes, I cry a lot. It's an annoying habit I developed after I had my first baby. Right along with stretch marks and saggy tits, I got a whole new set of emotions)
A little backstory...
Before teaching, and even before banking, I'd had at least 7 other jobs. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm the least dependable person when it comes to career choices and I'd go as far as to say that I actually have career-commitment-phobia. I could see myself being a teacher for the rest of my life and being content, but my goal in life isn't contentment, it's excitement, passion, and fulfillment. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not simply tolerated. The love that I once had for teaching has been beaten out of me by the extremely messed up education system. Rather than try to tough it out for the stability of the paycheck and the respect for the profession, I've decided to pursue another love in my life: writing.
I've been writing all my life, but never thought of it as something that I could do professionally until a couple of years ago when I started ghost-writing content for a few websites. Eventually I started looking for clients on my own, and earlier this year I decided to really make this into a career and work on transitioning from full-time teaching to full-time writing by the summer of 2021. And that's what brings me here, to the Girl Tell Me community. I met Nikki, the mastermind behind this space, through a networking platform called Girlboss. Our vibes matched up so perfectly that we decided we just had to work together, and I'm excited for what's to come.
When I'm not working on Girl Tell Me, I'm writing for my own blog, Live Out Loud, which focuses on all things selfcare, finishing a proposal for a nonfiction book I'm trying to sell, and helping a few of my personal clients with their copywriting (instagram posts, blog posts, email marketing, whatever they need). I'm still a full-time teacher, mom, and wife…so I'm a little busy (HA!) but I have honestly never been more fulfilled.
They say that life is short, and I agree, but only to an extent. When you're having a good time, the days and weeks literally flash by and you find yourself wondering where all the time went. If you're unhappy, though, time can drag on slower than dial-up internet (remember that?) and to me, that's just no way to live.
Follow your passion. Whatever lights you up, gets you hype, makes you excited AF to wake up in the morning, THAT is what you should be doing. Reconnect with that kid inside of you and don't buy into the belief that only tiny humans get to dream big. You can have the career of your dreams and have stability, as long as you're willing to hustle for it.
Laura is a copywriter, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses bring their brands to life through words. She's also the creator of the self-care blog, Live Out Loud, and the newest member of the Girl Tell Me team.