As I mentioned in my last blog post, I learned a great deal from the PLEN seminar in Washington D.C. One of the greatest lessons I took away, that was echoed by many of the speakers, was that if you follow your passions, it doesn’t matter what path you take, you will accomplish great things. Every speaker found their way into careers that were challenging, rewarding, and personally fulfilling. They may have started on very different career paths from degrees in English, political science, history, and so much more, but they found their way to nonprofit, advocacy, or policy work.
When I look at my path through education, knowing I am about to embark on an even greater adventure, I realize that the more I follow my passions, the more I will be fulfilled. I have found that stifling passion merely leads to a life of monotony, and an existence plagued by regret. I choose to never regret again. I choose to take opportunities to make a difference in the world when I find them. I choose to make opportunities where they do not currently exist. I choose to initiate social change for the betterment of caregivers, even if it requires small steps to reap small rewards. I choose to be an advocate for those who need one. I choose to empower other women to lead, as these women have empowered me. Most of all, I choose to be myself and represent my values and morals in the career decisions I make.
You have this power as well. You can choose the person you wish to be and you can empower yourself to follow the passions that make up your spirit. Be strong, be willing to make changes when necessary, and be open to the advice of others. In the words of Caryl M. Stern, “Don’t be afraid of lateral moves today to get to where you want to be tomorrow.”