We live in a society where we’re led to believe that at 18 years old we need to choose our career path. Although in our 20s we now know that this isn’t necessarily true, this theme of our choices being definitive seems to carry on with us through different transitions. I don’t know about you, but to me this seems like a lot of pressure. How am I supposed to know what I want to do for the next 40 years of my life RIGHT NOW? None of us are psychic. We don’t know what the future has in store for us.
Quarter Life Crisis Confessions
As I grow closer to being a quarter of a century in age, I notice more and more people talking about the “quarter life crisis”. I’m not completely sure whether this is a new phenomenon made up by our generation or if I just never noticed it because I didn’t know many people who were around 25. Either way, this term hits home for me at this time in my life. The past year has brought with it numerous ups and downs. It has been challenging, to say the least. Because this seems to be a popular topic amongst us 20 somethings, I thought it would be a fun idea to start a new series on my blog! So welcome to the first post of my new series, Quarter Life Crisis Confessions. Todays topic: Career Confusion.
Where it All Began…
From many of my earliest memories, I’ve always had a passion for music. My first extra-curricular activity that I ever took seriously was dance, which led to further exploration of the arts through singing, piano, and acting. When enough of my relatives told me that I would “never make it as a dance teacher”, I moved my prospects and aspirations to singing. I grew up taking voice lessons, competing in music festivals, singing in choirs and bands, and to put it lightly, thinking I was pretty hot stuff in the singing world. That was in my tiny hometown.
As I Got Older
I was in for a major reality check when I got to university. Quickly, I realized that I wasn’t the all time best singer in the world and that there was plenty of talent surrounding me. I felt intimidated and confused. I wasn’t really sure where I stood anymore, and my confidence took a bit of a dip. Those first two years were hard. Aside from singing, I had discovered a growing interest in the area of psychology. I was (and still am) fascinated by how the brain works and why human beings do/say the things that they do. While touring different university campuses, I stumbled across a program called music therapy, and that was my mind set. I would combine these two passions to create the ultimate career for myself! Seems perfect, right?
In third year, we were streamlined by our major (whether that be performance, therapy, education, etc.). I was beyond excited to finally begin music therapy, although by this point my main interest leaned more towards the therapy than the music. The program gave me the opportunity to gain practical skills through community placements while still attending lectures and workshops. I absolutely loved my program. I loved music therapy. And then I graduated…
In order to become certified as a music therapist, one must complete a 1000-hour supervised music therapy internship under the specific regulations that the Canadian Association of Music Therapists has put into place. I was thrilled to be moving to the east coast to pursue this internship and eventually become certified. When I moved out there, I fell in love with the internship itself. My supervisor and the team I was working with were so far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I was working with a great variety of client populations. But I became homesick quite quickly. I missed my family, my friends, and especially my boyfriend. Although everyone was supportive of me, I needed to come home.
Where I Am Now…
For the past few months, I have been working at another internship site closer to home to complete my internship hours. There are many benefits to this internship. I am being compensated for my time and the location is ideal. That being said, this internship has been a long road of bumps. I no longer feel a passion for music therapy. I’m so close to being finished these hours, but there are so many variables in the way of me actually completing the internship. Feeling as though I’m being backed against a wall, I know that this is no longer what I want. I also know that having an accreditation behind my name is of benefit, but for all of the struggle that this internship has and is causing me, is it even worth it?
The Identity Crisis and Career Confusion
One of the biggest things I’m struggling with is my sense of identity. I’ve defined myself with music for as long as I can remember. I’ve been singing since I was nine years old. When people used to ask me “what do you enjoy doing?” my instant answer was always “music”. However, I’m now starting to realize that maybe that is who I once was, but maybe that is no longer who I am. It’s confusing, exciting, terrifying… I don’t know who I am anymore, but that also means that I have the opportunity to reinvent myself. I can be whoever I want to be!When you don't know who you are anymore, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself. You can be whoever you want to be! Click To Tweet
Right now, I’m trying to dig into my own interests and passions. What do I want out of life? What are my goals? My passions? The answers to these questions aren’t simple. Some of them have multiple applicable answers. Some of them I’m in the process of exploring and don’t quite have the answers yet. The good news is that I’m 23 and have time to figure it out.
Choosing a career path can feel incredibly overwhelming, especially when you’re in the process of changing that career path. Fortunately, one decision does not define our lives. We have the ability to make the changes necessary for ourselves. Our experiences bring with them lessons and skills that are transferrable to other areas, so it is important not to feel stuck. Finally, it is okay to take time to really figure out what will fulfill us in the long run.
Are you experiencing career confusion? How are you coping with it? What topic would you love to read about in the Quarter Life Crisis Confessions series?