When I reflect on my #RoadNotTaken I must admit I feel a little sorry for the young girl that missed out on the amazing journey she was planning to take. However the women she became is something that I wouldn’t want to live without. Funny how life goes, isn’t it?
I was in Perth, Australia when it happened. When I decided to take charge of my future and follow the road less travelled.
All through school I knew what I had to do. It was obvious because my parents told me what I needed to do. Study hard, go to college and go and get a real job.
It was what you did. It was the well worn path and I was no different than any other young person just starting out. I looked to my parents for guidance. They had run their own business and really didn’t love it. So when I told them that I wanted to be my own boss, they discouraged it.
I had no idea really about what I wanted to do to be my own boss. All I knew was that I wanted to make the decisions and I wanted to change the world.
I finished high school with pretty good grades. I was a non-conformist and pretty smart so consequently I never tried very hard at school. So I got pretty good grades not great ones. The grades that I did receive allowed me to enter into business college. I decided that I would study accounting at business college. I was good at math and my dad said to me once when I was lamenting about not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up …. “Everyone needs an Accountant.”
So an Accountant I was going to become.
And then Perth happened.
I was on vacation with a friend from school. We had been planning our ‘Yay, we’ve finished school’ retreat since the beginning of the year. We stayed with her uncle who lived in Fremantle and even stayed in a hotel in Perth for a couple of nights. A big move for a 17 year old kid who was ready to take on the world.
Two weeks we spent exploring Perth and its surrounds. Two weeks living a life that I knew I was born for. Two weeks to think about my past and consider my future. Two weeks to enjoy the passion that I decided would become my career.
I discovered quickly that I had a passion and an aptitude for photography. Team that with my love of travel and my desire to have my own business and BANG! There was the career and future that I desired. It hit me like a tonne of bricks and I knew it was what I had to do.
On the flight home I planned how I would tell my parents that I was going to choose a hard road for myself. A hard but rewarding road of self employment in the arts.
Unfortunately, life has a funny way of throwing you a curve ball and I was too young and inexperienced at the time to catch it and throw it back.
When I got home I walked in and my mum was really excited to see me and equally excited to tell me that my letter from business college had arrived. I’d been accepted into Accounting and as a surprise she and my dad had gone to the college, enrolled me and paid my tuition for the next 12 months.
I can’t explain to you how I felt at the time, gutted doesn’t come close.
I had decided a different future. A road less travelled. A road where my passion lay. A road that I knew would be hard and rocky and would bring pleasure to my life.
So….what did I do? Well this article isn’t called the #RoadNotTaken for nothing.
I decided to stick with the easy road and became an Accountant. I had my reasons for choosing this road. Including not wanting to disappoint my parents, and a fear of being rejected because of my decisions. There’s always fear…stupid fear.
Fast forward a number of years…I’m not telling you how many 🙂
My career and life again has taken a significant turn and thankfully I now pay someone else to do my accounting for me. I run my own business and I’m a photographer.
My dream came true eventually, just not in the way I had intended. I don’t make money from my photography, but I do share my photos with 1000s of people. I’m the primary photographer for ETI_Music, the music education and events business that my partner runs. I’ve even been published in a magazine!
I also run my own business and help people, usually young people, choose the career path that they want and help them obtain the skills that they need to follow their passion and be successful. I help people to take their roads.
I didn’t follow my dream at the time and I firmly believe that it was the correct decision.
I am living my dream of being my own boss, traveling the world and taking photos… and it rocks.
So the moral of the story… the road not taken may be the road that you are not supposed to take until a little later on…and when you find the road again….don’t be afraid to take it. Even if you or it are a little more worn out than you were when you first happened upon it.Let's stay in touch