Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ask Baba Yaga: Should I Pick the Career That Fits Me Or the One I Want to Fit?

Baba Yaga by Laura Gilbert
Well here's an interesting one. I used to believe this was a question you might be faced with (perhaps) twice in your life - once as a young person becoming a fully-fledged adult and again as an adult who is taking their working life/career to the next level (and then maybe, if you were lucky, to a less stressful extent when you moved into retirement). I'm now acutely aware that life just doesn't work that way! You may think you're destined for one thing when you're a child, then something more specific as a young person choosing a direction of study and work, but life has a way of being unpredictable and I only know a very small handful of people who've dealt with one major path through their whole life. Most I know are like me: you have plans, you work while you're working on them, some things pan out but are completely the opposite of what you expected and so your plans no longer make sense, while other things don't work at all, and all you know for sure is: you need a change of plan! Then, for someone like me who planned on NOT having a family then did, and suddenly found life was no longer as flexible, what do you do then? I'm lucky in that I loved this curve ball of motherhood I was thrown, but it did mean all my previous plans scattered in the winds of change. And then, kids or not, there seems to be a point at which you realize you're at -yet another!- crossroads and can either shore things up where you are or put in the effort to try something that you're curious about although it may not (yet) be you. How on earth do you choose what is truly best?

Here's today's question and answer (via poet and oracle Taisia Kitaiskaia* of The Hairpin):
(Originally posted at The Hairpin HERE)

While advice like 'follow your heart', 'go for your dream', seems to be good advice, when you're saddled with responsibilities of mortgage, clients, children, a reputation or 'brand', etc etc, going beyond known territory and/or outright changing what you are doing (and who you are) is risky and often terrifying. And frankly, it isn't always the right thing to do. Dreams don't always turn out to be the pleasant ones we believed them to be (I learned that the hard way) and your heart can lead you astray. Sometimes the right thing to do is NOT to go for that job, but to commit to where you are and develop from there, because, you don't truly know the potential of that either. 'Success' in either choice and place, ultimately depend on you. (No pressure! Ha.)

I guess what Baba Yaga is pointing out in this case is: be 'alive' wherever you are, be vital - not dead wood.

Hm. When you put it like that, it might actually be possible to choose your path with confidence.

(Gosh she's good!)

What do you think of Baba Yaga's advice?

Want to ask Baba Yaga a question of your own?
You can!
There's now an email address where you can send your questions
directly to Baba Yaga herself.
AskBabaYaga AT gmail DOT com
To encourage Baba Yaga to continue imparting her no-bones-about-it wisdom (ok, there may be some gristle in there... bones too), I suggest we not to leave her box empty... 

Thank you Baba Yaga (& Taisia).

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. Born in Russia and raised in America, she's had her poems and translations published in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, and others.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this couldn't have come at a better time, I'm going through a job decision myself at the moment. I almost wish it had been more of the cliche "follow your dreams"...while this advice is much better it doesn't necessarily make the decision easier...