I’ve never read any of those “Finding your Bliss” books, although I probably should have eons ago. If I had, I may have made completely different choices in my life.
But then again, I can’t possibly regret the choices I’ve made, they’ve led me to where I am now. So maybe it’s a good thing I was such a late starter on the whole self-discovery thing.
What got me thinking about this? I went last night to an alumni event for my former employer. An employer I worked for for almost 17 years depending on when you start counting. (I was a co-op student with them during University so on my first day of employment, I was actually still 19 years old.) Last evening, sitting in a room of mostly men, with neat haircuts, wearing suits, talking about subjects in which I had little interest, it struck me how happy I am with the choices I’m making now and how unhappy I was for so many years struggling so hard to fit in, to play the part of aggressive business person, when that’s about as far from my natural character as you can get.
I think my problem is that I don’t like to be told I can’t do something. I have a strong sense of pride and hate failure. So the idea that I wasn’t going to be a success at the career I chose drove me a little insane and also drove me to keep trying to make it work when I knew in my heart, probably in my first year of University, that I’d chosen the wrong path for me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I met some of my very best friends in my years as an accountant. And many (most?) of the stereotypes for accounting and accountants simply aren’t true. In professional public accounting anyway, there’s an incredible amount of judgement involved, tons of variety in your day-to-day work, it’s not routine or boring at all. It wasn’t boredom or routine that I didn’t like as many of my writer-friends assume. It was pretending to care about business in general. Pretending to get excited about closing a deal, or negotiating a contract, or finding ways to increase shareholder value. I just never cared. I saw the adrenaline rush in my colleagues’ eyes and always thought there was something wrong with me for not feeling that way.
It simply never turned me on.
What turns you on? Have you found your bliss?