J – As you think you travel, as you love, you attract. – James Allen
This quote is speaking to me right now and is really the premise for writing… well finishing this post 🙂
I am alive. I gave Rob a two year head start in this blog adventure and I am ready to get back into it and share some adventuring with you.
WARNING: I rewrote this blog post 7 times. So this is what you get. I could probably rewrite it 1,000,000 more times.
I have spent the last year reflecting on purpose and happiness and what fulfills me. I have been and in some ways still am searching and seeking for something. This “something” needed to be big- travel some where, maybe get a masters degree, do something epic. You know… accomplish a few monumental things every 20-something thinks they need to do before they hit 30. It would prove that I was successful. I would get the best experience possible. It all sounds great except for the fact that I wasn’t pulled towards any of it. That really made me mad. I was upset that I couldn’t find direction and that I really didn’t know anything. Basically a 1/4 life crisis.
So I just started applying to grad schools and filling out job applications. I have probably filled out thousands. Okay, maybe only one hundred or so. I tend to exaggerate quite a bit, but it always makes for a good story. I have to confess something… I am impatient. I am a big picture thinker who is driven by purpose. I don’t know what I want but I want it all now and I don’t want to wait. I keep beating myself up over the fact that I need know what my next move should be. Maybe it’s my generation. Maybe I’m a masochist. I have to believe all of us creative types go through this at one point or another. I somehow know all of the things I don’t want in life but none of the things I do want in life. I’m going to pause this dignified rant to tell you that this no longer matters to me.
A brief history…
In May of 2011 I graduated and landed the most fantastic job at a private school in Portland, ME. Portland… Folks! Like 2nd best place on earth to Disneyworld. I had all of these ideas as to what it was going to be like…. magical, empowering, challenging in all of the good ways. After going through a lot of self discovery, intense testing of bravery, courage and willpower.. I needed to get out. As my second year rolled around I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t be there any longer. So I applied down the east coast and moved to a small suburb on the beaches of Florida. Side note-There are very few stipulations as to where I would move EXCEPT for I must always be on a coastline. So I taught down in Jax Beach for a year. This elementary school was basically the most beautiful school in the world; fantastic people, fantastic parents, supportive administration, and wonderful kiddos, great music…. but something was missing. I was not me. I was not excitingly throwing myself into every aspect of the job. I started thinking grad school and applied to a couple. Did I even want to go? I don’t know. Do I want to leave the music teaching profession? I don’t know.
I do know that in my year of teaching at the most fantastic school I could ever imagine I was lonely, unmotivated and feeling lost. That is the flippin problem here, if you haven’t noticed this beautiful theme already. Whenever I get into this deep dark hole of questioning I make a list of things that I absolutely love in life and possible career choices. Here is what I came up with.
Things I absolutely love to do. By Jarika Olberg
Singing, Performing, Reading self help books ( I am totally addicted in all of the wrong ways), Kayaking (although I never really go), Biking, Amateur dancing, Going to the beach, Cooking, Baking, Learning, Cake-decorating, Singing with others, Reading, Talking shop/life with anyone, Helping people, Teaching singing, Going to concerts, Hiking, anything fall related, Shopping, Traveling, Thrift shopping on occasion, going for long drives while singing, Reading books about the voice, Drinking Pumpkin Coffee
Welp. I then realized most everything on this list was better done in New England ( You seriously can’t find good pumpkin coffee anywhere in the South!) and better done with a different job. So I quit my full-time gig, moved back home and started building a voice studio. I am sure many of you seasoned teachers have long figured this out, but this here is big for me. Happiness is not a destination, it is not success in the minds of others, it’s not accomplishments, it’s seeking truth in your heart and just finding what you can give the world. No more “what’s next?” Not only am I having the time of my life setting up my ideal schedule centered around my ideals and passions as a teacher, but I am finding time for myself as a singer and performer and just person.
I’ve set out some guidelines for myself this year and I thought that I would share them with you and perhaps reflect on them every so often.
- No should of, could of, or would ofs. Either do it or don’t and move on.
- Sing for myself.
- Find all of the things that make me happy and don’t spend time on the rest.
- Help people. Make connections. Meet people..Good people. Surround myself with people who fill up the world.
- You either can or you can’t. Either way you are right.
- The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s greener where I water it.. so get going.
- Be 25.
- Choose love. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon
Long story short. I have no real words of wisdom for you today. This is where I am at in my journey and I am hoping to share along the way. I have always been a person who feels stuck doing the “right” thing because it is right and I should do. Here’s to throwing these ideas out the window. So expect the unexpected in some upcoming posts. 🙂 J
My heart just soared reading your post! I wish I had the bravery you have at 25 to realize these things. No should of, could of! I’m so happy you’re listening to your heart and just going with it. I wish you great things and not just the “right” things. March to your drummer and sing to your piper J! ❤