Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nature & Nurture, They Can Co-Exist

Photo by Hitchster
Nature and nurture have been two words I've heard throughout my career. One stems from the biological perspective and the other, the environmental. The hope is not to lose one while identifying with the other.  Like when you feel locked in a job and you don't know what to do next how do you know when to say, "enough is enough" here, it's time to move on? It seems to me a lot of people are asking that question these days. Some of us may feel stuck doing what we've been doing so long we don't think we have the skills to go anywhere else. Or we don't believe we will make the kind of money, or reap the types of benefits we get at our current gig. So, then is the question really, what do you  want to do with your life? Or possibly, what sacrifices are you willing to make to take that chance?

For the past few months, I've been mentoring, traveling, taking on new projects and working on a business plan for a community based consulting firm. Simultaneously I work a full time job for a corporate company doing what I went to two schools for, Social Work. I've been doing Social Work for almost 13 years but I've been doing medical Social Work for about 5 years. I'm fortunate that I have been able to test the waters in my field and try out different types of work that has allowed me to learn new things and gain new skills. But some people can't say that. And even I can't say I'm over the moon about the way in which I do what I love to do, and that's helping people to cope with mental illness and mobilize people to become more connected human beings. So I completely relate to anyone who knows there is more to what you're currently doing, but that maybe figuring out how to do what you love in a fulfilling way, is really the challenge.

Part of the reason most people don't quit their day job and go after their passion is because of fear; fear that they won't survive out there on their own; fear that no one will support or guide them; even more than that, fear that they will actually be successful. I know, that sounds strange, but it's true. Over the years, I've met some talented, interesting people with all sorts of creative ideas and they can spit out the details about what they would do and how they would do it if...if not for this, or that. They talk themselves out of their hopes faster than anyone else ever could.

I imagine when may of us were little kids we fantasized and dreamed up lots of things. We probably fantasized about the places we would travel or the person we would marry or the kinds of experiences we would have. But somewhere along the line our fantasies stopped and our dreams were pushed deep into the crevices of our minds. And we never really took them out and re-examined them. Dreams and fantasies have a place in reality, not only in the imagination. Dreams are what give you hope that you can see things beyond the here and now. Dreams have a marvelous way of bringing you out of darkness and bridging a gap between the unknown and reality. It's awesome to dream. Without dreams I wouldn't be where I am or where I'm headed. Many of us would never have gotten out of the 'hood if we didn't dream or our families didn't dream. We have to support our fantasies with action and nurture those little spirits inside ourselves that give us hope. If we don't then what do we have to look forward to?


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