My Pursuit of Happiness

Life rarely happens the way we plan it.    

Inspiration:    

I was interviewing a girl the other day who said she had a five-year plan when she entered college. She wanted to become either an OBGYN or a nurse and pursue a career as an obstetrician or head nurse administrator. She planned to accomplish this by the time she reached her mid twenties. Now, at 27, she’s a personal trainer and fitness event coordinator. She just started her own business a year ago, and she’s taking training to the next level by educating the community about the importance of health and fitness. Her story is very inspiring to me because, although not in her initial plan, she loves what she does and she’s changing lives along the way.    

My Story:    

That has always been my goal: to love what I do and make a difference in the lives of others. My initial plan: major in Journalism and Psychology and write for a magazine if I pursued Journalism or open my own private practice working with children if I pursued Psychology. Either way, I’d be fulfilling my passions: writing and helping others. That was nearly seven years ago when I started college.    

I guess I can say the plan worked for a little while. 3 ½ years later, I graduated with a degree in Journalism and Psychology and left home to pursue Journalism. It took nine months, but I landed a position at a magazine where I contributed to the print publication and the online blogs; I also covered events and met celebs like Ludacris, Monica, Vivica Fox, and P. Diddy. Literally, one week I was watching “I Want to Work for Diddy” and the next week I was interviewing the man himself. And for a girl from a small town where “big-name” celebs rarely, if ever, make an appearance; these were once-in-a-lifetime encounters. I even saw T.I. in passing one morning in my office building as I headed towards the elevator [he was getting off with two other guys]. Not wanting to be “unprofessional” and jump him like a raging fan, I spoke and kept going…Yeah-Yeah, I know, what was I thinking!!! Anyway, I felt very fortunate to be accomplishing one of the goals I set for myself so early in life. But, about a year later, things started happening and I felt it wouldn’t be long before my initial plans would be altered.    

The economy took its toll and there was a staff reduction. Thankfully, my position was spared. I must say I was surprised being that I was one of the last people hired. However, I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, so I took it as [meaning] there was more for me to do while I was there. And, indeed, there was. Over the next few months, I participated in two photo shoots and three TV tapings for the magazine; again, rare opportunities for a small-town girl. Things were going well, but somewhere along the way, my personal interests began to change. I enjoyed what I was doing, and I was thankful for my experiences; however, I started feeling like there was something more for me to do. I just wasn’t sure which direction my life was going to take. Little did I know; something was about to happen that would thrust me in a different direction all together.    

Nearly a year ago now, there was another staff reduction and my position was among the ones cut. Honestly, it wasn’t a surprise because I saw the signs that it was coming: a lot of meetings behind closed doors, fewer assignments, decrease in communication/follow up meetings with supervisor. I had no hard feelings though. I knew God was helping me get started on my next journey. And what a journey it has been so far.    

After a few months of job searching, I decided that I would take this time to further my education and obtain my Masters. At present, I feel I have found a program that will allow me to fulfill both goals of writing and helping others. I plan to share my passion for writing with others [more so youth] in hopes that it will help them along their journey. I must admit, I didn’t think I’d be at this point in my life right not. But, I understand that writing for a magazine, unless freelance; or having my own clinic practicing child psychology may not be in God’s plan for me. Maybe what’s meant for me is to write a book or many books that will have a positive impact on those who read them. Or, maybe it’s meant for me to start a group/organization/business geared towards the youth in the community I settle in…maybe I’ll open a clinic – just not to practice child psychology. I don’t know what God has in store for me during the next chapter in my life. I just know I’m looking forward to turning the pages! In the meantime, I’ll be sure to keep you posted; and hopefully, some part(s) of my journey will inspire you just like the young lady I mentioned above has inspired me.    

Keepsake magazine cover created by my former co-workers at Atlanta magazine

 

 Lesson(s) Learned:    

Life is a journey we all must travel, and it’s okay if we get lost along the way. When things don’t go the way we plan, maybe we should take a time out and wait to see what’s in store. I’ve heard people say “if you want to have a good laugh, tell God your plans”… I must say; it’s been a true statement for me.    

My Question to You:    

What journey has life taken you on in your pursuit of happiness? 

~ Ciara Walker

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One thought on “My Pursuit of Happiness

  1. here’s the brief version- got my bachelor’s in elementary education. substitute taught for awhile. hired as director of a pre-school. quit to go back to school to be a paralegal during the day while i bartended at night. was a paralegal for 4 years. quit to move to another state so husband could start his own business. waited tables. hired as an office manager at an animal hospital. hired as a general manager at a vineyard/winery. working as a receptionist for a couple more weeks until we leave for the west. (the previous history covers a 15 year span). whew! there have been twists and turns, and i am definitely not where i thought i would be 5 years ago. but where ever i am, i know that’s exactly where i am supposed to be.
    ~w

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