There are some people in this world who have figured it all out. From the time they were in high school they knew they wanted to be a doctor, or maybe even they figured it out before that as a child. I always felt like a failure not being one of those people. I'm reasonably smart, pretty good at anything I apply myself to, and I've always had pastimes that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I just could never settle on something to spend my whole life doing. I spent all my teens, college years, and now my mid-20s still trying to figure that out. I assumed at some point something would just click. But here I am, 25, relatively jobless, seeking career prospects.

And there, by far, has been nothing scarier than admitting that to not only myself, but to others. As someone who doesn’t like to disappoint, it is hard telling your mother and father you have no clue what you want to do with your life. They didn’t raise a bum. I worked hard in school to get into a good college to get a good paying career. Yet, somewhere I've failed. At least that’s how I see it. Luckily, I have the best family and support system in the universe. I have a wonderful mother who lets me cry on the phone over a million miles away, unable to really do anything but listen and say positive words of encouragement. And I have a funny father who calls the second I get off the phone with mother to try to distract me; to get my mind off the very sore subject. I have a sister, who herself packed up and left for a new life, and her boyfriend who give solid advice. I am eternally grateful to the both of them for giving me this opportunity of a new life.

I’ve always heard that if you follow your dreams, your passions, you will never truly work a day in your life. That’s what I want. I want to feel like I’m never truly working. I want to be disappointed to have to go home. I want to wake up everyday and know that I get to do the thing that make me happier than any Ben and Jerry’s flavor or new episode of Doctor Who ever could. But, to a point, I also don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. And sometimes, what you may love may also not be profitable.

Make a list of what kind of lifestyle you want, how much money it’ll take to live that way and go from there. Also, make a list of 2-3 careers that you could see yourself doing” is sound advice from my sister and her partner. The point of doing that is that once you know what you want out of life you’ll figure out what it takes to get there and what jobs that sound interesting can help achieve it. Sounds simple enough.

My list for What I Want Out of Life is short and simple; I want a work-life balance. I want to be able to enjoy family time, traveling, special events going on in my area, hanging out with friends. I don’t want to be bogged down with so much work that that is all I do. I don't want to work really hard for millions of dollars to only die with no actual life experience. Secondly, I want to live comfortably. And I’m sure plenty of you are thinking that comfortably is subjective. It is. What I mean by being able to live comfortably is not living paycheck to paycheck. If I want to buy some new shoes I don’t want to have to worry if I’m going to have to skip a meal or be late on my rent because of it. I have dreams of going to Europe at some point, but that doesn’t mean that I want to go at a drop of a hat. I can save for a few years for that and it won't kill me. That’s it. Just those two things: work-life balance and to live comfortably.

The next part has proven to be a very arduous task: What Can You See Yourself Doing? I just started jotting down things I like. Needless to say that list was much, much longer. Staring at that list, trying to combine a few or seeing how any of those could turn into a career became mind numbing.

So then I thought, what don’t I like? Why did I leave retail? I made good money, was pretty good at making sales and enjoyed managing. It came down to one thought. I felt like just another cog. I was just someone who was another piece of machinery that was not cared for, whose opinions and thoughts did not matter, who could not make change. Which is why I think being a manager was my favorite part of the job because I could change the way my employees viewed the job. I felt stuck and under-appreciated, but that didn’t mean my staff had to. But I digress, because I could talk for days about all the people I worked with throughout my years in retail and probably how they touched me more than I did anything for them. But that is something that is very important to me; I want to feel like what I am doing is appreciated, needed, and that I can be heard. I am a person, not a part piece.

My quest for trying to figure out what I should do with my life led to a road filled with desperation. So I Googled “What Should I do with My Life?”. (Please judge me) Up popped a list of billions of blogs, articles and forums with a way. Unfortunately, it requires some thinking; it couldn’t just tell me to be a teacher and call it a day. One post that I read mentioned something that I hadn’t considered. What are you doing now that would make your child self cry? The author goes on about how he used to write as a child. But as he grew up he stopped. He imagines his child self coming up to him and asking, “Why don’t you write anymore?” His response of “I’m not good at it, no one would want to read what I write” would make the child version cry. Why would you give up something you enjoy doing just because of other people? And I think that is why a lot of people give up on their dreams. Fear, judgment and rejection play key roles in how we set up our lives. Some people are good at handling that and that is why they get to achieve their dreams. Others can’t handle it and that is why they settle.

I don’t want to settle. But it got me thinking what did I do as a child that I no longer do as an adult that would make my mini me bawl? Well, my self-deprecating sense of humor immediately thought of eating; I was a plump little piglet. But thankfully I still do that; maybe a little too much still. But in all seriousness, when I was a kid I loved being creative. I loved to dance, color, draw, sing. Heck, I pretended to put on concerts for my dolls and stuffed animals (they were always sold out). I used to draw outfits and think about who’d wear this and where would they be going. I stopped believing in my creative spirit because I was afraid people wouldn’t think I was good. I was afraid I would be rejected.

The next article that I came across had a very straightforward and simple formula to solve my issue. G+P+V=C Gifts in addition to Passions along with Values will lead you to your Career. So what are you good at, what communities and problems do you care most about, and what do you treasure in life? Well, the last two were easy and quick for me; it is again the one that requires introspection that I seem to fail at. Just because I enjoy doing something doesn’t mean that I’m gifted at it. I sung sold out concerts to my stuffed animals and dolls but I’m sure even their fake ears were bleeding. So in another act of desperation I asked for help on Facebook. I have yet to hear anything back from anyone, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I’m sure my mother will comment something positive and uplifting like, “Anything you set your mind to you are awesome at!!!” And yes, she will use exactly three or even more exclamations. Her finger is very trigger happy when it comes to that punctuation mark. I’m sure my father will text me shortly after my mother shares the FB post with him with a list of what he thinks I’m good at. And I’m sure tonight, as we sit for dinner and I again bring up the continuing topic that is “Help Paige get her life together,” my sister will share with me how I’m good at being a smart-butt or a pain in the butt; sisterly love and all, before sharing something more real.

So by the end of this post I may not have figured out what I want to do with my life, but I have figured out one thing; Google really does have an answer for everything. I've just got to find it.