…how I hate this question!!! I remember when I first heard it: I must have been 4 or 5 years young, when the kindergarden teacher asked us to draw ourselves in the profession we aspired to have in the future. I didn’t really understand what was going on. My dad working in business development for a semiconductor company, my mum as a computer engineer, I had no clue what a profession even is. So I checked what my friends were drawing: firemen, pilots, nurses. So I drew a nurse, too. Problem solved.
Later on, the question unfortunately reappeared, with increasing frequency and growing importance. I felt the pressure. How could I decide between all these choices? My first internships I did in a preschool and at an architecture firm. At school I was good with languages and Math. I enjoyed artsy stuff – photography, interior design and making things with my hands. So what do you do with this??
I had no clear direction, no calling, nothing I was extraordinarily good at, and nothing that I was really bad at either. There didn’t seem anybody able to help me, pointing me in the right direction.
Only later I realised that there is no “right” direction anyway. Just like there is no “wrong” one either! In hindsight, everything just worked out fine, and I’m glad it came that way. I ended up studying Sinology, which is the study of Chinese language, history & culture. Wtf, you may think! Yes, I got that comment a lot. I could tell you 10 perfectly logical reasons why this made sense (I’ve had to justify myself frequently…), but the truth is I was just curious and wanted to try out something new.
With this program I then went to live in China for a year, which is where I met my (French) husband. So, while I’ve barely ever used my Chinese skills in my career, this choice was necessary to find the love of my life. Weird, isn’t it??
What I learned from all of this is: trust your instincts, trust your heart. You don’t need to figure it all out and have the answer ready when you start the journey. Just take the next step – in whatever direction your intuition tells you to go. The path will unfold itself.
So, ask me today: what do you wanna be? I wanna be ME. And who this person is, I am working on figuring out!