This is a story, from my personal experience, about how you can completely change your life in just a few months months. A new place, a new career, and a completely different outlook on your future is possible, and possibly necessary if you’re in a rut of any sort. If you ditch your preconceptions and think openly about your future, you might be surprised how things turn out.

Re-Inventing My Life

Before high school, when I decided I wanted to be a musician, I had the vague idea that I wanted to be a writer. I liked the idea of it more than anything; I liked writing pretty well in school, and I wasn’t bad at it, but I didn’t do much about it in my free time. After high school, I forgot completely about writing, got my degree in music, and, for two years after high school, lived the regular ol’ life of the freelancing musician. Then, in the span of a couple months, I moved to New York City, put my music career on hold, and became a copywriting intern for advertising agency in the city. Wait, WHAT?!

Step 1: Liberate Your Secret Desires

No, this isn’t something out of a velvety self-help book. And they don’t have to be secret desires, nor must they be trapped. They’re just something, some interest, that you either haven’t explored or haven’t discovered yet. I knew that, on some level, I had always wanted to be a writer. And part of me knew that my personality was more suited to writing than it was to performing. It wasn’t until one day when, on a whim, I applied for a Craigslist job doing some part-time paid blog writing that my interest and opportunities began to grow.

Step 2: Find Your Place

For me, New York was always calling. For years, I bided my time, and the first chance I got, I went for it. For many people, location is secondary to a good job or career, but if you left your heart somewhere else, there’s no reason you can’t go find it. Everyone is struggling just like you, whether it’s a small town, big city, or somewhere completely foreign. There’s no reason you can’t struggle in the place you want to be.

Step 3: Find Any Work, Gain Experience

I’ve written for pitiful amounts of money. I’ve also played music for pitiful amounts of money. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory of most fields related to the arts, while in others, you might pay your dues in other ways, like racking up a hundred thousand dollars in student loans. But it comes down to this: you need experience. Going back to school is one way to do it, and I don’t think it’s ever too late for that. Another way, if possible, is to jump into the field blindly, taking whatever you can get. Volunteer, work for free or very little, find a class, a teacher, or an internship. My internship isn’t exactly paying the bills, but the experience is invaluable, and I know it is opening some major doors and will lead to good things.

Step 4: Decide How to Continue

Maybe you’ve tested the waters in a new direction, and they were tepid and a little sticky. That’s okay. Try something else. Maybe you found something that works, and you’re excited to see where it leads you. Go for it. Or, maybe you’re drawn back to where you started and rekindled an old flame. There’s no one to tell you what’s right for you to do but yourself, and as long as you’re making choices you’re satisfied with, it doesn’t matter how many types you switch careers, or how long it takes you to settle on something.

Nothing is Set in Stone

Depressed After College So, my life may not be turning out the way I had been imagining it for the past 8+ years. I’m not making music at the moment, and I’m barely teaching it. I haven’t resigned completely, I’ve just put it on a different burner, letting it steam for a while. There’s nothing to stop me from still pursuing it.

But my prospects happen to be better than ever. I’m less worried about my financial future than I have ever been before, and instead of engaging in one career I’m interested in, I get to have two. However deep it had been buried, becoming a writer has always been a secret desire of mine, and through it, I’ve discovered a career and potential I never knew existed. And yet, it’s still early. I don’t know how things will end up. Will I be a copywriter, musician, fiction writer, or something else entirely? Even though I thought I knew I was going to be one thing for so long, I’m not entirely sure what will happen, and I think that’s okay.

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