Jenn from Near and Far Montana is currently hosting an awesome essay contest with a thought provoking topic. Check out the “Make Waves” essay contest! (Click here to join the contest or read along.)
“Write about how you make waves in your life and/or sail through stormy seas. Your essay can refer to specific times in your life, or how you make waves throughout your life.”
When I sat down to write this essay, I was pumped to contribute my own thoughts on the topic. I sat down at my computer thinking:
I make waves!
I’m totally awesome!
Let me share all of the big things I have done with my life!
I do make waves, don’t I?
Then it hit me, I am new to making waves, I have only been making waves for 18 months.
Eighteen months ago I quit my comfy office job and set sail on a new adventure. I am not making waves in the traditional sense. I am making waves my own way.
Here is my essay:
A Passenger on Someone Else's Ship
The adults in my life wanted to help. They invited me on to their ship. I hopped on board and happily let them steer.
I was the crew member that every captain wanted. I obeyed my captains’ orders; I worked hard, got good grades, focused on school, and developed my skills. My time was spent honing my talents and discovering my passions.
In college, I couldn’t decide which one of my passions I wanted to pursue. I remained a passenger on someone else’s ship. How could I be the captain of my own ship if I didn’t know what direction to lead my boat?
The adults that I trusted---my parents, my mentors, my professors--- were the captains of my life. I rode along on the waves they had created. I learned from the mistakes they made, the adventures they took, and the experiences that they had gathered.
When I couldn’t decide on a major, I took their advice and used my talents, the talents mastered on their ship, to work towards one specific passion.
I obtained a degree in nutrition.
Rocking the Boat
My experiences helped me to quickly acquire a job as a lead crew member on a new ship, but again, it was someone else’s ship. This time, I had boarded a ship that was captained by my new supervisors and bosses. I adhered to their orders.
I maintained a comfortable job, worked in a comfortable office, and made comfortable money.
One day, I realized things were too comfortable.
I was capable. I had skills. I had developed my talents under the guidance of the best captains in the world.
I had sailed across seas under the leadership of my mentors, and I had helped them make waves in their own lives. I had learned how to guide my own ship. I was ready for bigger adventures.
It was time for me to become my own captain.
For 5 years, I remained at my comfortable job.
For 5 years, I neglected all of my other passions.
For 5 years, I traveled rough seas and faced a lot of turbulence.
I became seasick.
Seeking calmer seas was necessary for survival.
I made the decision to build my own ship and set sail on my own voyage.
Becoming My Own Captain
In actuality, I did spend some time treading water when I jumped ship, but I worked hard to stay afloat and I learned that I can swim.
My years spent as a passenger taught me an important lesson: Life is not about a single dream. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe one day I WILL want to be a teacher, doctor, ballerina, or professional athlete, but that doesn’t need to be my end point.
I have taken the time to develop my talents and strengthen my skills.
I have the power to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that I want to do.
For the past eighteen months, I have been the captain of my own ship. I have been circumnavigating the sea of life. I refuse to select a single passion to pursue; I am chasing down ALL of my passions.
I am helping people improve their health.
I am writing.
I am exercising.
I am exploring.
I am volunteering.
I am listening to music.
I am trying new things.
I am making myself AND others happy.
Life is an ocean.
There is so much to explore in this world.
For the first time, I am the captain of my own ship. I am happy.
I am making waves.