I like to think of myself as a late bloomer. I didn't know what I wanted to be for a very long time. Well, actually, I wanted to be a princess at a very early age and was crushed to learn that was probably not in the cards. Then I wanted to be an actress and a singer. I pursued this course throughout my middle school and high school years by performing in various groups and productions. Although I enjoyed the actual work, I didn't feel like I fit in so well with my fellow cast members. I was a bit preppy and somewhat of a goody two shoes. Black wasn't my color nor did I look good in red lipstick and I liked fresh air and sunshine too much to spend sunny days inside a dark theater. Staying up late at night didn't work for me either.
So, I thought I might give finance a whirl thinking it would be a good way to travel the world and be able to live above the poverty line in Manhattan. After studying economics and French in college, I worked in a top notch group at a major bank in NYC and did well. But it always felt like work and I couldn't wait for my days off. When Sunday afternoon rolled around, I began to feel agitated because it meant Monday morning was looming. When I discovered the world of interior design, I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do. I think it is what I was made to do. I loved everything about it. When I am working on a project, I am completely absorbed in it, forgetting about time and place. I become unaware of myself and get caught up in a creative rush that effortlessly flows. It doesn't feel like work at all. In fact, if I could afford to, I would do it for free. It is an amazing feeling. Sometimes I think about how sad it would be if I had never found what I love to do- if I had stayed at the bank my entire life.
As a mother, I felt that it was my job to help my girls discover their gifts and talents and to encourage their development. Now that they are grown, I advise them to not be afraid to make a job switch if they don't feel excited by what they are doing. While it's great if they can find their "thing" early on in their lives, it's never too late. There are so many examples of people who found their calling late in life: Julia Child published her first cookbook at the age of 49; Frank McCourt started writing at age 64; Emmy award winning actress, Kathryn Joosten started acting at age 42, an age when most actresses are thinking of retiring.
If you are a late bloomer like me, it takes a lot of faith, an iron will and a ridiculous amount of perseverance to follow your dream. Having someone who believes in you helps enormously when you hit roadblocks and are tempted to throw in the towel. And if you haven't found your dream yet, don't stop looking because once you find it, you will never work another day in your life because your work will feel like pure joy!