Sometimes you find yourself thinking, how did I end up here? And you realise that there are a multitude of things that can contribute to any final destination.
When I was young I wanted to one day have an interesting job title. I wanted to be an interior designer at first. (I knew that I liked drawing and I went mad for colouring competitions).
Later on I wanted to be an artist and during university days I even fancied the title of Artist Extraordinaire.
Later on, still, I wanted to be an Actor, then an Architect, then an Academic, then a Teacher and then… somehow I ended up as a work-at-home mum with far too many hobbies running a boutique maternity clothing and baby goods business in New Zealand. There isn’t really a title that goes with it, is there?
Life can’t be planned out in advance – but appreciating the little bumps in life’s journey/forks in the road can force you into a new direction that might (one day) become a destination that is really right despite (perhaps) seeming really wrong to begin with.
The funny thing about me wanting to ‘be’ so many things growing up is that I just hadn’t seen the ‘working mum’ job as a desirable outcome. This job doesn’t really come with a title – so how could I have wanted it?
A small epiphany: Today I spent my day doing fun things with my toddler, teaching for a couple of hours (exam strategies in my old teaching role), writing for a small portion of the day (copy writing and proofing) and just now I am settling in to do some drawing and design work for my other project Desk Drawer to sketch some nursery prints and complete a fabric design I have been toying with for a while. Some of these things might seem a bit humdrum but, all together, they have actually been fun.
Forking Surprise: Within one day I have actually randomly achieved all of the things that I wanted to do when I was growing up (designing/drawing/making/teaching/playing/acting)… yet I just don’t have a title to go with it. Whilst today has not been an atypical day, it is typical of my life – that it is full of many little jobs and hobbies that contribute to the bigger picture.
It is something worth taking notice of. Job titles can get in the way of realising that your own version of ‘success’ might be more attainable than you think. Perhaps ‘success’ just needs to be redesigned and some of the stigma around job titles needs to change…
Looking back there have been several unforeseen ‘forks’ and ‘bumps’ in the path that have led me to this business, this role, this life, this place, this family, this man and I could never have seen any of it coming.
So give the forks in your road some mental spooning tonight – although the road may have been bumpy (and may still be) – the turns you are presented with might yet take you somewhere cool – just don’t expect it be clearly labelled.
Some ‘other’ more attainable titles you could think about just for fun:
Future Identity Strategist
Human Communications Engineer
Dynamic Solutions Officer
Lead Creative Investor
Chief Family Liason Director
*Or maybe liberate yourself and go title free?
All images copyright Katrina Ward (title not specified) 2013.