How To Do What You Wanna Do

"It's your thing, do what you wanna do." --- The Isley Brothers

I love music and the lyrics often speak to me very loudly. I then have to figure out what they mean to me and how to translate them into my own world.

Today I will blend together a few things that I've been interested in lately (ocean creatures from some Netflix documentaries I've been watching, "Octopus's Garden" by the Beatles and the thoughts of my next steps in life) to bring you more art and writing. Art and writing that tells you you CAN do it all. Maybe not all at once, but you can do what you want to do.

The key to doing it all is paying attention to what you really want. I was pushed to go to college, though I didn't have the funds or any clue what I wanted to do. Looking back, I should have taken a couple of years off to figure out what I wanted to do before going to school, but my parental figures and guidance counselors pushed me to go right into school. None of them truly knew me though, so they didn't have any good advice for what I should major in. They all knew I was really good at art and writing and always had been, but seemed to not think it was something I could make any money doing. They steered me clear off the path of what I was truly gifted at. 

Knowing I was a good listener (and had been in therapy on and off throughout my entire childhood) I chose to start my first semester, student loans in hand, as a Psychology major. I thought maybe I should be a therapist. As I got more and more into the classes, I realized I was good at working with people, but wanted to reach people in bigger ways. So, I changed my major to Communications. Someone connected me with a local news anchor who did anything but encourage me to dive into television or broadcasting. Out of all his advice, I remember these words very clearly "It's very hard for a woman to make it in this business." I was only about 19 years old, so I didn't quite understand how discriminatory he was being. His lack of encouragement was disheartening, so I changed my major back to Psychology.

After taking more Psychology classes, I started to see a school counselor. I was so confused at this point and desperately needed some help. Through him, I gained a lot of insight and confidence. I realized I truly loved creating more than anything. My parental figures were not paying for my school and I decided their opinions in what I should major in didn't matter anymore. I switched my major to Art with a concentration in Photography. I came alive in these classes and loved every minute of school. I continued on to get my Master's degree in Art Education. While in my Master's program, I made the Dean's list, was invited to be in an honor society, and won an Outstanding Student award. The award was a financial award to help me pay off some of my student loans. It wasn't much, but it was a gift I was very thankful for.

My Art degrees have helped me in so many other ways, other than for just getting jobs. I know what design and perspective is so I can decorate a room fantastically. I know what shading, tinting and contouring is so I know how to apply makeup beautifully or how to light a room well. I know how colors, lines, shapes and patterns work together so I can put together super fashionable outfits and beautiful websites. Most of all, I was taught to think creatively, which I believe that, above all, is the most successful tool I gained.

My creative thinking helps me in my own business, Carolyn's Blooming Creations. I am now dedicating all my time to growing it and starting another one. I started Carolyn's Blooming Creations shortly after earning my Master's degree. Teaching and working in an office environment alone were never quite challenging enough for me. I always had to be creating more on the side. Through my business, I've created beautiful cakes and desserts for many clients, done special occasion makeup, ran several weddings, done special event decorating and so much more.

I don't know exactly where my passion and talents will take me from here, but I know it's exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Years ago in college, I listened to my heart and decided to do what I wanted to do. It has led me down a super creative path, and I am grateful for that. Now my question for you is this: Are you doing what you wanna do? If not, what can you do to start down that path?

Here are some ideas I have that could possibly help you figure out how to "do what you wanna do". As I said earlier, you can't do it all at once, so pick one or two and start there. They may help you find your passion and help you down the path to becoming who you were meant to be:

  • Volunteer with an organization you are interested in.
  • Take some classes at a local college or online in subjects that interest you.
  • Visit a spiritual center (Church, reiki center, temple, etc.)
  • Get a life coach (You can find them online, if not locally.)
  • Talk to a therapist (Many workplaces offer free counseling sessions via an employee assistance program. Call HR and find out how you can enroll in those services. They are confidential).
  • Attend some group exercise classes (there are free ones out there if you can't afford to go to a gym. If you are in Louisville, KY, Rainbow Blossom offers many free classes).

Here's the challenging part of doing what you want to do: You have to keep doing it. No one person is going to make your dreams come true except yourself. I believe there are no failures if you learn from everything you try. You may not like a class or something else you participate in during your journey, but that isn't a failure. That's a lesson that tells you it is not part of your path. Listen and learn when that happens.

My father-in-law says I never let moss grow between my toes. He says that because while I am a little busy-body, I get things done. Go out there and get things done for yourself. Do what you wanna do.

Art by Carolyn J. Braden: Do What You Wanna Do

Art by Carolyn J. Braden: Do What You Wanna Do