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Mindstyle // Connecting the dots

Sacha Sieradenlijn 2015-6

The moment is finally here: the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. I’m forging a path that’s completely right for me, doing everything I love. I’m 27 years old and I think I (finally?!) found what I want to do for a long time coming. And in which I want to grow. Maybe I’m a little ‘old’, but let’s face it: I’m a late bloomer. I’ve always been envious of people who seemed to know exactly what they wanted in life.

But at the moment, it’s all coming together and it seems so damn obvious! And I have the crazy feeling that ‘everything is only going to get better’ from now on. Of course I can’t look into the future, but everything I did in the past suddenly seems to make sense.

This year I chose to stop organizing my events and to specialize solely in the online experience. I wanted to optimize my blog (my baby) and had a complete focus on it. This paid off (and also, unexpectedly, in actual money), but not enough to have a stable and peaceful life, a base from which to expand my dreams and also feel safe. And just blogging? Do I really want that? I missed mental stimulation, challenges to take me out of my comfort zone.

I started to teach blog workshops and became a freelance in the online world, specializing in marketing and communication. And this summer, I was offered an interim job: an opportunity to develop my skills and to make some more of my dreams come true. To become a true professional in a field I love! And a chance to really use the knowledge I’ve already gained over the last few years. ‘Moderne Hippies’ will always be my baby, but I’ve become a freelancer in an area that’s dear to my heart. I’m growing and expanding.

In college, I studied Media and Information Management, Communication Sciences and Persuasive Communication. Even in my first ‘job test’, when I was 14, the word ‘communication’ featured prominently! A pretty ‘wide’ area, totally unfocused, I always thought. During my master year, I started a website, to see if I could build an online community and broadcast a message. I could put all my creativity and my social media addiction into this and I loved it! But this year it was time for a change, because I stopped organizing events for ‘Moderne Hippies’. But taking a ‘real job’? It would take a lot of getting used to and I didn’t know whether it was the right path for me.

I never thought I’d say this, but now it feels ‘real’: I found ‘it’! This is what I want to do and what I want to keep doing. My own media- and communications agency, on a freelance base, so I can keep working on my blog as well. This makes me happy. I know I’m good at it. Creativity, communication, community, social media: I love it all. And I want to get better at it. I want to be an asset to my future clients and learn from their experiences as well. And this way, I retain the personal freedom and choices to steer my career exactly the way I want to, which will keep me motivated, challenged and able to explore new options. I may be busy as hell (being a blogger is a 24/7 job and this would make me even busier), but in the end I’ll feel happy! This is where I want to be! For a life lived to the fullest, I’m willing to sacrifice some sleep…

I think it’s important to keep growing, learning and getting out of my comfort zone. And at the same time, this is the ultimate mix to expand in a business sense and still retain my personal freedom.

I do realize that it’s unique: finding something you love and be able to make a living out of it. I’ve had 27 years to think about it, went through a lot of highs and lows and this is my lightbulb moment. I just want you to know that it didn’t just arrive: I’ve been searching for a long time. I took my time and sometimes, it took too long for some people around me. I just couldn’t do it faster, and that’s ok as well. Because I got there in the end, in my own time and my own way.

Patience is a wonderful thing. Everything in life just happens, years go by in which you make mistakes, learn a lot and decide what you don’t want. Don’t get stuck in comparisons: the other person always seems to do better and to be 10 steps ahead at all times. But the moment when you arrive at the point where you want to be, when you keep listening to what feels right to you and which way you (yes, only YOU!) want to go…. That’s when every aspect of your life comes together. And the comparisons stop, because those aren’t your paths. This is.

Like Steve Jobs, I can now say: “I was connecting the dots” (watch this speech!). And now, when it all comes together, it just seems to fit seamlessly. Crazy, right?

PS. Because I’m so busy, I’m re-introducing a rule from 2012: I’m not posting articles online during the weekends. Because on the weekends, I want to have an online and social media detox: no computer or laptop, no telephone. I want to able to go ON-life. Lovely! In the weekends, we live. Hell, we have to live! Amen.

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