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May 28, 2003

The "If..." Project: February 2001 (Archive)

If you have to make a crucial decision, are you more likely to be influenced by your head or your heart? Have you ever regretted listening to one over the other? 

Unfortunately, I am a pragmatic person who tends to be influenced by her head only, no matter how desperately she wants to follow her heart. This isnít all bad, but sometimes I canít help but wonder what my life would be like now if I had had the courage to throw commonsense to the wind and follow my heart more often. Because we had so little while I was growing up, I set my expectations too low, not understanding at the time that a lack of material things didnít necessarily mean I was required to limit my dreams for the future.

Had I followed my heart, I would have grown up with dreams of being a writer instead of deciding I should go into accounting, because I didnít really mind working with numbers and it was supposed to be a good thing to get into. Had I truly wanted to be an accountant, I would have found a way to go to college at that point, instead of scribbling stories as I worked my way through a series of menial jobs.

Had I followed my heart, I would have ignored the doubts of friends and family and become a psychologist the next time I had an opportunity to go to college. I would have found a way to attend the pricey private school I had fallen head-over-heels in love with.

Had I followed my heart, when I finally did get to college, I would have gone for either psychology or library science, but I did the ďsensibleĒ thing, and went for computer technology. At that point, I had nothing to lose, and no excuse but cowardice.

So here I am, trapped in a job that uses none of the skills I was trained for, because it pays just too much for me to afford to quit, but not enough to be worth doing a job I loathe, that goes against everything in my personality. I use my writing skills for silly little essays and a little online journal. I use my web design and graphic arts skills to do thankless (and unpaid) projects for the company I work for. I use my love of books to resell used books as a sideline. I use my mentoring ability to help friends work through their problems. I am grasping at straws to find personal fulfillment in any way I can. And my passion these days is to preach to people to not let anything stop them from following their dreams.

5/27/03