Follow Your Dreams: Taking a Leap of Faith and Changing My Life Plan

follow your dreams

follow your dreams

If you thought the surprises ended at the ebook, you’re wrong. ;) I’ve been keeping something else from you guys because it took me awhile to wrap my head around it myself… because ya’ll… I completely changed my life plan.

About a month ago I had a midlife crisis (yes, that IS a thing even if you’re only 22) and everything just became so clear. Where my future was headed was not, and I mean not at all, what I had ever dreamed of. The path I was forcing myself down may have been the traditional route and what was expected of me. It may have been what would have looked good on paper, what would have looked like success and what would have looked like I had my life together. But every time I imagined myself living a “successful” life as society would see it, I wanted to cry. Heck, I DID cry. A LOT and far too often.

Over January Term when I really started buckling down on job applications I spent so many frustrated afternoons and nights just sitting on my couch, bawling, because I just wasn’t excited about my future. I already felt trapped and my post-grad life hadn’t even begun. Every time I submitted another application I wanted to feel excited, I wanted to be nervous with anticipation over whether I would get an interview, but I just wasn’t.

follow your dreams

follow your dreams

You see, I’m a mass communication major, and I truly loved studying it throughout college. It gave me many of the skills I use today for Blonde Gone Clean and I am so thankful for that. And you see, I’m good at what I studied. I’m good at writing articles. I’m good at PR. I’m good at all of what my major encompassed. But just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you owe the world that talent.

I felt like, because I was good at PR, because I had gone four years saying that was the route I was headed, because I spent two and a half years working in my school’s communications office, because everyone told me I would be able to work at a great firm, that I had to go into PR. That it was my duty to go into that profession. But guess what? I was wrong.

For months I had been lying to myself, pushing my sadness and fears of the future away. Telling myself I was being ridiculous. I had to get a 9-5 job. I had to fit into society’s mold for success. I had to be a career woman and cross my fingers that I had enough time to still do what lights my soul on fire.

follow your dreams

follow your dreams

I would lay awake at night trying to plan out days far in the future, realizing there was no way Blonde Gone Clean or any of my passions could play as big as a role as I wanted them to. And that broke my heart into a million pieces.

But once again I would force myself to ignore the heartbreak and keep trudging down the straight and narrow. Application after application and I still felt empty. And if you know me, you know I just love life. I get excited for every day. I pop out of bed at 5AM because I just can’t wait to start my day. So it felt strange, uncomfortable and really depressing to not be excited for what was to come. But my mind kept telling me to focus on creating a successful life and for those months I was defining success in numbers. I was telling myself I needed to make X amount of dollars each year so I could afford an apartment that cost X amount of dollars and get the best benefits and live happily ever after.

My heart knew those things aren’t truly what matter to me, but I was scared. Scared to not adhere to the standard life. Scared to admit that I didn’t want to adhere to it… at all. Scared of what other people would think. Scared of how I would make a life for myself if I didn’t do what was expected of me. Scared that I wouldn’t be financially stable enough. Scared, period.

But you know what was scarier? Leading a life that doesn’t align with my soul. Feeling stuck in my life. Feeling suffocated by my current situation.

So, after months of lying to myself and suppressing my true desires, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. One evening I sat down to look at more job applications and I just lost it. Completely LOST it. I wasn’t just crying about my future like I had been the months previously – I had a complete panic attack. I could hardly breathe I was so stricken with the regret over what I had chosen as my life path.

follow your dreams

follow your dreams

And then it hit me, I had the power to change that path. I had the power to choose a different path. The path I knew I wanted to go down.

Instead of watching my friends follow their dreams and have jobs I truly wanted in jealousy, I could do that too. I could have a job I actually wanted and enjoyed. Even LOVED. I realized I could refuse the idea that a job was just a job. That a job wasn’t meant to be loved. That passions and jobs didn’t coincide.

I’ve known since I was little that I needed to lead a life I was passionate about. Being bored by and stressed about things that don’t truly matter to me make me so drained and also don’t help my gut health AT ALL. So I wiped my tears away, made a plan and broke the news to my parents, nervous about what they would say. When I got their texts back full of support I cried again.

And I’m sure you’re all wondering now WHAT path I actually chose, so here it is. I’ve given up the idea of going into public relations and have decided to follow my dream of becoming a personal trainer, something I’ve wanted to do for at least two years now, but would always talk myself out of it. I’m already starting my fourth week of the NASM CPT program and I LOVE IT. It’s a lot, like a lot a lot (like I’ve already used over 300 notecards a lot), especially during the last couple weeks of school, but I’ve never felt so driven. My soul is seriously lit on FIRE.

It's a 10-week program, so I’ll be finishing up at the very beginning of July and taking my certification test a couple of weeks after that. I’m nervous (because damn it’s a lot harder than I anticipated), but I’m using the nerves to fuel me and motivated me every single day. Because between finishing school, doing the weekly readings/quizzes/assignments AND actually studying each week’s information in order to get it down as I go, on top of continuing to further this brand and work on more entrepreneurial routes for the future as well, life has been crazy. Every waking hour is filled with something productive. 10 minutes here and there are no longer spent scrolling on Instagram, but instead on brainstorming for the blog and flipping through my notecards.

follow your dreams

follow your dreams

This is what I’ve been talking about so much lately – finding that balance between soaking up these last two weeks of college (holy sh*t!!!) and hustling to create the future I want for myself.

Because I didn’t choose the normal, straightforward path. I chose a scarier path, a more independent path, a more flexible path. But I also chose a path that I love. A path that will allow me to do what I love and helps others’ live their healthiest lives. A path that will continue to nourish my soul, allow me to pour that soul into this platform and give me the room to follow so many of the other lofty dreams I have.

Because I have a lot in the works in my brain ya’ll, for a year, five years, even 10 years down the road, and I finally feel like I have the freedom to truly make them come true.

I knew from a young age that I wasn’t meant for a 9-5 job. I would play office and I was always my own boss in that game. And now I finally feel like I AM the boss of my own life. Because I took control and am working every day to shape my own future and life. Because Blonde Gone Clean is just getting started, my PT career is just getting started, my dreams are just getting started. I’m 22 and ready to take the future by storm. Watch out world, a passionate Nat is hard to stop!!

Ask yourself, do you like your current situation? Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like your dreams are constantly on the back burner? Well, guess what? YOU are the only one that can change that. You have the power to change your life, and trust me, it’s so, so worth it to take the leap.

XO nat

Related: 10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman-Year Self, 8 Confidence-Boosting Tips To Embrace All That You Are