It should come as no great shock that I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. I love the writing - Tolkein is a master storyteller and world-builder - and the tale of small people overcoming great odds is timeless. On of my favorite excerpts from the book is Bilbo's poem "All that is gold does not glitter."
- All that is gold does not glitter,
- Not all those who wander are lost;
- The old that is strong does not wither,
- Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
- From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
- A light from the shadows shall spring;
- Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
- The crownless again shall be king.
- From the plethora of T-shirts, canvas totes and Pinterest images out there, the line above, "Not all those who wander are lost" resonates with a lot of us. Today I was thinking about it in the context of work. Sometimes I worry that I don't have a clear trajectory in my "career". I read an article from some accomplished woman - I think she was a journalist - advocating the need for 5, 10 and 15 year plans so you know where you are heading and the goals you need to achieve. Well, I guess that's well and good if you know where you want to to be in 15 years - or for the rest of your life. But how many people do you know that feel that way? Who even knows where they want to be in one - maybe two years?
- I feel like my career path right now is much more that of a wanderer. Since graduating three years ago I have worked as a writer for a museum, an event planner for a fair trade company and now an assistant at a college. The jobs, from the outside at least, have very little to do with one another and certainly don't make up a classic job path. When I think about my next job (which I do, often) I see a wide range of options and honestly, timing and opportunity will likely determine which way I go. And I'm ready to try something new. None of the jobs I've had so far have been the perfect fit - so why not try something different? Just because I don't have a straight path to walk doesn't mean I'm lost - I'm just experiencing all the interesting things the road has to offer.
How about you - do you have a plan or are you just enjoying/trying not to stress the journey?