Making a Living vs. Making a Life

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This question haunted me from childhood. I felt like everyone around me knew what job they wanted, where they wanted to live and even how many kids they wanted! So not having an answer was isolating.

I think I was confused because my mind didn’t work the same way many others did. Instead of thinking of my output as means to make a career path, I just wanted to spend time doing the things I loved. I wanted to memorize lines for the school play, not put in volunteer hours for the honor society. At the time, a Monday through Friday 9-5 seemed the inevitable end, so why waste the little free time I’ve got!?

My interests grew and shifted, but the common denominator was always expression. Acting, singing, writing and even traveling became my biggest motivators. I couldn’t help but sift through the parts of my education that didn’t interest me… There were days that just felt like a waste of time. If I wasn’t doing something that made me feel alive, then what was the point of being alive? Was I crazy to think that?

Nevertheless, somebody had to pay the bills. Even before I finished college, I had started a career and appeared to “have it all together.” My parents (who are more aware than anyone of my free spirit) were thrilled. However as graduation lurked closer, my complacency didn’t falter. I thought as I “grew up” I would start craving regularity, but I was wrong.

There was a voice in my head I hadn’t been able to shake, so I started to pay her mind. Despite everything, I still believed I could find what I was looking for. I wanted a world that was bigger than my next paycheck, and to not have to pick just one career. Becoming unforgivably stubborn in that belief is what led me to where I am today.

Instead of looking at life as a series of paths, I decided to pave one that wound through several. Those things that I counted down the minutes to and rushed out of classes for weren’t just meant to be a pastime… There had to be a way that my passions could be my life.

I stopped thinking about what I wanted to be, and started becoming who I wanted to be. I chased the things I loved rather than a title, and found what I wanted more than anything was freedom. As uniquely as I was created, so were the job(s) I was set out to do.

Now, every day I can say I’m either achieving or aspiring in a variety of “jobs.” There was no reason to pick just one direction when my heart pulled me several. Things are so far from where I want them to be, but I move forward every day, even if it’s just an inch. So even with all of life’s imperfections, for the first time I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else.

So how does this all make me feel, you ask? Pretty vulnerable. Every day I feel thrown into a new situation in which I have to step up and make a name for myself. There’s no half-assing your way when you live unconventionally. Some days I feel restless running back and forth to keep all the plates spinning, but I live for that rush. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to get my hands dirty, and pursue a life in which work is equivalent to passion.

If your heart is pushing you forward, then on you go. You must be unshakable in the belief that you are worthy of a big life, and snatch it at every chance (Kristin Lohr). Who cares about something as trivial as money if you’re miserable? Our paths will all be different, but yours should never make you feel anything less than limitless. Don’t just make a living, go out there and make a life!





Let’s root each other on, comment below or contact Miss All Over the Place here to talk about the kind of life you dream of!

6 thoughts on “Making a Living vs. Making a Life

    1. Funny how timing works. I needed to read this ❤️ It’s nice to know you’re not alone. I hope the very best for you going forward and I appreciate you putting yourself out there!


  1. Saved this one to my “forever” file.

    Really good to hear. Especially the part about “something as trivial as money!”

    Feeling like making a leap soon. Life is waiting.


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