Turning Down Good Opportunities to Chase After Your Dream Life


At 16 I convinced myself that I'd be a highly successful writer--like NYT Best Selling Author, millions of copies sold worldwide, movie deals--the whole shebang!

All before I hit age 25...

At 18 I completed my first novel and sent it off to 100 different literary agents expecting the same results as Twilight or The Hunger Games: a huge publishing house would buy the rights and then soon after I'd meet with studio executives about casting.

Guess what?

That, um, didn't happen.

While I did receive several good rejection letters no one took me on as a client.

And even though I could make wallpaper out of my rejection letters I kept on writing.

My book still hasn't been published yet, but five essays of mine were in Chicken Soup for the Soul. (Listen to one by clicking here.)

In college I double-majored in Film & English, but quickly grew bored with it.

After taking one psychology class I switched majors and suddenly wanted to know all about the brain. I wanted to know how this three-pound blob of fat in our heads controlled everything about us. I took and excelled in classes like Advance Neurophysiological Psychology and was a TA in Perception. I volunteered with a group called Northwest Noggin, speaking at assemblies and teaching middle-grade and high school students about the brain. I even presented in Washington DC at a neuroscience conference.

I mean y'all, I was all in.

Still, I had no idea what to do with my life.

Forensic Psychologist.

I was totally overwhelmed.

By the time I graduated college in 2015 I'd been following Jesus for 7 months and was learning about terms like "God's will" and wondering what that looked like for my life.

What on earth did He want me to do?

Like I mentioned in earlier posts John Mark Comer's book Garden City and Richard Lamb's book Following Jesus in the Real World really helped me out with this question.

Also during my time in SoCal while at church one Sunday I heard a sermon on how Jesus wasn't a people pleaser and said no to things. I’m definitely a people pleaser and there was a part of me that felt like I had to go to Grad School. Also saying I wanted to be a neuro-whatever got people's attention. They ooooohed and ahhhhhed at me and a little part of me basked in that approval.  

But deep, down after talking with my brother I knew I wanted to take my life in a different direction.

Then came time with my interview with a professor at UC Irvine to discuss applying to the Grad/PhD program there.

He told me, “The difference between undergraduate and graduate work is that now you are applying what you've learned to the real world and are using your creativity to solve problems instead of reading about them.”

A lightbulb went off in my head as I realized God didn't put me on this planet to solve Alzheimer's. Obviously, I want a cure and sure, I can spout out a ton of facts about the brain because I am highly interested in it, but I didn’t want to use my creative energies to solve the world's neuroscience problems.

Instead, I want to write books, make videos, travel, and be a motivational speaker one day.

And guess what?

I said, “This isn't for me.”

How about you? Are you going down a path that isn’t for you? Is it time to say no to something? Even if that something is good?



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