I feel like I’ve reached a place in my life where I no longer know what’s next. And it scares me. Before getting fired, I never thought (seriously, at least) about a career change. There were times I would fantasize about quitting my corporate job and following my passions…I could finally focus on the novel I started 10 years ago or dust off my sewing machine and work on my purse and bag designs or I could freelance on writing and editing projects.

But these were always day dreams, squashed by bills and daily life and adulting.

Now, though, I have time to dream and think (and over think) and wonder if any of these are possible. I seem to vacillate between following these crazy ideas and being pulled back by reality’s hook. Could I really make one of my dreams work? Could I make a living this way? Do I really want to?

I’ve always worried that turning a dream into a career could ruin it and make it something ugly and unrecognizable.

Here’s an example. When I was in college, I interned or worked for several different people who had advanced degrees in history. I was a history major (and lover) and seriously considered going to get a masters in history. Working with these individuals, though, I got a glimpse of my future.

They loved history, studied it, crafted their futures to it, but none of them actually had much to do with history in their day-to-day work. They were managers of people or events or projects, but not of history. Not one of them were doing what they thought they would. And I didn’t want that kind of life – one where my love of something was twisted and repackaged into a pail facsimile of what I wanted.

I love to write, but I love to write what I want how I want when I want…not what someone else wants on their schedule. I don’t want my dream twisted around until it looks skewed.

So where does this leave me? I’m not sure.

I’ve been tossing around some different careers or paths I could pursue. The thought of starting over in a new field is terrifying. Beginning at the bottom with peers who are seasoned and vetted is totally daunting. I’m used to being the expert, the trainer, the go-to person for new hires. I hate the idea of being the one asking all the questions and not knowing all the answers.

Really, I’m just feeling lost in this whole process…anyone have a map for me?